Billy Butcher Does Black Mirror TV Series as Comic Book Covers ... #fanart versus Official Merchandise

"What if, in an alternate universe, the cult tv show Black Mirror had been inspired by a series of old school comic books from the 70's? Horror, suspense, crime, romance... anything goes."

This is a 'work in progress' project from the twisted mind of Brazil-based Freelance Designer/Illustrator Butcher Billy - who intends to reimagine every one of the 13 episodes from 3 seasons! Since my earlier blogpost on #iliketeevee, this work has exploded across the www, and today I bring this slice of pop-culture news to TOYSREVIL!

Folks wanting to see more can stay connected to his Instagram @thebutcherbilly, and head on to his Redbubble page to have these designs made into various merch and apparel :)



So the question might be: Does appropriation of a concept “legitimise” the/it’s use into making “unlicensed” merchandise?

I am no expert in these things, nor am I in possession of any level of ‘lawyery’ knowledge in licensing and trademarks, but the products are neither in conflict of existing items produced by the show, nor are any direct imagery used, except for the “title” (which may or may not be trademarked?).

And these are “fanart” more than publicised “legitimate merch” … heck, even Charlton "Charlie" Brooker (The creator of “Black Mirror”) liked his fanart! He has since been “inspired” to want to do a “Black Mirror” cpmicbook? #NICE




I utterly enjoyed the notion that “inspiration” is not necessarily inclusive. Heck, seeing these have even made me consider watching the television series (where I had not intended to otherwise)!

As a (mass) consumer, I perhaps more than welcome the opportunity to procure items which I like and think look great - licensed or non-licensed - and welcome that choice.

The “Art Toy/Designer Toy” World encompasses “appropriation” on one end of a vast spectrum - including “Star Wars”, and most recently real life characters like (President) “Donald Trump” - so the concept is not a “rarity”, and as well the notion of “fanart” has seen many an illustrator plying their works at Artist Alleys in conventions and fairs. For better (the people who make $$$ offa others) or worse (the people whose work is helping other people making $$$), this is the world we live in now, much less a wwworld-connected via a click of the cursor or “return” button.

But then again, I cannot and dare to say the same of other properties … for as sure as there’s a way to earn money, the notion of “free publicity” goes out the front door, doesn’t it? IMHO, of course.

WHAT IS ‘BLACK MIROR’: Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. The show was first broadcast on the British broadcaster Channel 4 in 2011. In September 2015, Netflix commissioned a third series of 12 episodes. The commissioned episodes were later divided into two series of six episodes; the third series was released on Netflix worldwide on 21 October 2016." (Wiki)

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