The worst fears of anti-corporation cynics in comic book fandom were realized today when Marvel Comics sent out a press release formally declaring their C2E2 booth to be the "only place to meet creators and win prizes" at the convention. Since Marvel was purchased by Walt Disney Co. in 2011, many have been waiting for Disney's aggressive litigation strategies to start branching out into the comics industry, and Marvel's announcement that they have trademarked both contests and creator interaction at C2E2 appears to be the opening shot by Walt and the Gang.
"I was planning to set up a table in Artists Alley, maybe sign a few books, sell some sketches," said K.N. Trapper, an independent comics creator. "This morning I got a cease and desist letter in the mail from Disney lawyers. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do. I already spent $400 on a table."
"My lawyer advises me that I might be able to get away with communicating with my fans via hand gestures and expressive miming," he added, "but I'm not sure I want to risk it."
The scene on the convention floor is ominous at the West Building on McCormick place as exhibitors set up for the show, which starts tomorrow. Disney Stormtroopers (literally, that's why they bought Star Wars) are reportedly patrolling the building, confiscating trademark-violating contraband like t-shirt cannons and raffle tickets that are not part of official Marvel-sanctioned contests. One PR rep for Dark Horse Comics was allegedly ejected from the premises after attempting to set up covert creator handshake opportunities in an alley behind the behind the building.
"Attica! Attica!," he reportedly yelled as he was dragged out of the building, his luxurious blonde mane flowing in the wind behind him.
As of press time, The Outhouse is unsure whether any of this will hold up in court, but if you're visiting C2E2, your best bet is to pay careful attention to the press release below, which lists the only Disney-approved opportunities for you to legally interact with creators and win prizes. Any activities not not listed below should be participated in at your own risk.
Here's the press release:
The Marvel Booth At C2E2 2012: The Only Place To Meet Creators And Win Prizes!
This week, Marvel heads to C2E2 in Chicago! Marvel (Booth #1119), along with the hottest creators in the industry, bring fans all that they’ve been craving and more! Over the course of the three day event, Marvel is bringing the fan service with giveaways, signings, and the fan favorite costume contest to make C2E2 an event to remember! Be sure to stop by the Marvel Booth (#1119) for your chance to get in on the fun the entire weekend!
And that’s not all because, we have an all-star cast of your favorite Marvel creators who will be at the booth signing all weekend long! Swing by and visit top Marvel writers including Rick Remender, Mark Waid, Kieron Gillen, Olivier Coipel, Ryan Stegman, Chris Samnee, Brandon Peterson, David Marquez, Brian Wood, Jordie Bellaire, Declan Shalvey, Josh Fialkov, Greg Land along with a host of other Mighty Marvel Guests!
Each year, Marvel brings the biggest and best announcements to C2E2, and this year is no different! Love the Marvel Universe? Can’t get enough Marvel NOW! or Age of Ultron? Need to know more about Infinity? Well then be sure to check out the great panels we’ve got planned!
Can’t make it to the convention? Follow along on the Marvel Events App & events.marvel.com, the best way to get exclusive videos, real-time announcements from the convention floor and up-to-the-minute panel, in-booth, and signing schedules of all your favorite Marvel creators!