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(Bleeding Cool)   In 1973, a kid entered a Marvel Comics competition to design a new superhero. His published entry had a metal skeleton and was called Wolverine. Six months later, Wolverine made his first appearance in a comic with no credit for the kid   (bleedingcool.com) divider line 126
    More: Interesting, new superhero, Marvel Comics, Andy Olson, Steve Ditko, wolverines, Bleeding Cool, parallel, Hey Kid  
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14841 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Jan 2014 at 11:30 AM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-01-01 10:05:45 AM
I could not recall if a waiver was part of the contest. I never signed one or read anything stating entering the contest removed all rights from the originator.

If he was under 18, or possibly even 21*, he may not have had legal authority to agree to a contract giving up his rights.

On the other hand, copyright law at the time was not as aggressive as it is today. Now the configuration of the coffee rings on your desk is probably copyrighted automatically. Back then you could easily lose copyright by not claiming it. This was a big deal in the early Unix legal wars. AT&T may have published Unix without properly claiming copyright.

* Long ago the age of majority was commonly 21. It was lowered to 18 in some states out of guilt over drafting legal minors to serve in Vietnam.
 
2014-01-01 10:12:12 AM
I hope Marvel creates a whiny sidekick named Andy Olson just to piss this guy off.
 
2014-01-01 10:38:08 AM
Oh my God this guy is a whiner
 
2014-01-01 10:38:57 AM
if this is true and provable, i'd say the guy is owed a slice of a fairly large pile of money.
 
2014-01-01 10:43:01 AM

FlashHarry: if this is true and provable, i'd say the guy is owed a slice of a fairly large pile of money.


Or, Marvel pulls a Charcoal again, kills Wolverine off, stops using him, and the guy gets nothing.

It isn't like they're hurting for marketable superheroes or anything.
 
2014-01-01 10:50:36 AM
The issue of FOOM that started this all sold on eBay for $205

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FOOM-NO-2-1973-IS-HULK-180-181-1974-REALLY-T HE -1ST-APP-OF-WOLVERINE-/301049371385?pt=UK_Books_Comics_Magazines_US_Co mics_ET&hash=item4617f0daf9

Don't really have an opinion, just found it interesting.
 
2014-01-01 10:50:41 AM
I'm betting that somewhere in that magazine was a sentence saying all submissions became the property of Marvel

/Not a lawyer
 
2014-01-01 11:38:35 AM

stratagos: Oh my God this guy is a whiner


No where in that article is the guy whining. He is pretty funny about the whole thing, and how he got ripped off.
 
2014-01-01 11:40:35 AM

FlashHarry: if this is true and provable, i'd say the guy is owed a slice of a fairly large pile of money.


A tall Wolverine with no real resemblance, no claws and who "seems" to have a metal skeleton?
 
2014-01-01 11:42:25 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I'm betting that somewhere in that magazine was a sentence saying all submissions became the property of Marvel

/Not a lawyer


It's become a common tactic of many companies and their submission tactics, particularly the ones which ask people to "create a commercial", "invent a new flavor" or "design a controller" for them, the winner gets $10,000, the company gets an endless supply of ideas.  It's an extremely cheap yet lucrative game for the marketing department.
 
2014-01-01 11:53:23 AM
So Stan Lee screws over another artist?

Did Stan ever have any original ideas of his own?
 
2014-01-01 11:56:51 AM

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: So Stan Lee screws over another artist?

Did Stan ever have any original ideas of his own?


He had some great original ideas for ripping people off, apparently

/a few old classics, too
 
2014-01-01 12:04:09 PM
So... He got himself a no-prize?
 
2014-01-01 12:06:59 PM

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: So Stan Lee screws over another artist?

Did Stan ever have any original ideas of his own?


Yeah!!!

Except, Stan stepped down as EIC in 1972, and went to LA, and had nothing to do with running Marvel at that point.
 
2014-01-01 12:11:48 PM

Sgt Otter: FlashHarry: if this is true and provable, i'd say the guy is owed a slice of a fairly large pile of money.

A tall Wolverine with no real resemblance, no claws and who "seems" to have a metal skeleton?



That, and the minor detail that Wolverine's skeleton- along with his healing factor, or the idea that he was a mutant/had inherent super-powers at all- were later additions to the character.

The initial concept was just that of a really well-trained fighter with claws in his gloves, and grew from there as they tried to make him more distinctive.  Because otherwise (and I forget the name of the writer or editor who pointed this out and got the ball rolling), "anyone could put on the gloves and become Wolverine."
 
2014-01-01 12:12:26 PM

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: So Stan Lee screws over another artist?

Did Stan ever have any original ideas of his own?


The Steve Jobs of his day?
 
