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Aug 122014

SDCC V SLCCby Nur Hussein, staff writer

The legal saga of San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) and Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCC) has escalated from a cease-and-desist letter to a lawsuit in federal court. In a 16-page complaint filed yesterday, SDCC alleges federal trademark infringement and “false designation of origin” against SLCC, and seeks “civil action for damages and injunctive relief.” This means they are seeking a preliminary injunction against SLCC using the name “Comic Con,” effective immediately: before the civil suit over the trademark and claimed damages is settled in court. If SDCC prevails in the suit, a permanent injunction will be granted.

Krypton Radio consulted attorney David Reischer of LegalAdvice.com for further analysis of the case. Reischer noted, “The court’s ruling on a preliminary injunction will shed much light on the court’s opinion on the merits of the case, because a party seeking a preliminary injunction will need to demonstrate among other things, that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of the case.”

San Diego Comic-Con currently holds the trademark on “Comic-Con” — with a hyphen — but abandoned its 1995 bid for the rights to “Comic Con” — with a space, but no hyphen. In 1996, SDCC filed an unsuccessful suit over the use of the words “Comic Con” against Chicago Comic Con, Inc. We asked Resicher whether this previous ruling was likely to factor into the court’s decision in the case of SDCC v. SLCC.

Resicher said it’s likely that, “SDCC attorneys will argue that their brand has even become more recognized since 1995, and that the intervening 19 years has made any such [ruling] less relevant, because facts have changed … As a matter of law, courts cite principles of stare decisis [the doctrine of precedent] when an issue has been previously brought to the court and a ruling has already been issued. This prior case may have been determined in a different jurisdiction, in which case any holding may only hold persuasive authority, not binding authority.”

This is going to be a long and complex process, assuming the parties don’t settle out of court. Resicher continues, “It is worth noting that at this beginning stage of the proceedings, many of the larger issues of this pending action will not be addressed right away. The larger issues to be addressed by the court are matters of fact and law that will need to be determined after much more evidence is offered by all parties.

“SDCC makes claim in their Complaint that ‘The Comic-Con marks are internationally famous.’ This is a significant factual and legal claim that Plaintiff is making. In trademark law the determination of what constitutes a ‘famous’ mark usually involves a great deal of litigation because there are a whole series of factors as to what constitutes a ‘famous mark’ which is a legal determination as to whether a mark has achieved sufficient public recognition to be granted trademark protection. These factors include but are not limited to the duration and extent of use of the mark; the extent of advertising for the mark; the geographic area in which the marks have been used; the distinctiveness of the mark; the degree of recognition of the mark; and the use of the mark by third parties.

“The Defendants will argue that the words ‘Comic Con’ have become so generic in the minds of the public that the marks are no longer deserving of protection because they no longer serve as a unique source identifier for the SDCC brand – if they ever did in the first instance … any evidence presented by the Defendants of any third party trademarks or use by other entities that use the words ‘Comic-Con’ may [demonstrate] insufficient policing of the trademark by SDCC and that the ‘Comic-Con’ mark is not distinctive and deserving of trademark protection.”

The fact that SDCC hasn’t gone after other conventions using the words “Comic Con” as part of their names (such as Boston Comic Con, Wizard World Comic Con, New York Comic Con, Central Coast Comic Con, Austin Comic Con, Denver Comic Con, Baltimore Comic Con…the list goes on and on) may work against them, as these cons have been operating for years, their existence is very public, and yet SDCC has not chosen to defend their claimed rights against any of them. Why are they choosing to single out SLCC? Possibly because SLCC is a new con, and their name is not yet well-established.

What’s next? Stay tuned for more details as they become available.


Aug 012014


By Alicia Glass, contributing writer

Set ninety-seven years after nuclear Armageddon decimated the Earth, the survivors living in orbital space stations endure Draconian-style rule, and as the population overflows while new generations are born, some decide it would be a good idea to exile 100 juvenile offenders from the prison barge to the surface. The why of such an action continues to be shadowy and anyone’s guess, but the survivors now on Earth have to cope with a completely unfamiliar environment of an Earth run wild and surprise indigenous peoples!

