Author Topic: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP  (Read 1371 times)

Offline TommyProductionsInc

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ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« on: August 07, 2019, 03:00:07 PM »
I plan on making a webcomic series called "Bot Wars". It's a satirical parody of both Battlebots AND Robot Wars, featuring many similar elements such as the idea of house robots, the fight-night tournament format, arena hazards, and most importantly robot designs.

The idea is that I would take a real-life design, modify it and rename it, and list it as either a homage or a parody of the real life competitor that inspired it, and have it compete in the series.

For example, there's a competitor named Tin-Head. It HAS to be like Mauler from Battlebots. I won't explain why, but literally the entire series is dependent on this. Tin head is a robot with many different versions, just like Mauler, with a similar evolution in design: A lid/fullbody spinner with a monster face on it as well as the robot's name. It too is run by a crazy family of rednecks called the Gilford Family (parody of Mauler's creators, the Tilford Family. This is probably the ONLY time a real-life team is ever parodied. Usually, it's just the bots.) Tin head is different from Mauler for consistent reasons:

Tinhead's design is asymmetrical (not in shape, but in coloration, armor material, decorations, weaponry) has a consistent yet different monster design on it and has a different base color, as well as design aesthetics like a painted lobster claw, painted wings, and 2 different types of antlers. They might even protrude out the top of the robot like a self-righting poll.

I don't plan on stealing ANYTHING. In fact, I think I'll have a small counter in the background counting every single reference the comic makes to real-life robot combat, and then have a big long list at the end of every chapter explaining what each reference is connected to.
(You can't be accused of stealing someone's creative work if you don't take credit for it, but rather credit the creator, right?)

I've already attempted to contact both Battlebots and Robot Wars about this, but have had no luck in getting ANY response. I've also studied copyright laws as well as what the standards are for something to be considered an official parody, and what's considered copyright infringement. Sadly, it seems to be heavily based on a case-by-case circumstance of what is and isn't considered illegal.

The nature of the homage/parody elements are simply a crude, yet light-hearted take on common tropes, cliches, and phenomena in general robot combat. It doesn't attack any real-life individuals and barely references any to begin with. The bots homaged/parodied are treated with  what I consider as a reasonable amount of respect and I whole-heartedly believe that this won't damage combat robotics, but rather STRENGTHEN it by reaching out using comedy and introducing people to the basics of how robot-combat works.

I'm deathly scared of being sued, but I absolutely refuse to give up on the idea of implementing real-life tried and tested designs from real teams and tournaments into my series.

What's your guys' thoughts on this? Do I have a chance at succeeding with this plan or at least viably defending it in court, or am I totally screwed if I proceed with this? Do ya'll need  more examples of what I'm talking about or something? Please let me know.

Offline Badger

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Re: I plan on making a robot combat webcomic, but...
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2019, 03:14:06 PM »
lmao you're not gonna get sued.

Even if their company gave half a sh** about your webcomic (they won't, guaranteed) they would send a cease and desist first, which is a legalese way of telling you to stop before they sue you. They won't sue you without that. But it won't even get that far, I guarantee you.
also lol at most toxic guy around calling others out on this sh**

Offline F1Krazy

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Re: I plan on making a robot combat webcomic, but...
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2019, 03:19:35 PM »
There are plenty of webcomics that do just rip off other people's characters, mostly from video games (I'm personally quite fond of Nerf NOW!), and none of them get sued into oblivion. "Fair use" should cover you - your work is intended as an affectionate parody and it's not like you're trying to make money off the RW/BattleBots brands. If you were trying to make money off the Robot Wars brand, it'd be more than the BBC ever did, but that's besides the point.

I see no issues here. Go for it! I'd read it.
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Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: I plan on making a robot combat webcomic, but...
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 12:05:44 AM »
Alright, cool.

Here's concept art for the bot meant to represent Razor, literally named "OMG IT'S RAZZOR!"

In initially called Razzor, this bot's shtick is that no matter how unique of a design it's team makes it, every crusher that came after it, no matter how different in design, was considered a rip-off of it.
 

Offline Thrackerzod

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Re: I plan on making a robot combat webcomic, but...
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 06:18:48 AM »
OMG IT'S RAZZOR!!

Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2019, 03:29:57 PM »
Parody Robots #2: Gravestone

"Sorry about your floor...and your lights...and the walls...oh, and the house robots. I don't have to pay for this, do I?"