2014-01-01 12:19:33 PM
So then he decided to wait 41 years and then start whining about it?

Yeah, I'm calling fake.
 
2014-01-01 12:20:30 PM

Wasteland: Sgt Otter: FlashHarry: if this is true and provable, i'd say the guy is owed a slice of a fairly large pile of money.

A tall Wolverine with no real resemblance, no claws and who "seems" to have a metal skeleton?


That, and the minor detail that Wolverine's skeleton- along with his healing factor, or the idea that he was a mutant/had inherent super-powers at all- were later additions to the character.

The initial concept was just that of a really well-trained fighter with claws in his gloves, and grew from there as they tried to make him more distinctive.  Because otherwise (and I forget the name of the writer or editor who pointed this out and got the ball rolling), "anyone could put on the gloves and become Wolverine."


Also, he was apparently a mutated wolverine, iirc
 
2014-01-01 12:28:17 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: So then he decided to wait 41 years and then start whining about it?

Yeah, I'm calling fake.


Nope. The article says they tracked him down. Also, he doesn't whine at any point in the article. They ask him what happened and he told them.
 
2014-01-01 12:30:43 PM

theflatline: stratagos: Oh my God this guy is a whiner

No where in that article is the guy whining. He is pretty funny about the whole thing, and how he got ripped off.


Ehhhh. He's whining a little bit. A little bit, there. Just a bit.
robertmilliman.files.wordpress.com
/maybe it's just how I'm reading it...
 
2014-01-01 12:31:47 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: TedCruz'sCrazyDad: So Stan Lee screws over another artist?

Did Stan ever have any original ideas of his own?

He had some great original ideas for ripping people off, apparently

/a few old classics, too


Jack Kirby really tore Stan a second one when he jumped over to DC. He created a slimy, self-aggrandizing con-man who weaseled his way into becoming Mister Miracle's manager.

2.bp.blogspot.com


kirbymuseum.org
 
2014-01-01 12:34:45 PM
I thought it might be just me, but he seemed whiny to me as well. Or at least in love with telling his story. If you boil it down, only the name is the same for sure, since his character only "seems" to have a metal skeleton.
 
2014-01-01 12:38:22 PM
So the guy created a character named after an animal that has a metal skeleton and he seems to think Marvel stole this highly original and impossible to recreate idea?!

If his character had big metal claws even I would be more on his side,

But Jesus, even when I think I have an original comment to make on Fark I enter the thread and 19 other people came up with it before me!

Get over yourself, manchild!
 
2014-01-01 12:39:01 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com
Honey Badger don't care that you came up with an hero named after an animal. Also, mongooses are cool. Fighting Mongooses. I'll call him the Whizzer!
 
2014-01-01 12:42:16 PM
FTA: "I also created a villain named Krypt. As I recall he was a part cyborg fellow who was pissed off at almost everything. I thought the name sounded cool..."

Sounds to me like he has an excellent case against the entire works of Rob Liefeld.
 
2014-01-01 12:58:49 PM

Cheese eating surrender monkey: So... He got himself a no-prize?


HA! I see what you did there.

Well done.
 
2014-01-01 01:00:50 PM

Standard Deviant: I thought it might be just me, but he seemed whiny to me as well. Or at least in love with telling his story. If you boil it down, only the name is the same for sure, since his character only "seems" to have a metal skeleton.


Wow white knight guys for comics? Amazing. He wasn't whiney at all and didn't even sound bitter, which I don't understand considering the films starring his creation grossed a billion dollars.
 
2014-01-01 01:01:01 PM

Fano: FTA: "I also created a villain named Krypt. As I recall he was a part cyborg fellow who was pissed off at almost everything. I thought the name sounded cool..."

Sounds to me like he has an excellent case against the entire works of Rob Liefeld.


Depends, was part of the concept that you could never see his character's feet?
 
2014-01-01 01:02:38 PM

TV's Vinnie: MaudlinMutantMollusk: TedCruz'sCrazyDad: So Stan Lee screws over another artist?

Did Stan ever have any original ideas of his own?

He had some great original ideas for ripping people off, apparently

/a few old classics, too

Jack Kirby really tore Stan a second one when he jumped over to DC. He created a slimy, self-aggrandizing con-man who weaseled his way into becoming Mister Miracle's manager.


However, Kirby's writing was so bad, no one ever read the books or remembers the character.

/Kirby needed Lee more than Lee needed Kirby.
 
2014-01-01 01:12:51 PM

buntz: So the guy created a character named after an animal that has a metal skeleton and he seems to think Marvel stole this highly original and impossible to recreate idea?!

