Bob Burden is best known for his Flaming Carrot and Mysterymen work. And now his new comic line Marble Comics (previewing at San Diego con) might present some more conflict to the Mystery Men controversy.
Bleeding Cool: So… Marble Comics?
Bob Burden: Well, it came to me in a dream. I bought this great marble at a garage sale. The mother of all marbles, a beautiful thing, and that night I had a dream about it.
Bleeding Cool: But Marble comics? You don’t see any…
Bob Burden: Well, that did occur to me, yes, so I had to go over all the books and make sure that I wasn’t ripping anyone off. I mean the last thing I want to do is to start a war with a big multi-monolith like Marvel/Disney.
Bleeding Cool: Or the first thing you want to do?
Bob Burden: So instead of say, FANTASTIC FOUR, we have THE DO-SQUAD. Instead of all White, these girls are all Black. Instead of having Gama Ray powers, they have super powered hair dos. They’re all girls and the FF is mostly men. See what I mean?
Bleeding Cool: What about Dynamite Girl? Who is she?
Bob Burden: Well, maybe she’s like, uh, Spiderman? Yeah. She’s a girl too. So she’s different but she is on her own, like Spiderman. Huh?
Bleeding Cool: These girls are pretty hot, don’t you think? Have you heard about DC making all the women characters wear pants to be more politically correct? And sensitive to women?
Bob Burden: That’s ridiculous! It’s not sensitive, it’s actually condescending. I have decided to protest this hogwash by not wearing pants at any of my panels this summer! You hear that you bobos! I’m not wearing pants!
Bleeding Cool: I can see JOURNEY INTO ASTONISH as a pre-superhero Marvel comic, the colors, the wording, did you draw this cover yourself?
Bob Burden: Yes.
Bleeding Cool: FLIP FLAP FLOP?
Bob Burden: Well. It was pointed out to me that Marvel had a monster called Fing Fang Foom but this monster is different. He’s evolved from a packet of radioactive baloney. The baloney is flippin’ and flappin’ all over the place.
Bleeding Cool: And this FLIP FLAP FLOP cover, I see by the J-peg here, is on the back of the MYSTERYMEN trade you are premiering at San Diego this week. Has anyone from Marvel seen this?
Bob Burden: The book comes out at San Diego. I’ll be at the Dark Horse booth. Its booth #2615. They’re going to make room for me, just like I did for them years ago when they were starting out. No one has seen it yet. I imagine Marvel fans will probably get a kick out of it.
Bleeding Cool: So this is one of those special exclusives of 5000 or so that everyone goes nuts over and then shows up on Ebay while the show still…
Bob Burden: We had this book specially printed up for San Diego. It’s a signed and numbered preview edition. The regular Edition will come out from Dark Horse soon.
Bleeding Cool: How many are in your edition of this?
Bob Burden: About 200 but we have about 150 on the way and another box ships today for Friday delivery if we’re lucky, so we may run out. But maybe not. We also have a super cool card set. We’ll be giving them out at the Dark Horse booth. Freebees. So everyone will get something for me to sign.
Bleeding Cool: And this WORLD’S GREATEST SUPER VILLAIN, is Doctor Doom?
Bob Burden: No, Doctor Dragoon! Btu this is one of my favorites. I was going to try this when I was working for Marvel…
Bleeding Cool: You were working for Marvel?
Bob Burden: Well, one story came out, back around 2008 or 09. But we were talking about Impossible Man and some other stuff. The Doom story was great. Doom is defeated in his bid to take over the world and to end the bloodshed they let doom go into the witness protection program. So he’s retired, living on a fixed income in the suburbs.
But he bogarts away about 10% of his powers and of course he’s a super scientist soooo… well Dr. Doom can still mess people up pretty bad. Like some dip is weaving around talking on their cell phone and Doom misses the light. He has a clicker and can make the phone blow up in their face. And they got all these diodes and plastic shards sticking in their face.
Bleeding Cool: GREAT!
Bob Burden: Or someone gives him a virus on his computer. Well he can track them down in silicon valley and go to their apartment and rip them in half like a phone book. Right?
Bleeding Cool: Sounds doomtastic! I love this cover here: on the Jerry Springer sow – “Dr. Doom, you are NOT the father! Thisw is great. This is the kind of fun. Imaginary story that they should be doing!
Bob Burden: That’s Dr. Dragoon! Eh! Well I’m trying for a story that will resonate with the general public. With comic book readers. That will resonate with baby boomers. See all the baby boomers are getting old now and they can see Doom or in my book, the world’s greatest super villain, see him wreak havoc and revenge on all the little daily frustrations that drive the babyboomers crazy every day.
Bleeding Cool: 2008 of 2009? That’s when they nailed your MYSTERY MEN trademark?
Bob Burden: Uh, yeah, you’re right. Hmmm. The trademark was made by Universal right when the movie came out. That was August 6th, 1999.
Bleeding Cool: And as I recall the papers on file said that Marvel Trademarked MYSTERY MEN August 5th, 2009?
Bob Burden: Yes, that would be ten years later to the day. Right. Trademarks only last ten years, right? But they said it was just a coincidence.
Bleeding Cool: They?
Bob Burden: A corporate spokesman of some kind. I don’t know. I wonder who. That’s the bad thing about corporations they protect you from frivilous lawsuits, sure, but that can be abused. I tend to discount anything that is not signed, signed by a human with a name.
The thing that concerns me is I’ve heard from some of my people that there’s all kinds of slimeballs and kibitzers coming out of the wood work now, sniffing around for anything that has an expired trademark or hasn’t been trademarked.
Bleeding Cool: That must be troubling for publishers and the like.
Bob Burden: Particularly the small press I guess. They can’t afford things like trademarks and lawyers.
Bleeding Cool: Have you heard from those people, supporting your struggle with your trademarks?
Bob Burden: Some. A few. They’ll all be lining up though once they start getting wacked. You know people. It’s human nature. Very hard for anyone to think collectively. Dark Horse had come in strong with support. I wouldn’t be doing all this stuff in San Diego without them. Mike Richardson, we haven’t dome much in the last years but when I needed him he was there. When I needed him most and a lot of other people who should have been there, but were maybe afraid of Marvel, Mike was there and he’s given me a place at the show and everything.
Bleeding Cool: Yes. Quite.
Bob Burden: Three cheers for Mike!
Bleeding Cool: Hip! Hip! Hip!
Bob Burden: There ya go.