Saturday, February 05, 2005

Warner Bros. looking into Army's Potter 'parody' comic

The Glasgow Sunday Herald reports that representatives of Warner Bros. and author J.K. Rowling are looking into possible copyright infringement by the U.S. Army in a comic that uses Harry Potter doppelgangers. The characters appear in Preventative Maintenance Monthly, a free guide to maintaining military equipment that's distributed to some 80,000 Army personnel.
The cartoon strips show the regular hero of preventative maintenance Sergeant Half-Mast arriving at Mogmarts School of Magical PM in a Humvee, being greeted by Professor Rumble-Doore, and taking part in a lesson about the correct storage of potions. In one of the Harry Potter films, Harry arrives at Hogwarts school for wizards in an Anglia car where he is greeted by Professor Dumbledore.

Professor Snappy, whose drawing bears a striking resemblance to actor Alan Rickman, who plays Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films, uses a band of students including Topper, who has floppy hair and wears rimmed glasses – just like Harry Potter in the books – to demonstrate “recovering some potions and neutralising waste”.

One of the comic strips shows Professor McDonagal teaching Wand PM, saying: “At Mogmarts, wands need a light coating of LC40 once a week. Wizards who do battle with death eaters need to polish their wands daily.”
An Army spokesman defended the comic as falling "clearly in the scope of parody."

Update: In the comments section, Bob kindly points out a PDF version of the comic in question, from the May 2004 issue of Preventative Maintenance Monthly.