If his character had big metal claws even I would be more on his side,

But Jesus, even when I think I have an original comment to make on Fark I enter the thread and 19 other people came up with it before me!

Get over yourself, manchild!


This.  It's hardly unique for super hero's to be named after an animal, and there are only so many "cool" one's to go around, a "Wolverine" was inevitable.

Metal skeleton, if by that you mean robot/cyborg where his innards are more like a Terminator(because that's what the drawings look like), then sure...but most robots have a metal skeleton.

Sounds to me like the guy harbored it so long he's convinced himself that he created the actual character down to other details as well that were likewise not present in his drawings.

Holding onto a 40 year old grudge, the guy is most definitely whiny.
 
2014-01-01 01:28:38 PM
They may well have been inspired by his drawing but as a writer I know full well that (a) there are very few original ideas and (b) it happens a lot that you'll come up with something and six months later see someone else had the same idea, even when you never told anyone about your idea and they couldn't possibly have stolen it.

I suspect a lot of time writers are inspired by a newspaper article or news event, and of course millions of people saw the same thing and very likely at least a dozen other people had the exact same inspiration.
 
2014-01-01 01:30:57 PM
theflatline:  and how he got ripped off.

He didn't.
 
2014-01-01 01:32:48 PM

shoegaze99: theflatline:  and how he got ripped off.

He didn't.


Your opinion and it means just about as much as mine which says he did
 
2014-01-01 01:33:22 PM
I find it odd that so many people are calling him bitter and holding on to a grudge when he himself never went out trying to tell people he was ripped off and he didn't even seem that angry in the interview. The folks at Bleeding Cool sought this guy out, not the other way around.

FTFA
"I often wondered, It's quite possible other titles in use today are from ideas from other kids that entered along with me. Who would know?
So I chalked it up to a lesson learned and concentrated on my own career in graphic design.
I made a point to never enter such contests again and council others to be wary as well."

Yeah, he sounds real bitter there.
 
2014-01-01 01:33:29 PM
Isn't this how we ended up with Rob Liefeld?
 
2014-01-01 01:34:07 PM

steamingpile: He wasn't whiney at all and didn't even sound bitter, which I don't understand considering the films starring his creation grossed a billion dollars.


Strange, I don't recall ever seeing any films made of his creation. Hell, it doesn't look like any comics were ever made of his creation, either.
 
2014-01-01 01:36:49 PM
i imagine every comic creator at one time went down to the library and grabbed a few picture books of critters from around the world and leafed through the pages.
whoops it looks like others have already pointed this out. i do think a super hero with the tongue of a aardvark and wearing zebra striped tights would be great.
 
2014-01-01 01:37:02 PM
Buy him another beer, and he'll tell you how he invented Spiderman when he was a toddler.
 
2014-01-01 01:45:50 PM

Dingleberry Dickwad: Yeah, he sounds real bitter there.


I agree, he doesn't sound bitter. I'm not seeing it.

On the other hand, he does sound kind of foolish for actually thinking Marvel's Wolverine is a ripoff of his character. They bear no resemblance to one another aside from the name, and Guy Named After An Animal is about as generic as comic characters get. As others have noted, Wolverine's metal skeleton was a much later addition. When he was introduced, he was just another Guy Named After An Animal. There are literally hundreds of them in comics. Flip through comics of the period and every other issue had some throwaway character named after a bug or animal or whatever.

The idea that Marvel stole this oh-so-brilliant idea and it became the Wolverine we know is laughable. A name isn't a character, and in comes names don't get any more generic than (insert animal here).

But yes, I agree, he doesn't come across as bitter, just naive for convincing himself that he in any way, shape or form contributed to the creation of the popular Wolverine.
 
2014-01-01 02:04:47 PM
My Cook Story Bro:

If you would submit new super heroes to Marvel, they used to send back a letter saying "we can't even look at these, but thanks anyway and have some comics." They would bundle it with 4 or 5 random comics. Of course, this meant that my twin brother and I would send in drawings to get new comics. He designed one called RoboCop, half man/half robot, with the trademark front visor. Now, granted--it wasn't too original of an idea and they weren't exactly alike, but a few years later Marvel Entertainment Group released RoboCop. We still talk about how my brother invented it.
 
2014-01-01 02:14:26 PM

Knobbs: but a few years later Marvel Entertainment Group released RoboCop. We still talk about how my brother invented it.


Marvel had nothing to do with creating the character, they simply got the rights to do comic adaptations and spinoffs of the movie the character was invented for.
 
