TSR-U-KIDDING-ME: Tabletop Twitter got weird these last few weeks as debates exploded around the tweets made by Ernest G. Gygax, Jr.––son of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator, Gary Gygax––where he doubles down on strong, anti-SJW views in support of his new RPG, Giantlands.
SLAPP FEST: Andrew also checks in with the current legal fight started by Chris Avellone––formerly of Black Isle and Obisidian Entertainment––as he tries to sue people who said mean things about him on the internet.
Also, Dan has gotten even more obsessed with the Metroid series since last week.
ROUGH TEXTURES: Capcom gets sued for allegedly using textures from a reference book––Judy A. Juracek’s Surfaces––for many of its games in the early 2000s and the evidence is pretty compelling. Without dispensing professional legal advice, Andrew guides D. Bethel through the nuances and complexities of this interesting case.
“Don’t Stop Recording” (03 July 2015): Where D. Bethel and Andrew talk about how the 1986 classic,The Transformers: The Movie, may have started as a toy commercial but ended up as a defining emotional moment for young fans at the time.
“Listeners in the Woodwork” (18 October 2019): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the lawsuit surrounding the origins of the theme song from X-Men: The Animated Series.
“Dating the Void” (23 April 2021): Where Andrew discussed the copyright confusion surrounding Sherlock Holmes.
FREEDOM FOR APPS: Andrew and D. Bethel dedicate this week’s episode to discussing and parsing and debating and understanding and reacting to the very, very strange lawsuits being fought between Apple and Epic Games. SPOILER: They have no answers.
NERD LAW, 2019: Two unrelated but intriguingly similar trademark cases have made the rounds in the news this last week. Chooseco, the owner of the Choose Your Own Adventure franchise has brought a lawsuit to Netflix over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and the tenuous if not honorific connections that movie has to the classic children’s book series. In the world of video games, the Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations has sued Take Two––owners of Rockstar Games––for the apparent vilification of the company in the developer’s highly successful late-2018 release, Red Dead Redemption 2. Andrew and D. Bethel sound the Nerd Law alarm and discuss these two cases in depth.
Dan will be tabling at Stocktoncon Winter this Sunday, January 20, with Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics yet again (which hints at a return of the Con Artists limited podcast series)! If you’re in the area, please stop by. For more information, read this post at Long John or go straight to the source at Stocktoncon.com. Hope to see you there!
A MARVELOUS MONSTER: After a long gestation and some delays, Disney has officially acquired 20th Century Fox assets, comprising of Fox’s film and tv properties. This means everything from the Alien franchise to Bob’s Burgers and even The Simpsons are now owned by Disney. Of course, for comic book fans and fans of comic book movies, the biggest part of this deal means that the X-Men and the Fantastic Four film rights are now under Disney/Marvel control. But it’s a much bigger––and more complicated––deal than just the superhero franchises and make some people a little nervous.
WHAT NINTENDON’T: Emulation software has been on the internet for at least twenty years at this point, allowing people to download and play often near-perfect versions of games from the NES, SNES, and many other classic consoles. While playing emulated games have always been legally murky, Nintendo’s big legal smackdown of a few emulator and ROM sites in particular have really shaken the whole community in more ways than one.
NERD LAW: When legal stuff happens in the nerd world, Andrew is on the case (though not dispensing any legal advice). This time around, he talks about Epic Games suing players who use cheats in Fortnite and Comic Con International winning its copyright battle against Salt Lake Comic Con over the term “Comic Con” (19:40)
PHOENIX FALLING?: The Phoenix Comicon has come under scrutiny recently as it became public that, essentially, people would have to pay to be volunteers at the show by paying dues to become members of the Blue Ribbon Army Social Club. Dan and Andrew discuss the issues surrounding this controversy, such as “Why is this a controversy at all?”
MINDING THE NUMBERS: In a Bleeding Cool article covering December’s comic book sales numbers, Andrew and Dan dive deep into 2016 sales by Marvel and DC and compare their respective performances and draw some interesting (if very not scientific) conclusions from the data.
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew steps into a new reality when he tries out PlaystationVR with the help and aid of friend-of-the-show, Taylor Katcher, while Dan starts watching ABC’s new procedural show, Conviction, which he instead considers to be a time-travel continuation of Agent Carter, which also starred Hayley Atwell.
SWITCHEROO: Nintendo released a trailer for their long-speculated, highly anticipated new console, the Nintendo Switch. Andrew and Dan examine the possibilities that seem to be promised in the trailer and whether Nintendo can make good on them.
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Dan mentioned that his webcomic, Long John, would be finishing up its second chapter on Tuesday. Head on over and check it out. If you like it, share it! Even better, buy a book!
For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.
-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“Sogno di Volare (‘The Dream of Flight’)” by Christopher Tin (from Civilization VI)
-“Troops March On” by Nobuo Uematsu (from Final Fantasy VI)
-“Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)” by White Denim
-“The End (Reprise)” by Jack Wall & Sam Hulick (from Mass Effect)