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Resumption of hardcopy publishing?


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Okay, this is probably coming under the "real stupid" category, but one thing I've been wondering, since the online game resumed roughly two and a half years ago, is the revival of CoH publications: this includes the comics, the RPG, and especially the novels.  I made a point of getting both Web of Arachnos and The Freedom Phalanx years ago, under the presumption that they (and the Top Cow comics collection) were going to form what was pretty much the last word in stories attached to Paragon City.  While the population here ain't World of Warcraft at its zenith in numbers (as WoW itself now ain't WoW at its zenith), I would imagine there are a number of people, self included, who would like to see these works released, if completed, and resumed, if left half-done.  I for one would be most pleased to see a comics series - regular, limited or a bit of both - coming out again, would be very happy to see the pen-and-paper RPG released, and would be hunting down any new novels in the Indigo fantasy/science-fiction area.

 

Is this sort of thing at all on the CoH administration's radar/production screen, or should we just count ourselves damned lucky that we've got what we have and do everything we can to sustain that?  Sitting here, looking at the novel covers and twiddling thumbs...

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I imagine that someone would first need to buy the intellectual property rights from NC, -or- do a damned good job of convincing NC to funnel money in to developing the property again in those veins.

 

As for unlicensed endeavours in that field . . . well . . .

I hear Mercedes Lackey used characters she made in City for a number of her published novels.  Granted, none of those books explicitly name Paragon City or any other bit of content expressly owned by NC . . . but apparently did subtly reference a thing here and there.

Perhaps other fans might be willing to do the same, should they ever get published.

Or, dare to dream, someone actually writes so quality not-for-profit bootleg books.

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That raises an interesting question.  Many moons ago, my brother and I used to make comic books, and many of those characters inevitably found their way into City of Heroes (and Champions Online).  Ultimo was one of them (and I know Marvel has an Ultimo... but they used Speed Demon after we did, so I call it all's fair).  I wonder if NC could lay claim to those characters when they've appeared in other, prior work?

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Nope!

One of the few great things done with the original Terms of Use was that they did -not- grant ownership of player creations done inside of the game to any other party.

However, it did grant them a license to use our creations for advertising purposes, and there wasn't much in the way of limitations established through that license.  My understanding of law is limited, but I believe it could be easily argued that NC would never be granted license to reproduce representations of those characters from other sources (ie:  they couldn't use/reproduce your comic book, @Ultimo).  Only the representation that existed in the game itself.

 

That's my reading of the agreement, anyway.  Again, I'll stress I'm not a law expert.  My professional experience with contracts and things like Terms of Use came more from an angle of "if the average customer reads this, are they going to know what's really going on?"

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10 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

I imagine that someone would first need to buy the intellectual property rights from NC, -or- do a damned good job of convincing NC to funnel money in to developing the property again in those veins.

 

And not just NC. IIRC the third novel (covering the Rikti War) didn't get out because the first two didn't sell all that well. But yeah, getting the rights is a big thing.

 

10 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

I hear Mercedes Lackey used characters she made in City for a number of her published novels.  Granted, none of those books explicitly name Paragon City or any other bit of content expressly owned by NC . . . but apparently did subtly reference a thing here and there.

Perhaps other fans might be willing to do the same, should they ever get published.

 

Yes, she did. Secret World Chronicles. Four books published, I think.

 

I know of one other fan that did that and got published, too - Paige Orwin, with the Interminables and Immortal Architects. Hasn't managed to get a third published in the series, last I knew. Mentions COH specifically in describing the books, as I recall, though the setting is wholly her own, not really referencing COH (at least directly.)

 

And there are a couple of other fans I've heard of that published superhero-related stuff, but my brain's not pulling them up - and I couldn't say how COH influenced those were.

Edited by Greycat
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In my real life I'm a professional comic book writer. And I actually spoke to a few publishers I work with last year about the viability of licensing the City of Heroes IP from NCSoft (back when it seemed like Homecoming had 35,000 active accounts.) The conclusion we came to was that the IP probably isn't popular enough with the general public to release in single issues in the direct market (i.e. comic shops), but it does have enough of a cult following for someone to run a Kickstarter for a graphic novel (which a publisher could then distribute at a later date).

 

If Homecoming wanted to, I imagine they make this happen pretty easily. The hard part isn't licensing the IP, the hard part is financing the comic's production. You'd probably be looking at up front costs of $15,000-$20,000 (writing/art/editing/lettering/graphic design/printing/etc). You'd obviously make that back, with plenty to spare, but I doubt a publisher in 2021 is going to penny it up for you.

Edited by America's Angel

 

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As far as paid for/official/profesional stuff I would not expect anything anytime soon since NC soft the owners of the IP seem to be treating it as somewhere between low priority

and dead. How ever many IP have an active Fanfiction community with some having quality equal to or surpassing the original IP. Archive Of Our Own shows 44 stories with 15 published since Homecoming. I don't know how good they are but If you need a fiction fix for CoH it might be a good place to start. If there is anyone interested in writing Keep in mind that AO3 allows imbedding of pictures-artwork into the stories.

 

Link for AO3's CoH works.

 

https://archiveofourown.org/tags/City of Heroes/works

 

 

 

 

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3-Ring Binder, thank you for the note!  I had actually been wondering about this; I was a pretty serious City of Zeroes fan back in the day, and have in fact been looking to see if there were any published collections of the work, hardcopy or digital.  The series - at least as far as I've found in my admittedly limited search - has turned up pretty much nothing, This is another one of the pieces I'd love to see resurrected, and although the individual responsible for crafting such is not in communication with the Homecoming team - again, at least as far as I know - I wonder if some sort of reach-out could be made, indicating that there'd be some kind of measurable audience wanting to have a look at that work.  Hoping, hoping, hoping that some kind of breakthrough can be made on the digital-to-real stuff.

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The link to the resurrected City of Zeroes is in my sig. 😎

 

My story of chasing down the artist and bringing it back is on the site.

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