I would have never thought in a million years that a major company like Marvel would do this, but they’ve entered a deal with a company that makes comic-book software so fans can make comic books using Marvel characters:
Planetwide Games has entered into a multi-year licensing deal with Marvel Entertainment to create new content for Planetwide Games’ original Comic Book Creator interactive entertainment software. Under the terms of the agreement Planetwide Games has the right to create and publish versions of the interactive software and content booster packs for Comic Book Creator based on classic Marvel characters such as the X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, The Punisher, Captain America, Thor, The Avengers, and Dr. Octopus to name a few.
“Marvel heroes are some of the most recogniseable and beloved characters in the history of entertainment,” says Kevin Donovan, president of Planetwide Games. “By marrying Marvel’s pantheon of heroes with our original Comic Book Creator self-publishing software we are making it possible for legions of fans to tap their own creativity in creating professional-quality digital and home made comic books with authentic Marvel Comics art for their personal enjoyment.”
I’ve never used the software myself, but I have worked with other kinds of publisher software, including Adobe and music-writing software, and never before have I encountered publishing software that specifically allows you to integrate copyrighted things into your own work.
Now, I’m sure that there was a lot of money involved with this deal, but there’s more. The company is working on a web application so that people can share their comic creations online, meaning that mass audiences might have access to fan comics with these copyrighted characters.