Show-runner Jason Rothenburg was joined onstage at San Diego Comic-con by Eliza Taylor, Isaiah Washington, Marie Avgeropolous, Devon Bostick, Ricky Whittle and Linsdey Morgan. Whittle and Morgan have both been promoted to series regulars, much to their and their fans’ delight. Eliza Taylor, who plays Clarke on the show, seemed to be the fan favorite for the panel, with her strong Australian accent and beautiful smile.

One major thing the panel folk were all adamant about, is that the show is supposed to be called “the hundred,” not “the one-hundred.” The show title refers to the childrens’ experiment currently in progress, one that was a long time in the planning, apparently by the older-generation folk on the Ark, rather than the number of survivors left on Earth. As Rothenburg says, “If that were the case, by Season 3 it would be ‘The Handful’!”

The show fairly recently ended its first season on some rather dark and grim notes, the willful death-off-a-cliff being one of the most notable. Whittle was heard to say that while shooting scenes for these last episodes, he would use social media to randomly tease the show, with things like #showjustgotdarker! “@MrRickyWhittle: S1, we hung a few kids, a 12-year-old killed herself, we tortured an innocent man…that was Disneyland.” Yes, even for CW, the show is more than a little dark.

Rothenburg stated both the Reapers and the Mountain Men, show Antagonists, will be explored in greater depth in Season 2, as well as dynamic relationships between the kids and their parents and elders, since it now appears that just about everyone is about to become a Grounder. Whether that means the kids start covering themselves in tattoos to indicate their kills and speaking charred English as the language of their enemies, remains to be seen. How much worse can it get for our Survivors? The 100 returns to CW Wednesday, October 22, 2014!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4g4-bFv1es]


Jul 312014
by Gene Turnbow, station manager

Rebecca Ryan of Virginia won the Best Workmanship Award in the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con Masquerade last Saturday night. I caught up with her the next morning and got the chance to speak with her about her incredible “Sister of Battle”  Warhammer 40000 costume and its construction, and what it was like to win this prestigious award.

The costume is the first one she’s ever made from EVA foam.  The rest is craft foam and found objects.  Though it looks like it’s made of cast iron, the entire costume weighs a surprising 42 pounds.

Rebecca, wherever you are, congratulations once again. You sure earned it.

- 30 -

Jul 302014

Penny-Dreadful-logo-wide-560x282By Alicia Glass, contributing writer

“Have you ever been touched by a Demon? It’s like being touched by the back-hand of God.”

And that, gentlemen and ladies, is Penny Dreadful in a nutshell. A penny dreadful is defined as a generally Victorian lurid fiction publication, often fantasy or horror or some marvelous combination of both, sold for an old-fashioned penny. The Showtime show Penny Dreadful is literally those old-timey stories, part science fiction, part fantasy, part horror, brought to life on the small screen, and don’t think we fans aren’t grateful.

“Horror is not about Death, but about exaltation, of everything, good and bad and in-between.” - Show creator John Logan. Photo by Alicia Glass.

“Horror is not about Death, but about exaltation, of everything, good and bad and in-between.” – Show creator John Logan. Photo by Alicia Glass.

Show creator John Logan appeared at the San Diego Comic-Con panel, along with stars Josh Hartnett, who plays our beloved Ethan, Reeve Carney who is Dorian Grey on the show, and Harry Treadway, who is Doctor Victor Frankenstein! Aisha Tyler, who professed herself a huge fan of the show, moderated!

John Logan is a native of San Diego, and spoke of how he had been roiling around the idea of Penny Dreadful for 10+ years in his head, inspired by the works of William Wordsworth and of course Shelley’s original Frankenstein, and how he used to walk the back-ways of San Diego and see the coyotes and wolves, which became his inspiration for the werewolves on the show as well.

The show is also inspired by the second generation of Universal Horror monsters, many of whom have appeared on the show already in its first season. Logan talked passionately of the acceptance that he lovingly found from the show and its fans, which truly aided him after the less-than-stellar reception he received earlier from friends and loved ones, as an openly gay man.