2014-01-01 02:17:42 PM

Knobbs: My Cook Story Bro:

If you would submit new super heroes to Marvel, they used to send back a letter saying "we can't even look at these, but thanks anyway and have some comics." They would bundle it with 4 or 5 random comics. Of course, this meant that my twin brother and I would send in drawings to get new comics. He designed one called RoboCop, half man/half robot, with the trademark front visor. Now, granted--it wasn't too original of an idea and they weren't exactly alike, but a few years later Marvel Entertainment Group released RoboCop. We still talk about how my brother invented it.


Nope.  RoboCop was an idea stolen from the TV series Future Cop, which was a ripoff of Brillo, a short story by Harlan Ellison and Ben Bova.  Ellison won a fair chunk of change in a later legal settlement.
 
2014-01-01 02:23:16 PM

Dingleberry Dickwad: I find it odd that so many people are calling him bitter and holding on to a grudge when he himself never went out trying to tell people he was ripped off and he didn't even seem that angry in the interview. The folks at Bleeding Cool sought this guy out, not the other way around.

FTFA
"I often wondered, It's quite possible other titles in use today are from ideas from other kids that entered along with me. Who would know?
So I chalked it up to a lesson learned and concentrated on my own career in graphic design.
I made a point to never enter such contests again and council others to be wary as well."

Yeah, he sounds real bitter there.


You quoted it yourself, I didn't even have to dig it up out of the article.

And the existence of his lengthy diatribe in the article at all.  Someone who wasn't jaded or bitter, who was more rational, would be more like "Yeah, I submitted something like that, maybe they took the idea and ran with it, maybe they came up with it on their own."  In other words, not much of story.  This guy is convinced, despite the obvious disparity of his idea and how wolverine rolled out.

You'd be hard pressed to complain so much about something as trivial 40 years later.  It's obvious he's thought about it a lot over the past several decades and still has absolute certainty is directly indicative of bitter.
 
2014-01-01 02:23:28 PM

The My Little Pony Killer: So then he decided to wait 41 years and then start whining about it?

Yeah, I'm calling fake.


someone tracked him down, idiot... try actually reading the article.
 
2014-01-01 02:30:48 PM

FirstNationalBastard: TV's Vinnie: MaudlinMutantMollusk: TedCruz'sCrazyDad: So Stan Lee screws over another artist?

Did Stan ever have any original ideas of his own?

He had some great original ideas for ripping people off, apparently

/a few old classics, too

Jack Kirby really tore Stan a second one when he jumped over to DC. He created a slimy, self-aggrandizing con-man who weaseled his way into becoming Mister Miracle's manager.

However, Kirby's writing was so bad, no one ever read the books or remembers the character.

/Kirby needed Lee more than Lee needed Kirby.


cf.chucklesnetwork.agj.co
 
2014-01-01 02:33:51 PM

MylesHeartVodak: Knobbs: My Cook Story Bro:

If you would submit new super heroes to Marvel, they used to send back a letter saying "we can't even look at these, but thanks anyway and have some comics." They would bundle it with 4 or 5 random comics. Of course, this meant that my twin brother and I would send in drawings to get new comics. He designed one called RoboCop, half man/half robot, with the trademark front visor. Now, granted--it wasn't too original of an idea and they weren't exactly alike, but a few years later Marvel Entertainment Group released RoboCop. We still talk about how my brother invented it.

Nope.  RoboCop was an idea stolen from the TV series Future Cop, which was a ripoff of Brillo, a short story by Harlan Ellison and Ben Bova.  Ellison won a fair chunk of change in a later legal settlement.


Ellison also got money from James Cameron, as he evidently owns the idea of a time-traveling robot that looks human. So it doesn't take much to claim copyright.
 
2014-01-01 02:37:18 PM
Back in the early 90's or so I sent an idea for a slogan to the Colorado Tourism Board, my suggestion was "Colorado.. Greatest Snow on Earth."  They sent me back a nice letter thanking me but saying they liked the slogan they already had.  then a year or 2 later I saw something promoting the neighboring state of Utah that was.. "the Greatest Snow on Earth."  and they used that slogan for some years, they may still use it. Coincidence, probably but it did get me thinking.
 
2014-01-01 02:40:15 PM

HindiDiscoMonster: The My Little Pony Killer: So then he decided to wait 41 years and then start whining about it?

Yeah, I'm calling fake.

someone tracked him down, idiot... try actually reading the article.


But if he read the article, how could he make asinine and uninformed comments for people to mock?
 
2014-01-01 02:48:02 PM
Welcome to America, kid.
 
2014-01-01 03:07:53 PM

Fano: FTA: "I also created a villain named Krypt. As I recall he was a part cyborg fellow who was pissed off at almost everything. I thought the name sounded cool..."

Sounds to me like he has an excellent case against the entire works of Rob Liefeld.


The inventor of the crayon would be in front of him in that line-up.
 
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