Superheroes Ltd is undergoing a change of name. From issue 2 onwards, the series will be titled Joe Cape.
Wait, What? Why?
I previously posted about Arcadia getting accepted for digital distribution via Comixology. I also submitted issue 1 of Superheroes Ltd whilst working on issue 2. Comixology rejected the submission recently, stating they were concerned about a potential trademark issue.
Upon further investigation, it turns out that Marvel and DC jointly own a trademark for the word "superhero", including all of it's permutations. "Superhero", "super-hero", "super hero", it doesn't matter how you spell it, if you use in it the title, advertising, or promotion of your product without Marvel & DC's permission you're infringing upon their trademark.
Oddly enough, the rules seem to allow for the use of the word on internal comic pages, so the actual content of the book remains unchanged.
So Marvel & DC Came After You?
No, they haven't. I'm making this decision to avoid any potential problems in the future. I know I'm a small indie comic artist and I'm probably not even on their radar, but I would rather be safe than sorry, especially as they've previously gone after other indie comics such as A World Without Superheroes.
What Happens Now?
It seems I can use the word superhero on internal pages, so I do not need to make any alterations to the content of the books or the story I have planned out. As I am implementing changes immediately upon learning of the trademark issue, I should reasonably be allowed to continue selling the original print run of issue 1, which was only 200 copies. Once my stock is low enough I will reprint the first issue with the new title and a new cover. This means that first print run is going to be quite a rarity!
Issue 2 will be printed with the new title and logo from the get go. I had hoped to launch the book at Melksham Comic Con later this month, however this last minute change might throw a spanner in the works. I'm currently doing everything I can to ensure the book still launches on time.
Over the next few weeks you'll see the digital version of Superheroes Ltd issue 1 available through Comicsy replaced with Joe Cape issue 1. The great thing about digital distribution is that I don't face the problem I do with the physical copies, in that I have to sell those before I can afford to reprint copies with the new logo.
Outside of that, everything continues as normal.