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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default CBR: Devil's Due Distributes "Hack/Slash" Independently

    Devil's Due has announced they'll self-distribute two issues of their hit series "Hack/Slash" outside of Diamond over a dispute that has arisen between the character's creator and a recently created Re-Animator LLC.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    lost in the cyber dungeon The Xenos's Avatar
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    What the hell is this crap? I find this fascinating. Not only as a fan of the movie, but of Lovecaft in general. His stuff has always been a gray area for copyright, but this doesn't even sound related to that. Unless some fly by night company is claiming rights, but that doens't make sense since the movie obviously already exists.

    Of course, being from Lovecraft country myself, I've been interested in tinkering in some lore for comics ideas too. Though this has me a bit befuddled. Of course I was moreso going to use vauge references and tone anyway, maybe not direct settings.

    Anyway, I wish the guys the best. Where the hell did this company spawn from?
    Xenos

  3. #3
    lost in the cyber dungeon The Xenos's Avatar
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    Well, it seems LitG goes into more detail.
    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?p...ticle&id=18336
    A number of retailers have contacted me, concerned with the absence of up-and-coming indie title "Hack/Slash." A reputation for being bang on time and building up a fanbase, the last issue has been missing from the schedule for a month. Indeed, it was one that some had ordered extra copies of, the second part of a crossover with the eighties "Re-Animator" movie.

    Well, as of today, everyone knows. And it's a legal mire I've been submerged in for the last few weeks.

    Brian Warmouth, of "Hack/Slash" publisher Devil's Due put out a press release, now widely covered, stating that Devil's Due would be self-distributing "Hack/Slash" #16 and #17, along with reorders of 15, featuring the "Re-Animator" crossover.

    This, as I understand it, is the chain of events.

    Originally, "Herbert West: Reanimator" was a short story by H.P.Lovecraft from 1922. In the eighties, producer Brian Yuzna transformed it into the cult-favourite modern-day set schlock horror movie, "H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator."

    The rights to the Lovecraft's works due to lack of registrations and competing claims for the Lovecraft estate have been confused, but right now "Herbert West: Reanimator" is indisputably in the public domain worldwide.

    The company Re-Animator LLC, was set to up to legally claim and develop the Re-Animator trademark. It was this company which licensed the rights to Dynamite for their "Re-Animator" #0 and "Army Of Darkness vs Re-Animator" comics.

    Tim Seeley of Devil's Due however believed he had licensed the film rights for "HP Lovecraft's Re-Animator" from producer Yuzna, through UK games journalist Barry Keating, for a crossover with his creator-owned book "Hack/Slash" and gained publicity for it. In doing so, he was asked about the Re-Animator LLC claim, showed his awareness of it, but dismissed the claim.

    Last month, Re-Animator LLC sent a Cease And Desist letter to Diamond Comics Distribution and publisher Devil's Due. Diamond declined to distribute "Hack/Slash" until legal claims were settled.

    With the first issue attracting reorders and the second issue at the printers, Tim was faced with being trapped in a legal limbo, left without payment for an unknown length of time, and owing money to the book's artists.

    I understand Re-Animator LLC, thanks to Dynamite's Nick Barrucci, offered Tim the opportunity to distribute the remaining two issues for the sum of $2, possibly one of the more generous publishing acts I've seen. However, Tim would have had to sign a licensing statement that he believed could be used against any possible claim on the property by Yuzna. And a quick trademark registration search shows competing claims - though the only trademark filing for comics is from Re-Animator, LLC.

    Instead, Devil's Due is preparing to self-distribute the two issues of "Hack/Slash" without Diamond. As many comic shops may not be minded to set up a distribution deal for two issues of a relatively small-selling comic, it may be hard to come by. Income from the title may be less. And it may also attract the legal ire of Re-Animator, LLC if Devil's Due attempt to trade with the Re-Animator title.

    The mention of Re-Animator may have gone from the covers. This usually should be enough to ward off trademark claims. But putting out a press release mentioning Re-Animator may be considered trading using the trademark.

    And "Hack/Slash" may be doomed by it.

    Copyright. Trademark. Very different things and the latter has to be defended to be legally valid. Just ask Marvel and Heroic about who owns "Champions."
    Whoo boy that's a pickle. Where the hell did this company come from? The report confirms the Re-Animator story is public domain. (Funny sidenote, I remember hearing Lovecraft didn't care for it due to its serialization anyway.)

    What I didn't know is that the Army of Darkness / Re-Animator comic was not liscenced by the movie makers! Obviously the book was using the look and story of the movie's character, not just Lovecraft's. It was solicited and sold as such. Now the company that put that out is claiming the makers of the film doesn't have the rights to the film character? What?! I wish Yuzna had caught this company back then and straighted things out.
    Xenos

  4. #4

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    It's less of a pickle that Rich makes it sound a I understand it, and by no means does this mean DOOM for Hack/Slash. Worry not, and just get your retailer to order ya a copy through DDP. Things will be back to normal soon.
    TIM

  5. #5
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    Josh Blaylock, “But this was in good conscience not something I felt we could roll over and just accept...in my own personal opinion, is a ridiculous bully tactic...”
    Karma's a bitch ain't it? Because you're clearly an expert on "bully tactics" hahahah...what a douche-bag.

  6. #6
    Vietnamese food lover Stevens's Avatar
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    Tim, once this storyline is completed, will Hack/Slash go back to Diamond?

  7. #7

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    Yep! Issue 18 is already available for order through Diamond!
    TIM

  8. #8
    I Say Thee Ribbit! SlightlyMad's Avatar
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    Does anyone know what dates these are due out (so I can check with my local retailers to find out if they'll be stocking them)?
    U-Go Girl lives & Squirrel Girl is the nuts!

  9. #9

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    You shouldn't have to check "if." Just tel them you want them, and they'll order for ya! Dates will probably be determined as we see how quickly the orders roll in.
    TIM

  10. #10
    New Member Russell H's Avatar
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    Ordered mine today. Picked up a couple of other books too, not a bad deal including postage.

  11. #11
    A First Salvo Publisher
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    Default Self-distribution

    IS self-distribution something publishers should be looking at? Does the industry need more distributor competition to ensure that the industry thrives?

  12. #12
    Elder Member Sean Walsh's Avatar
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    I'm glad DDP (always a stand-up crew) is making this effort to get the story out there *and* that the Diamond relationship isn't harmed by this weird situation.

  13. #13
    I Say Thee Ribbit! SlightlyMad's Avatar
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    I checked with both of my local retailers.

    Forbidden Planet have stated that they only get comics through Diamond, so won't be getting the issues in.

    The other one: World's Apart are an independent who wouldn't take my order, but were aware of the situation & are checking alternatives, so I should keep checking back with them.

    Other than that, It'll be a case of checking eBay.
    Last edited by SlightlyMad; 10-23-2008 at 08:08 AM.
    U-Go Girl lives & Squirrel Girl is the nuts!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlightlyMad View Post
    I checked with both of my local retailers.

    Forbidden Planet have stated that they only get comics through Diamond, so won't be getting the issues in.

    The other one: World's Apart are an independent who wouldn't take my order, but were aware of the situation & are checking alternatives, so I should keep checking back with them.

    Other than that, It'll be a case of checking eBay.
    I live in the UK and ordered them for myself off Devil's Due's website no problem.

  15. #15
    Vietnamese food lover Stevens's Avatar
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    Forbidden Planet should shoot themselves in thehead. They are in NYC, not some backwater sh!thole somewhere. Unreal.

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