Sunday, February 19, 2012

Knock It Off, Disney and Marvel Comics

Back in August, I got to meet a comic book creator who is very special to me. His name is Gary Friedrich, and he created the only comic book I ever really read. He's the man responsible for Ghost Rider. I interviewed him for Cinema Head Cheese, and thanks to a giant t-shirt booth, the audio is no good. I will say, however, that he was a very pleasant guy who took pride in his creation. HIS creation. That's something that you, Marvel Comics, and your new owner, Disney, seem to have forgotten.

A few years ago, Friedrich sued you over copyrights for Ghost Rider. Apparently, he wasn't given his share from the movie. You argued the issue, but you really have no place to do so. See, when you originally printed the character in an anthology called Marvel Spotlight #5, you credited Friedrich as the creator of Ghost Rider, and you never copyrighted the character. Therefore, Friedrich has always and still does retain the copyright. Unfortunately, you and a judge that I can only assume is in your corporate pocket seem to disagree.

You counter-sued Friedrich, and a horrible settlement offer was put out there. The man who gave you a character that you've made millions from in books, toys and a movie now has to pay you $17,000, and he can't say he's the creator of Ghost Rider to make money. Isn't that a little extreme? Technically, you use your resume to try to make money, so can he even put it there? You have to be insane. Do you know how bad you look, especially with a second movie coming out?

You stole from the man, and now you have the courts helping you steal more. Thanks to your selfish and greedy actions, I will now boycott Marvel, Disney, your affiliates and anything connected to you. This means ABC, ESPN, any of your radio and television stations. Who else have you screwed over?

I like the fact that other comic creators have come together to support Gary in this terrible time. Steve Niles, creator of 30 Days of Night, even set up a donation page on his website. I'm happy to share that and support the cause. You need to realize that without creators, you have nothing. This is why I'm glad to see so many people work independently. Soon enough, people will bail on corporations like you, and we'll all be out there putting out our work for fans who want it. It'll be nice top work without your filter, and you won't be able to rob those who feed your gluttony.

To donate to Gary Friedrich, head over to http://www.steveniles.com/gary.html.

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