All of the show’s stars talked about reading the books that inspired their respective characters: Shelley’s Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, and Logan spoke of using the book Inventing the Victorians by Matthew Sweet as a sort of bible for the show. Treadway stated he actually consulted with Cambridge University about period medical practices, and arranged to get period-accurate surgical gear for him to use as Dr. Frankenstein on the show; he’s a bit of a stickler for it now and enjoys good-natured ribbing about such from even the shows creator Logan himself.

Logan talked about how many seem to be of the opinion that Victorian-era people were stilted and in-the-closet, so to speak, about matters of sexuality, and how the show bursts those corset strings of superstition with gusto and joy. Reeve Carney laughingly informed the crowd that he did at least ask for a hot guy to be chosen to play Ethan, for those amazing male-male love scenes if nothing else, and was perfectly satisfied when Josh Hartnett was chosen for the pivotal role!

Logan dropped a few very juicy tidbits in hot anticipation of Season 2 of Penny Dreadful: in Season 2, Dr. Frankenstein’s creature will choose a name for himself; we will see Dorian’s portrait at some point; and Season 2 will bring in another highly recognizable character from Dracula! Penny Dreadful will return to us drooling fans in 2015!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFXHfEqMcis]


Jul 292014
SDCC 2014: Steam Powered Giraffe's Rabbit and Spine. Photo by Zoe Simsay

SDCC 2014: Steam Powered Giraffe’s Rabbit and Spine. Photo by Zoe Simsay

by Aly Runke, contributing writer

Krypton Radio DJ Willow Leafstorm has been an extremely busy fairy at SDCC 2014! This time, she caught up with steampunk performers David and Isabella “Bunny” Bennett (Spine and Rabbit) from Steam Powered Giraffe (SPG) to talk to them about their music and other ventures in the steampunk culture. Steam Powered Giraffe got their start in 2008, the founders, twin siblings David and Bunny Bennett began in junior college by performing on the street as people-bots, something quite popular on San Francisco’s Pier 39; if you’ve ever been there, you’ve surely seen such performers along the sidewalk. From there it was a slow but steady rise to having their own concerts and shows.

The band tours all around the San Diego area at different venues, including different conventions, and has stops outside California as far away as Ontario, Canada. If you want to see them in person, they are playing at Nerdfest in Orlando, Florida and Ani-Jam in Fresno this year. To keep up with other dates and appearances like their Facebook page, follow their twitter and visit the SPG website.

Beside touring and putting out albums, the band has its own card game and web comic, as well as videos of their concerts. The web comic tells the story of what the robot characters in the band do offstage. Spine, Rabbit,  and the others were built in the 1890s and are AI’s with a talent in music. David Bennett works on the comic and explained why he enjoys working in this medium as well, “In a comic book you can do just about anything, you’re not limited by reality and that’s really fun.”

When talking about their character’s lives the twins were very upbeat, obviously holding their characters near and dear to their hearts, and they use their story as the inspiration behind the albums they’ve produced. Spine told Leafstorm, “the robots have been around since the 1890s and they’ve basically dabbled in every genre of music throughout the decades.” The group has three albums out, the first has a more vaudeville sound, and the latest dabbling in the ’60s and ’70s styles, with what they called a Beatles feel. You can see this for yourself, as they will soon be releasing a DVD of a show they did last summer in collaboration with steampunk artist Professor Elemental. The twins also hinted at doing future collaborations in their music with various artists including Professor Elemental.

Steam Powered Giraffe, while having a lot of their own songs, loves to do fun song covers and parodies. One such cover they recently released was “Diamonds” by Rihanna. The twins talked about covering songs, “Diamonds” in particular, “most of them start out as jokes we’re not a serious band we like to make fun of ourselves in the music that we do, it was a joke to have one of our deep voice characters which is the Spine which I play do a pop song that a female usually sings and that was basically the reason why we did it.”