These are the words commonly spoken by the builder and driver of Gravestone, the batsh** crazy spinner of death I based off of, you guessed it, the almighty Tombstone.

Due to the strength of modern armor, most high kinetic energy spinners tend to send themselves and their opponents flying with every collision.

No bot in Bot Wars knows this better than Gravestone, one of the deadliest, if not THE deadliest, heavyweight spinners in Bot Wars history. If he could just stay on the god damn floor for more than 2 seconds and not knock itself out, this bot would be just as successful as Tombstone.

But, sadly, this bot parodies the aspect of Tombstone revolving around insane weapon recoil and literally break-dancing in the middle of the fight. For a robot not designed for break-dancing, he's pretty damn good at it. If only this thing could win more fights like Tombstone...

 

Offline Hoppin

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 04:06:27 PM »
I can hear the DMCA's rushing to your mailbox

Cool drawing tho
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Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2019, 05:48:16 PM »
I can hear the DMCA's rushing to your mailbox

Cool drawing tho
Thanks!

And yeah, this COULD get me sued maybe, but this should fit the legal definition of a parody. I studied the general criteria and was at least able to work that part out. Add a few legal disclaimers and have a good argument on the legitimacy of this parody and I should be able to dodge some of these copyright bullets.

Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2019, 12:22:50 AM »
Parody Bots REJECTED Edition #1: All American Redneck.

Parody of: Hypnodisc

The original idea for this parody of out beloved pioneer of destruction Hypnodisc was a version of him with a slightly different design and a totally different, patriotic american theme. However, after continuing my much-needed research on parody laws, this  alone is not enough to fit the criteria of a "parody", thus this will be rejected. It's not a commentary and it has no real connections to Hypnodisc other than the design. As such, this will NOT be featured in my project, unlike the previous two bots I've shown (Gravestone and OMG IT'S RAZZOR having sufficient commentaries IMO)

Luckily, I've found a new way to get Hypnodisc parodied properly, and I'll show that next time around. For now, here's the concept art of the now rejected idea of All American Redneck's first design. I'm thinking of giving him a custom original design that sorta resembles this, but with very different proportions. Hypnodisc meanwhile will be parodied/represented by a different competitor.

 

Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2019, 12:53:16 PM »
Parody Bots #4, Math Dethruction

Parody of: Hexadecimator.

So many props you may not even recognize him. Hexadecimater was a flipper from the Comedy Central Battlebots era that was given a clever name based off the word Hexadecimal, which is a mathmatic term I was never taught in school, not even in College...

...so clearly it's for nerds, and thus the parody begins. Take Hexadecimator's clever, nerd-driven name and make it the basis for an entire robot parody. Thus, Math Dathruction is born.

Built by a skinny nerd with a lisp, Math Dathruction is a parody of not just Hexadecimater, but it's own creator (specifically the Bot Wars version, not Team Whoopass. They aren't even getting parodied, just their bot.)

Armed with a fierce flipper and with custom-made protractor roll-bars, this bot is actually harder to take down compared to good ol' Hexy D. It may look silly with it's giant nerd glasses accessory, but once they come off, your bot might get thrown out of the arena.
 

Offline KidDelta

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2019, 12:58:54 PM »
Convenient for me to be awake at 2 am to see this bad boy
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Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2019, 07:40:31 PM »
For the first time in this project, I came up with a parody bot design that actually made me burst out laughing, and it just happens to be the parody counterpart of the notoriously brutal forklift Vlad The Enabler-Er, I mean Impaler.
 

But first, I need to finish up my first house robot, that's not a house robot...but is...yet it isn't...

...it's complicated.

Offline Reier

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2019, 01:53:15 AM »
I can hear the DMCA's rushing to your mailbox

Cool drawing tho
Thanks!

And yeah, this COULD get me sued maybe, but this should fit the legal definition of a parody. I studied the general criteria and was at least able to work that part out. Add a few legal disclaimers and have a good argument on the legitimacy of this parody and I should be able to dodge some of these copyright bullets.

hes kidding

i really dont think you have to worry at all about parodies that aren't for profit and have no chance of hurting the profits of the IP. you have nothing to worry about bud. even if you did, unless you get a waaaay bigger following RW/BB wouldn't even notice anyway.

Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2019, 10:32:05 AM »
Thanks Reier! I'm not good at internet sarcasm...or sarcasm in general (It's an autism thing)

Parody Bots #5: Gruntilda
 

 

Parody of: Matilda

Imagine if the boar-like Matriarch of Mayhem house robot Matilda was an actual competitor? And had a heavier animal theme? And could have WAY more stuff fitted inside her ass?

