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About Varied / Professional Josh SheltonMale/United States Recent Activity
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Logos and Tshirts by justicefrog
Logos and Tshirts
I haven't uploaded anything in awhile, so I just thought I'd post a mini-collection of logos and tshirt designs I've done over the past several months.
More Trudge sketches! by justicefrog
More Trudge sketches!
Wow... I really need to clean out my garage more often. You never know what nuggets of joy you might find.

So last year when I cleaned some stuff out, I was surprised to find a handful of Trudge drawings that I had forgotten about from years past. Last week, I started looking through some old boxes from a previous job, and there I find more drawings! So cool. Though it might also tell you a little bit about my on-the-job work habits at the time......

Trudge (and all these other guys) are c.2002,2014 Josh Shelton
I was rummaging around some stuff on the shelf in my office today and came across Vol. 2 of "How to Self Publish Comics ... Not Just Create Them," by Devil's Due Publishing (are they still around?)  Anyways, I saw this short chapter on copyrights and trademarks and thought it would be worth sharing with all you guys and gals.

From How to Self Publish Comics ... Not Just Create Them, by Devil's Due Publishing, 2006.


If you own the copyright to something, it means, basically, that you have the right to copy it, to reproduce it in any medium. For example, you've created a character named Jimmy AllPowerful, and asked me to draw a picture of him. I agree to do so for free, and tell you that you may publish it as a pin-up in one of your comic books. Although you created the character, I own the copyright on that image. If you want to use that image in another comic book, or on a T-shirt, you must again ask me for permission. If you're selling a lot of comics, I'm probably going to want some money.

Notice: I still do not own the character, just the image I drew of it. That's because you own the trademark. If I took that image, and produced T-shirts of it without your permission, you would have just cause to make me stop (or as they love to say, "cease and desist").

Most states have laws that automatically protect your creations the very moment you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. However, it never hurts to mount the evidence in your favor, so it's a good idea to officially copyright your work through the government. 

The symbol used to identify copyright ownership is ©. To type this on your computer, simply type "alt G". Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to register your art or text with the government to place a copyright symbol on it. Registration with the state or federal government simply helps strengthen your claim of ownership in court.


Trademark is the ownership of more than just an image: it's basically the ownership of an idea. It is the general concept, and all of the associated characteristics that go along with it. It's really hard to explain, but once you understand, the concept of "trademark" should be very simple.

The US Government breaks trademarks into categories and various media. For instance, Superman is a term that's been around a lot longer than the DC comic book everyone knows today. The concept of a hero in tights and a cape is also a very general concept that no one person can claim to own. Krypton is an actual element on the periodic table of elements. Lastly, the letter "S" is simply a part of the alphabet, and free for everyone to use. Put them all together, though, and you have a trademark.

DC's Superman is a powerful hero from the planet Krypton, wearing blue and red tights and a cape, with a very unique "S" design on his chest - and these are some of the details that comprise the trademark of Superman. Even more specifically, this trademark applies to comic books. Now, Superman has been around for a zillion years, and has been merchandised into many other media, and DC (or their parent company Warner Bros.) has taken care to register the "TM" in various categories. You still hear the term "Superman" in songs, though, and there's nothing DC can do about it unless the song refers to very specific elements of their character's trademark.

The universal symbol for Trademark is simply, "TM," seen somewhere on most logos and product packaging. Just like copyrights, if you have created something, you have every right to place a "TM" by its name.


This is the big daddy of copyright and trademark law. If you see any product with an ® ("alt R" on your keyboard), that means the owner has officially registered it with the Library of Congress. They've sent images, text descriptions, and logos to the Feds, and paid a few hundred bucks to do so, to ensure they protect their property as best as possible.

Again, I must reiterate that I am not an attorney, and you should seek professional advice on the subject, but this gives us a start."

So, pretty good advice on copyrighting your creations, I think!
  • Mood: Helpful


Josh Shelton
Artist | Professional | Varied
United States
Current Residence: Johnson City, TN
Favourite style of art: Vector
Operating System: Windows
Favourite cartoon character: 1940's Daffy Duck and Bugs, Space Ghost, Vash the Stampede

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StarGamerWorld Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015
Hello again! It's been awhile. How's everything been going for you? :D
justicefrog Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Professional General Artist
Well hey, what's going on? Well let's see…. we've had more snow than I can remember in the past few weeks (which is probably laughable to people up north, but in Tennessee a few inches of snow can pretty much cripple the infrastructure).  Work is pretty slow, but freelancing has picked up.  I've started working on a personal webpage again, it's probably been about 6 years since I canceled my last site. I think I'm going the "FREE" route this time. Still trying to sell the house. Trying to sketch a bit more, trying to write a bit more. Watching a little TOO much Netflix (Dang you, Once Upon A Time and The New Girl!).  But things are going good all things considered. How about yourself?
StarGamerWorld Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015
I've been doing a lot of college myself; last semester here before I graduate to university! :D

Sounds like you've also been really busy, though I'm not bothered all by the snow we have here =P I need to find time for inking myself ^^; What have you been doing art/writing wise? Anything with Trudge or your title character? :D
justicefrog Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Professional General Artist
No, just some sketching…. "dusting off cobwebs" so to speak. Any real illustrating is usually reserved for a freelance job here or there. Sometimes I feel like sketching faces of characters so I'll crack open an old Cowboy Bebop magazine and drool over Toshihiro Kawamoto's unbelievable variety in character design. Then I might get another idea and sketch that.

I have a friend who wants to write a Trudge story if I draw it :)  (he came up with the name "Trudge" almost ten years ago)  Next time I see him we'll have to have a little chat.
(1 Reply)
ryan-cone Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
thanks for the fav
justicefrog Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Professional General Artist
No prob!
StarGamerWorld Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014
Hello again! How's it going? We haven't talked in awhile :) (I've had a lot of brutal college stuff going on myself ^^; )
justicefrog Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Professional General Artist
Going good :) Just watching football and letting the thanksgiving turkey digest..... hope your college year is going well... you must be close to finals, I'm assuming?
StarGamerWorld Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014
Yep, last week before finals in fact. Quite anxious ^^; How's drawing been going? :)
justicefrog Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Professional General Artist
The only drawing I've had time for is for freelancing but other than that, we're in the middle of trying to sell our house, so not a whole lot of free time these days! :P
(1 Reply)
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