The band’s fan-base has grown over the years and eats up everything Steam Powered Giraffe throws at them, so when Bunny officially announced her gender transition and opened up a bit to her fans about her personal journey and feelings this year, she almost had to laugh at how they reacted.  She explained that the fans couldn’t care less about the gender of their beloved performer or the character she played. They were much more caught up in whether the character’s costume was going to change, latching onto such a small detail in the large picture as fans are wont to do.

The only other thing on the fans’ minds now is the need to know more about when they will get a new album and some details were shared with Krypton Radio. The fourth album to be released by Steam Powered Giraffe will be entitled The Vice Quadrant and, according to the twins, they are in no hurry to release it, wanting to milk out the love for the third album as long as possible. When Leafstorm pressed for details the two did give just a bit more; this new album will be different from the past three, containing a more specific focus of being a space opera. The twins indicated it would be mostly rock ballads, influenced by the likes of David Bowie and Queen. Leafstorm again asked for any teaser they could dish out. Spine said all they had were track names and  left us to ruminate over the song title “In Love With Progress and Technology.”



Jul 292014

DSC00733by Alicia Glass, contributing writer

The Second Mass. is finally back! Aliens have taken over the world, or at least TNT, and humanity is banding together with unexpected alien allies, strange new hybrids to fight, and altogether showing that we will never surrender and never give up! Or will we?

That’s right kids, I am sorry to say that while it wasn’t particularly announced at the Falling Skies panel per se, they did confirm that yes, Season 5 would be the last season of Falling Skies. [Editorial note: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!] The vibe seemed to be in the air that most of the die-hard fans knew this already, and no one was happy about it, least of all the cast. Will Patton in particular stated in his subdued way that he’d prefer to keep fighting aliens on TV forever!

falling-skies-season-4Noah Wyle was engaging and intelligent as always, cracking jokes about his similar character Tom Mason and the newfound Ghost, and how we haven’t seen Tom’s meltdown yet, but it sure is coming! He spoke of how the main characters dispersed in the fourth Season, so each could become the Hero of his or her own personal story, before coming back together, and his passion for the history-meeting-present the show lets his character in particular portray.

Maxim Knight, who plays the youngest male Mason on the show, Matt, was of course given good-natured ribbing about his newfound potential love-interest at the Espheni youth re-education center, and pinkly informed the audience about how he and she had “practiced” their kissing scene before it was shot.

Connor Jessup, who plays Ben Mason, post-harnessed fighter and translator, wasn’t actually at the panel, but plenty of mention was made about the supposed love triangle now forming between Ben, Maggie and the missing Hal Mason. Maxim had to take some joking about that too, with the moderator guessing that the youngest male Mason would be the next to take a crack at Maggie! Sarah Carter, who gives us the incredibly strong presence of Maggie on the show, laughed and denied her character’s apparent obsession with the Mason men! 

Scarlett Byrne is the new face of grown-up Lexi, that human-Espheni-hybrid-we-don’t-know-what-she-is, and boy, is she pretty in real life, even without the signature platinum hair! Her British accent and smoldering looks won her prize roles in some of the Harry Potter movies (now guess which character) and bring an incredible presence, beyond Lexi’s own inherent powers, to the small screen of Falling Skies

Doug Jones spoke of the rebellion and passions of his own character, the Volm known as Cochise (a name of course given to him by Tom Mason: a nod to history), who seems to be enduring his teenage rebellion years by deciding to stay on Earth and aid his new human friends in the fight against the Espheni. How the human spirit, that which endures forever and comes alive in the brightest ways in times of crisis, can cross even species boundaries and enflame the spirits of others! Jones livened things up with his adorable sense of humor and stories. Like the one about Drew Roy, who plays Hal Mason on the show, posting embarrassing pics of the cast on social media, such as the one of Jones in full Volm makeup trying to eat lunch!

The show-runners did state that there would (finally) be some exploration into the culture of the Volm (the alien allies of the humans) in Season 5. Also, rather than seeing brand-new aliens, we would likely see variations on existing species familiar within the show, so I’m betting we’re in for lots and lots of hybrids, like Lexi.

New Falling Skies episodes can be found on TNT on Sundays at 10/9c!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kIg9JdOitg]