Meet Gruntilda. She takes the animalistic part of Matilda to the extreme, making pig noises, being cuddly towards her creator, attempting (and failing) to eat random stuff, etc. She's also much cuter, but also much harder to take seriously. The purple ribbon on her head and fuzzy ears don't help either.

Formerly part of the short-lived weight class between the heavyweights and superheavyweights, known as the megaheavyweights, which I made mainly for the house robots and oversized heavyweights that didn't fit the standards for superheavyweights.

She also gets sexually harassed by british commentators and competitor robots alike. (Don't ask why, it's less painful to not know the details.)

Lastly, although she starts off with just a rear chainsaw, she's later upgraded to have interchangeable booty weapons, including a spinning bar (instead of a flywheel) a pick-axe, and a comical rainbow featherduster for when she works as a makeshift "maid" and dusts her creator's house.

Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2019, 08:20:17 PM »
Parody Bots #5: Ivan The Terrible
Parody of: Vlad The Impaler
Often considered the most EVIL competitor in Bot Wars history, this bot lives up to the Classic Battlebots legend that inspired it: Vlad The Enabler-er, I mean Impaler. The main aspect of this parody bot is that it exaggerates a common aspect between itself and it’s inspiration: They’re based off of notoriously cruel European rulers. Whereas Vlad is based off the real-life Wallachian ruler Vlad III Dracula, AKA Vlad the Impaler, Ivan here is based upon the Russian Tsar Ivan IV Vasilyevich, AKA Ivan the Terrible. The exaggeration from original to parody should be evident in just the naming alone: Vlad is known for impaling people, but Ivan is known overall for just being straight-up TERRIBLE.
And there is NO robot more evil and terrible than Ivan here. Much like how Battlebots competitor Vlad The Impaler ruled over the Battlebox for 2 straight seasons with back-to-back championships and sheer brutality, Ivan The Terrible was ALSO a notoriously brutal, and highly successful, competitor. However, the amount of EVIL in Ivan is far greater than Vlad, and it can be easily seen in the fact that Vlad The Impaler is only brutal and evil to fellow opponents. Ivan The Terrible…is just straight-up awful to everyone and everything, both inside and outside the arena.
Not only does he mistreat his fellow competitors, the house robots, and even the Robo-Ref (Ref-bot parody coming soon) he also commits total atrocities outside of the arena. Unfortunately, Facebook’s general community standards and the rules of this group will forbid me from mentioning most of his crimes against both humanity and robot-kind, but there is one incident in particular worth mentioning…
It all happened in a Californian Starbucks in the year 2001. Ivan drove over and brought them a piece of paper stabbed through one of his impaling lifting forks. It was a note describing 2 drinks he’d like to order, JUST FOR HIMSELF (evil greedy bastard): A Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato (One of the most dreaded things a person could possibly order at Starbucks) and a Pumpkin Spice Latte (which didn’t even exist at the time). The employee, who was already confused by the notion of a combat robot ordering a non-fat drink specifically (They don’t make combat robots any heavier, as was evident by the 13 other competitor robots who ordered drinks in that local area), asked what exactly a Pumpkin-Spice Latte even was.
Ivan responded by shooting his self-righting piston out, startling a nearby customer. He then gave an EVIL, COLD, DEAD GLARE to the employee, causing her a full-blown case of mild anxiety. He ended up only getting the first drink. He took the drink in a cup holder that perfectly fit in between his lifting forks. He paid for that one drink and went on his way (The money wasn’t very usable since that was also stabbed through one of his forks, but the employee didn’t object. She must’ve been too terrified by what had just happened.)
After it was all said and done…Ivan left that Starbucks a 1-star review on Yelp…(which also didn’t exist at the time. However, when the website first came online, there was already an entry on it: A review from 3 years ago…FROM IVAN HIMSELF.)
SEE HOW EVIL HE IS?! HE TRANSCENDS TIME AND SPACE WITH HIS DOUCHEBAG BEHAVIOR!  PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES AND YELP! HE’S A COMPLETE MONSTER!
When will it end? When will some spinner with an extremely loud death hum come over and kill this evil bastard?! Only time will tell…only time will tell…
 

Offline KidDelta

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 07:39:24 AM »
He Vlad

He Dad

But most importantly........

