Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Atlas Comics Shenanigans! Psychic Octopus Jr v Ironjaw!

Regular followers of this blog will remember the story of Atlas Comics and their well known line of characters, Creole Science Action, Astro Pygmy, and Psychic Octopus Jr.  Well, perhaps you remember the saga of Atlas Comics, a small line of fan produced comic books that is currently fighting off some guy named Goodman who feels that he has a claim to the name Atlas Comics by virtue of the fact that his grandfather founded the original Atlas Comics and later morphed it into Marvel.  And the same guy’s father had a hand in the founding of Atlas Comics in the 1970s – neither company had any character as good as Astro Pygmy, no, the Goodman’s 1970s version of Atlas only had characters such as Wulf, Vicki, Tiger-Man, Phoenix, Grim Ghost, Morlock 2001, Iron Jaw, Targitt, Scorpion and Devilina along with characters such as Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, the Human Torch and others in the 1950s.  But all of them, and many more, pale against the might and power that is Psychic Octopus Jr.  Or they would, if only the current owner of the Atlas Comics trademark, Jeffrey Stevens, could actually produce a comic book for general distribution and sale.   I have asked a lot of people if they've ever seen or heard of an Atlas Comic for sale, as produced by Jeffrey Stevens, and so far everybody has come up blank.  With that in mind it's highly doubtful that Stevens has even produced any of his comic line, let alone sold any.  Again, if anyone can prove otherwise then by all means, send me an email.

The good news is that the legal saga continues, which means that Jason Goodman stands a good chance of being able to finally lay claim to what he must surely feel is his birthright. The bad news is that the legal saga continues, which means that more money will be spent on lawyers.  The case has been ratcheted up a notch as Stevens’ recent application to end it, based upon his own declaration, along with screen-dumps of his then out of date web-site was recently denied, meaning that unless he can reach a settlement with Goodman, the fight will rage on for the name Atlas Comics and, if the case runs its full course, a resolution might not be sighted on the horizon until well into 2013, and could easily extend into 2014 and beyond. That’s not too shabby for a case that was opened in late September 2010 and is still contested. 

What remains open for debate is if Jeffrey Stevens has actually produced a comic book for sale.  Since 2010 Jason Goodman’s Atlas Comics has produced several comics and is producing more.  Conversely Jeffrey Stevens, who filed for the Atlas Comics name in 2002 and was handed it in 2005, has yet to produce a comic book that anyone, outside of himself, has seen or recorded. As the Trademark Board commented, "The appearance of the ATLAS COMICS mark in a promotional flyer and in respondent’s correspondence does not establish that the mark is or has been in use on comic books.”  

The Board has also flagged their line of thinking in regards to this case in their recent Denial of Motion.  Amongst the highlights are these statements, "...we agree with petitioner (Goodman) that respondent’s declaration regarding his first sale by mail is inconsistent with his statement of use stating that the mark was used on comic books available for sale on his website. Moreover, petitioner has submitted evidence which rebuts respondent’s unsupported declaration that ATLAS COMICS comic books have been available for sale continuously since 2005…we find that there are genuine factual disputes with respect to, at a minimum whether respondent used the ATLAS COMICS mark on comic books in commerce at the time the statement of use was filed and whether respondent ceased using its mark (or ever commenced use) in connection with those goods.” 

These statements, and the rest of the Denial which you can read below, make for damning reading for Stevens.  But there is hope – perhaps a resolution can be reached which will see Ironjaw versus Psychic Octopus Jr, to the death.  Written by Alan Moore and drawn by Neal Adams, with covers by, well, anyone really.  After all it's not like either Atlas company is going to get Moore and Adams in any great hurry and I suspect that such a story would be over before anyone reached page three.
Psychic Octopus Jr vs Iron Jaw? My money is on the dude with the dentures
One of these has been published, the other possibly only exists only as an image on a web-site


Steve Miller, Writer of Stuff said...

"Supernatural Law"?

Alana Wolff and Jeff Byrd are going to be involved in this fight, too?!

What side are they representing?

CArchivist said...


FYI, Stevens Atlas Comics Group website has gone belly up. Its still in some form cached by Google, BUT, the actual site itself looks like its allowed its ownership lapsed, not forwards to a page offering it for sale. Too bad, I was going to gamble and try to buy the titles on it to see if I got something.

Maybe Goodman will win now after all? Too bad his efforts failed, not like the folks at Valiant, who shows how to properly restart a comics line.