See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

Ink Pen changes characters name to avoid trademark infringement

A press release on Universal Syndicate’s web site gives us a peak at a story line in the newly launched “Ink Pen” where one of the characters has to change it’s name because it infringes on the trademark of another creation.

The strips reflect the real-life issue Ink Pen creator Phil Dunlap became aware of when he received an e-mail from Lisa Kirby, daughter of Marvel comics legend Jack Kirby. Kirby–the creator or co-creator of Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk and dozens of other characters–also created a character in the 1980s named Captain Victory. Though Kirby’s Captain Victory bears little resemblance to the one created by Dunlap, his estate still holds the trademark on the name.

“While I didn’t know about Jack Kirby’s Captain Victory character, I am a huge fan of his work, so the idea that I could have at all insulted his memory made me feel terrible,” Dunlap says. “Lisa was very understanding, but we realized of course the right thing to do was to change the name.”

Because three weeks’ worth of Ink Pen strips had already been submitted to newspapers clients, including the Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal, and the Detroit Free Press, Dunlap and editors at Universal Press Syndicate had to think of a way to change Captain Victory’s name without confusing the growing readership. They decided that the best way to address the superhero’s identity crisis was to work it into the strip itself.

Community Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.