He MAD
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Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2019, 09:38:29 PM »
Parody Bots #6: Mayhem II
Parody of: Chaos 2
 

So, what’s the joke here? It’s so PAINFULLY based off of Chaos 2 yet there doesn’t seem to be any basis for a legal parody argument…until you look at it’s fight history.
I haven’t decided yet whether or not this bot will be a champion in Bot Wars, but I do know one thing for sure, and it’s the entire basis of the parody:
The design never ****ing changes. New internals, new armor, same old shape. For 4 straight years this bot has looked the EXACT SAME as when he was first built. There were some internal changes, but this robot REALLY suffers from something I call “Old Fartbot Syndrome”.
A robot that qualifies as what some would call “an old fart” (slang for old person or thing) this bot’s overall design slowly ages and becomes less and less effective over the years. The slow, gradual decline of this robot is too painfully real to look at, and by the time it’s 2003, it was obsolete. The design was great back in the day, but as robot combatology evolves, so must the robots.
Otherwise, you get Old Fartbot Syndrome.

(DISCLAIMER: I understand that the reason Chaos 3, 4, 5, and even 6 was never created was due to George Francis’ lack of a large enough budget. It’s a real shame too, because I would’ve LOVED to see what those bots would have looked like. In fact, after it’s complete destruction in a certain match, this bot DOES get rebuilt into Mayhem III, a robot who’s design is an approximation of what I think George Francis would’ve done if he made Chaos 3 and beyond…)

Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2019, 11:22:57 AM »
Parody Bots #7: Dismantler
Parody of: Diesector
 

Ya’ll know about Diesector, right? A fun superheavyweight robot with a unique yet effective design, from the Comedy Central era of Battlebots? Clamping/lifting jaws, 360 degree hammers/pickaxes, and a wedge in the back that nobody notices?
And here, we have the same thing, but with a lame version of the original’s name: Dismantler. With the same weapons, googly eyes, and bushy eyebrows, you may think this is a cheap attempt at making fun of a legend, but that’s not the case.
You see, Dismantler is like the classic Bot Wars era’s version of HUGE: The most expressive robot on the field. Diesector could emulate many expressions and moods through his wild hammers and adjustable jaws. However, Dismantler has a pair of googly eye, dorky eyebrows that somehow change position without being on actual motors (Like HUGE’s eyes) and a possible addiction to crystal meth.
Yup, Dismantler is one of several parodies of Donald Hudson’s creations, and while Donald’s bots were known for being life-like, weird, and just straight up bad ass, Dismantler’s yet-to-be-named creator is known for making crazy, erratic, somewhat alive but still pretty cool robots (that happen to have googly eyes for character.)
In the end, Dismantler is an exaggeration of Diesector’s lively nature and expressive design, and even it’s personality. Hell, he even has the same victory dance. Difference is that Dismantler also does this dance at nightclubs in front of people who are reasonably confused as to why a 325 pound combat robot just took the floor.

Offline 090901

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2019, 12:59:48 PM »
i ship OMG ITS RAZZOR!!! and Mayhem II  :heart_smiley:

Offline TommyProductionsInc

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Re: ROBOT COMBAT WEBCOMIC PARODY SERIES WIP
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2019, 12:02:12 PM »
i ship OMG ITS RAZZOR!!! and Mayhem II  :heart_smiley:
Hot.

Parody Bots #8: Killinator
Parody of: Killertron
 

This one’s kinda on the nose: It’s a vicious, aggressive, potent robot with a pickaxe and a set of decorative spines. Edge name, edgy bot, everything looks great! Seems like an intimidating bot to me…
…but it’s pink. Seriously? Pink isn’t considered an intimidating color these days, so why go out of your way with the deadly weaponry (at the time) and edgy name, and even add spike accessories for extra coolness, and then make it ****ING PINK?!
(Must be some kind of joke)
This is literally all I could come up with as a parodic commentary for Killertron, a British pioneer in the field of axe-bots who was pretty potent for his time. I NEEDED to find a way to get him in my series, so I went with a pretty un-creative parody theme. This question is constantly asked to the creator’s of Killinator in Bot Wars, and the builder simply shrugs.
Unlike Killerton, who was who only had the wheely-bin portion of his body (the curved shell), Killinator is just chock full of exaggerated girly colors, like a Barbie Doll Playhouse. The colors don’t show too well in this pic, but Killinator is just a bunch of the girliest, least intimidating colors I could think of that are related to pink. This was the result.
Still counts as a parody, due to the exaggerations and commentary behind it, so that’s another bot added to my collection of parody-bots for webcomic.