i might suggest a more middle of the road approach. find a suitable protection that doesn't inconvenience the user, and don't expect miracles from it.
I have to agree with mouser on this.
You have to decide what line of business you are in:
1. Are you making games to sell to honest people?
2. Are you making free puzzle games for crackers?
You will always be doing #2, no matter what protection you use.
How much time & money do you want to invest in providing free puzzle games for crackers? How much fun do you want them to have? They will solve any puzzle game you throw at them, eventually.
Go with enough protection to keep honest people honest and enough protection to keep the comic book company satisfied that you have made a reasonable effort to protect their property.
If the comic book company wants something stronger and more expensive, maybe you should suggest they buy you a license for the protection you'll be using. I don't think you would have a problem using any solution they told you to use, as long as they were paying for it. And when they see the cost, they might see things your way with the more reasonable priced solution.
I'm afraid mouser is right.
Okay, first off: use a "wad"/"pack"/"bigfile" approach, instead of individual files... (ie., like ID software have been doing since doom and earlier). This will keep regular users from messing around, but will be "no match for batman". You can add encryption on top of that to prevent hexeditor-capable users from identifying file signatures, but obviously this won't stop reverse engineers.
That's a good approach. It keeps the files from being easily accessed by the common user.
Another thing you can do is what some web designers & artists do with their images on the web...chop them up in pieces and fit them together in the game to appear as a single image.
If someone manages to get the images out of whatever way you packed them, they will not be all that usable without having a ton of fun fitting them back together in photoshop, which would be time consuming work. It would be faster and easier to just scan the comic books for the images if they want them that bad.
But keep in mind that there are tools available to make screenshots of games, so they might not need to do much work to get what they want any way. And there really isn't much you can do to stop that kind of copying.
About the only thing you can do is get a list of the tools they would be using, and try to detect them and shut down the game if any are detected running. (and don't forget to detect if the game is running on an OS in something like VMware)