View Full Version : Creating a webcomic set in the 40K universe

Dribble Joy
09-07-2011, 17:07
I've been wanting to start a webcomic set in the 40K universe for a while (though it wouldn't be for a while yet anyway), but given previous incidents I need to make sure I 'get it right' and not get shut down before I've even started.

Various fan works over the years have fallen foul of various reason for GW to file C&Ds and I'd like to avoid it. I'm not entired sure about the right way though.

1) Go ahead and do it, see what happens - Probably get shut down.

2) Deliberately state it is non-profit. No advertising, no donations, pay for out of my own pocket - I risk loosing a ton of cash and probably get shut down anyway.

3) Contact GW for 'permission', stating non profit, but ask about to what extent I can support the comic through advertising and/or donations - Probably get told I'm not allowed.

TSOALR ran for many years, but was only shut down when the guy wanted to publish the comics. Reasonable response from GW, don't know why the guy didn't go to them first to at least ask for permission to make a deal.

Gone to Ground has been running for over two years, features adverts and takes donations, seems to be doing all right so far.

The two examples however are rather 'family friendly' to a lesser or greater extent. Mine would be far from this. Set in the underhive of Gunmetal City primarily, it features all the horrors of gang warfare and dregs of humanity. This obviously would raise more eyebrows than two talking marine models from the pointy sticks chapter and jokes about cans proxying carnifexes.

Ideas? Suggestions? Should I bother?

Tzar Boris
09-07-2011, 17:29
I'd love to see it, so may be skewed in my response.

I reckon you should be okay. The one question you have to ask yourself is "does it need to be 40k?"
Let's face it, Damnatus only got as much following as it mentioned 40k in the blurb - after seeing it, I was sorely disappointed. But if your story is strong enough, does it need to be based in a particular existing universe. Everyone who watches will "get" dark future grimy mega-city/hive. All you need to do is not use GWs stylised Imperial Aquila and you're set. It's not as if 90% of the inspiration of the Hive city/Arbites/Necromundan gang thing wasn't lifted straight from the pages of 2000 AD anyway.

So, are you confident in your own story to make it stand on its own two legs? The worst thing about GWs IP policy is that it puts people off making fan material, but also from trying to make something new and exciting. As your take on Underhive life will no doubt be absolutely different from GWs official stance I reckon you should go for it.

If you need a strong threatening Glaswegian character voice, I'm sure I could give it a go too... :D

09-07-2011, 18:29
The one question you have to ask yourself is "does it need to be 40k?"
This. GW sends out C&Ds without regard for copyright law or plain good sense, so unless you know your host won't roll over for baseless posturing you're better off writing something that is 40k compatible than something that would attract GW's attention.

Dribble Joy
09-07-2011, 20:39
True enough, though being an exploration of the imperium (literary rather than literal (bloody hell, that sounds pretentious)), it would loose a lot of what was intended. Plus I want to place it in that setting, rather than formulate some cheap ripoff version clearly based on other other simply out of fear.
It's a matter of how best to do it.

09-07-2011, 21:15
GW never stop Turnsignalsonalandraider and it was awesome, However they were not willing to grant him a licence to sell a book/compilation. Unfortunately because of this he had to quit it as it was costing him money at no return.

Make your own based on sci/fantasy it's about having endeering charcters in situations we can relate to. Think Hackmaster/knights of the dinner table! If it then takes off it belongs to you wholey! Just my 2 cents.

10-07-2011, 09:54
Gone to Ground has been running for over two years, features adverts and takes donations, seems to be doing all right so far.

Gone to Ground hasn't had an update in nearly a year of that though and it very quickly slipped from being updated twice a week (IIRC that was the original plan) to "As often as possible", which seems to mean "Never again". Might be more accurate to say that Gone to Ground ran for about a year. ;)

Apart from that and what else has been said already I don't really have anything to add, you should be pretty safe, IIRC TSOALR did have sponsors too, didn't it? Just don't name your characters after items of food please, that was a terrible idea...

Edit: Well one more thing perhaps. Along those lines, if you're going to do this come up with a realistically acheivable update schedule and stick to it. Whether it's every day, or the first Tuesday of every month, it doesn't matter. There's nothing that says "Sod this, I can't be bothered any more" than saying you'll update "As often as possible" and then leaving your webcomic dead in the water for the next 12 months. If you can't make an update for whatever reason (Let's face it, we all have real life commitments that intrude from time to time), fine, but in that case try to find the time to stick a quick note up saying so.