Is there anything Ka-Blam won’t print?

Absolutely. We will not print anything that is illegal, defamatory, or infringes upon the rights of another person or company.

But that’s probably not what you were asking about, is it? You’re probably asking about nudity and sexual content, huh? In that case, the short answer is this — We’ll print ‘R’, but not ‘X’ and certainly not ‘XXX’. It’s not a puritanical thing. Really. It’s based on sound legal advice we received and have chosen to heed, having to do with the voluminous and wildly varying laws around the country (and the world) regarding ‘obscenity’ and the transport thereof.

We’ve elected to print no comics (or comics related material) containing any scenes of an explicit sexual nature.

We also will not print — I shouldn’t have to say this … it embarrasses me a little bit that I have to say it —scans of pirated comics.  Please don’t send them to us and expect us to print them.  We absolutely will NOT do it.

We take copyright and trademark issues very seriously here.  As mentioned above, we will never knowingly print anything that infringes on the trademark  or copyrights of others.   We have often refused print jobs because we had doubt — even over the protestations of the customer — about the validity of a print rights claim.

So please … please … do not send us files that you downloaded off of a pirate site — or scanned yourself from the pages of a printed comic — and ask us to print them.  It’s not happening.  Period.

33 Comments

  1. I understand and respect your decision not to print things above R rating. Kind of dampens my joy at finding a place where I can one day fulful my dream of seeing my own comics published, though, and this is why: I don’t like explicit sex scenes myself but my comics do feature bondage and sexual peril which I guess you won’t like. Also they do sometimes feature trademarked characters which are present *legally* as parody and therefore protected free speech, however since people usually print for commercial reasons I can understand that too.
    My question would be; is there a place on this planet where an enthusiast could get something like a manga-style (ie/bondage) or fanfic style comic printed? If you know of any please remember you’re not losing any sales by advising as such; I’m still sure you’re the best guys to print any whitebread/vanilla comics I do.
    Thanks
    Corum.

  2. You can check with Morgan Printing. Honestly, I don’t know where they stand on this kind of thing, but we frequently refer people to them when they request something from us that we’re either unable or unequipped to do.

  3. “Erotica not porn” is really a semantics argument. I’m sorry but I’m afraid we’d probably take a pass on that.

  4. I’m curious as to where you stand on established characters.

    For instance; I’m a digital colorist that is going to print a comic-format book of various projects I’ve worked on. It’s a non-profit project – more like a portfolio printed in the constructs of a comic book.

    The majority of the art is of established, well known characters. Absolutely nothing defamatory. Mostly fan art, homages, etc, with my colors on them.

    I have permission from all the line art creators for this project but not from DC, Marvel, and the like from which some of these characters originate.

    I’ve never run into any issues displaying these images on my webpage but I would like to know if your company will print them, before I start formatting all the artwork to send.
    Thanks.

  5. Would a character-based drama that has a few non-explicit sex scenes pass? Do you guys make your decisions based on context or purely on content?

  6. Generally speaking — and there are exceptions to this and of course it’s subject to change without any notice — the major publishers have not objected to having their characters included in sketchbooks so long as the characters were presently positively, their trademarks were acknowledged, and no branding elements such as trademarked logos, etc. — that would imply any official sanction from them — were used.

    That having been said, we respect that these characters are owned and trademarked by the publishers and we will absolutely abide by any edict we receive from them.

  7. I have a question…I’m making a comic book about the hit tv show Glee. All of the art is mine and so is my comics. Will you guys print it because of artistic license? I don’t think the company would complain, and it not being published anywhere. So my question is, will you print fanart if it’s all my own art?

  8. If it’s a comic about a property that’s owned and trademarked by someone other than you and you’re producing it unauthorized — without permission or legal rights — then I’m afraid that we will decline the job.

  9. Non-explicit is never an issue.

  10. As for as racy content goes, would things at the level of the content of Heavy Metal Magazine fly (i.e. the odd naked person here or there, any sexual activity that happens has any penetration or the like obscured by shadow or camera angle)? I guess put in manga terms, going ecchi instead of full-on hentai?

  11. Hi! Me and several others are starting a manga magazine, so the work in it is not only mine, but also others’ manga and art, including one that was already published (I think she published with you, actually, she’s the one that recommended me this site). Anyway, I have permission from all of them to publish their work in our magazine, and they have all sent me their pages themselves to be printed. So just to be on the safe side, is it OK to print our magazine with you? All comics inside I have permission from them to print for showcase in the magazine and all content inside will be stated who it belongs to. Thanks in advance! ^.^

  12. Nudity’s not an issue. Think about it like this … there’s a big difference between an “R” rated film (even a so-called “hard” R) and a XXX film. If your comic is a “R” … no problem. If it’s an X or an XXX … then we’ll take a pass.

  13. If it’s as you say, then I see no problem.

  14. I apologize for pressing the issue but I just want to make sure for myself where the line is. Likesay if someone submitted a comic which included scenes analogous to the Lorna comics by Alfonso Azpiri or with a scene in it like the one between Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton in Monster’s Ball would ye still print it? I mentioned Heavy Metal Magazine before which I would place at a “hard R” but not everyone has my sensibilities.

  15. My situation similar to 2 cases described above, but have some difference.

    1) So im writer of script of new season and prequel of one old good abandoned TV series. Im attempting to revive whole series, i already contacted actors and some other guys who created this TV series and had yet informal but serious conversation about possibility of their return into show, they are interested and everyone is waiting from me now when i will find investor and will clear the rights for series – ie will Buy it or will get license from current holder of rights.
    And my general goal is attract attention of current copyright holder and investors to rise fund and recieve rights to make official sequel and prequel.

    2) I planned promotion of my script and entire return of series, to make deal with copyright holder and investors, and comics is part of that promotion.
    At the moment im working on adaptation of my screenplay into comic format, working with artist, and i dont have any plans to make unauthorized sales of it,(so atm it have same status as any fan-fiction) i need a pack of comics to be printed for non-profit purposes, i just need to send these comics as DEMO SAMPLES to investors to let them see what kind of product they will pay for, to current copyright holder, to let them see what im going to do with franchise and to let them decide if they can give me license or sale IP, and additionally i plan to send these SAMPLES to several biggest fan-community holders, so they can judge these SAMPLES and give me support which could help copyright to deside if they can give me rights to continue this officially.
    So since im not selling it, it could be considered by law as non-profit fan fiction and its not brakes any laws, also since im going to print this as SAMPLES for current copyright holder, and since i do aim to receive rights from them, this makes my actions double-legal.

    But you policy a little bit strict on this and not states it very clear about such exceptional cases.
    So can i order prints of limited amount of promotional copies from you in this case?

    P.S. – To make sure that im not going to sell them, you can even deliver prints directly to listed addresses of investors, productions studios and copyright holders.

    thank you in advance!

  16. It’s not so much that our policy on this kind of thing is too strict, so much as it is that we comply with US copyright laws. And based on your explanation of what you plan to do it seems quite clear to me that what you’re proposing would fall outside the boundaries of exceptions to copyright law.

  17. As a general rule we’ll print it unless we’re aware that the publisher has stated explicitly that they do not allow it. Just be aware that the liability is yours if the publisher and/or copyright owner object.

  18. Hi!
    I’m looking to gather my daily sketches (more like daily strips) into one book. In a few of them, I have my reoccurring character (cartoon cat), parodying some properties (i.e. wearing X-Men’s Rogue costume, Storm Trooper’s helmet etc.). Credit would be given to the copyright owners of the particular properties in the credits page of the book. So technically, I believe it would fall under Fair Use and shouldn’t infringe on copyright. Is that something you’d have a problem with printing (limited parody)?
    Thanks for your time!
    -Nicole =)

  19. Parody is fair use.

  20. I was wondering with the scans of printed comics bit: what if said comics are in the public domain? Say I wanted to place in my comic an old Fox Features Daredevil story. Would you not accept it, as it would be scanned from a printed comic, or is there an exception for such public domain entities?

  21. As an edit to me earlier comment, I meant Lev Gleason Daredevil. I was just thinking of Fox Features’s Wonder Man, as well.

  22. Public domain means it belongs to everyone and no one. I would absolutely LOVE to see more public domain comics being printed around here.

  23. Just to be clear on the legal interpretation of fair usage and how it applies here. The project I’m putting together has a lot of world-building attached to it, and while it is not a strictly satirical project it does include many elements of our own world; i.e. manufacturers, products etc.

    As I understand it, both Canada and the U.S. laws include a fairly grey area where having a character listen to an i Pod or use a DELL laptop in a neutral context (i.e. non-defamatory, appropriate) qualifies as fair usage. Would this be Ka-Blam’s understanding as well?

  24. I´m a digital colorist who has worked for several companies and I´m planning on creating a book with my best work mostly to share along my friends and family (no commercial use), having illustrations from DC or Marvel characters knowing I was part of the original art team infringe any copyrights ?

  25. Where does Ka-Blam stand on printing sketchbooks? I do commissions throughout the year, most of which are my rendition of Marvel and DC characters, occasionally redesigned to fit the client’s theme. Since Marvel and DC are alright with artists selling commissions of these characters, would you print a sketch book collecting the commissions I’ve done? Or would that still be considered a copyright issue?

  26. For something like this I think you’d need permission from the publishers.

  27. Hi Dan,
    Good question and we get that a lot especially around convention time!
    For the most part major publisher look the other way even though this is a violation of their trademark. Avoid the use of things like logo’s and trademarks we don’t print those. But by and large we print them fine. If we get a cease and desist–you’re on your own :O)
    Jen

  28. Hi Benny,
    For the most part major publisher look the other way even though this is a violation of their trademark. Avoid the use of things like logo’s and trademarks we don’t print those. But by and large we print them fine. If we get a cease and desist–you’re on your own :O)
    Best,
    Jen

  29. Yes.

  30. Hi Jen,
    You mentioned avoiding the use of logos and trademarks, so is the printing of skechbooks and doujinshi fine so long as it’s not for wide distribution and doesn’t include said trademarks? I’m aware that major publishers usually look the other way when it comes to doujinshi because they are often printed for small or one-time purposes (i.e. anime conventions), and I’m also aware that if a conflict were to arise for whatever reason that you would immediately stop publishing the work in question.

    For the work I have in mind, I only intend to share it with friends or family (not looking for ISBNs or anything like that), but mostly I wanted to have a hardcopy for myself instead of just the digital files. Does this use fall into your accepted guidelines?

  31. Not sure I see a response to my query from April.

    My question had been:
    Just to be clear on the legal interpretation of fair usage and how it applies here. The project I’m putting together has a lot of world-building attached to it, and while it is not a strictly satirical project it does include many elements of our own world; i.e. manufacturers, products etc.

    As I understand it, both Canada and the U.S. laws include a fairly grey area where having a character listen to an i Pod or use a DELL laptop in a neutral context (i.e. non-defamatory, appropriate) qualifies as fair usage. Would this be Ka-Blam’s understanding as well?

    Can you provide an answer?

  32. Sketchbooks are tricky. As long as you don’t use trademarked logos, the work is done professionally, etc the big boys tend to not hassle the artist :O)

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