Ouchie. That'll teach him not to mess with the bull.
Ouchie. That'll teach him not to mess with the bull.
"Corruptus In Extremis"
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” Jorge Luis Borges
"Omne animal triste est post coitum"
This is about Marvel punishing him for daring to challenge the big corporation. regarding the ownership of the character he created and brought to them.
Things are not as cut and dried as people want to make them regarding ownership of characters. The business practices in the 60s, 70s and even later were pretty darn loose. I believe other jurisdictions found that printing language on the back of the check so that your endorsement can be taken as entering into a contract was not necessarily the be-all and end-all of the story. So he has reason to think that he may have some rights that weren't being exercised. In this society, the only way to ensure that he does get those rights is to bring suit. (Obviously, Marvel wants to protect the rights they think they have, and contested his suit. That's all well and good, and part of how the legal system works.)
What is truly outrageous, though is that Marvel wants him to cease "promoting himself as the creator of the character for financial gain". So what if he wanted to sell an article about how he created the character, he wouldn't be able to do it? Or if he wanted to accept an invitation to appear at a comics convention that has a Ghost Rider panel? That is freakin' ridiculous! Marvel Entertainment (or whatever their corporate name is now) didn't create anything. The individual writers and artists did, and this approach to deny them the ability to take credit for that is just plain wrong.
If Friedrich kept his trap shut, continued to sell his crap and never tried to sue Marvel he would never have lost and now owe $17k.
The fact that he thought he had a chance in HELL of winning this case, when other more worthy creators have tried and failed, speaks volumes to his common sense/intelligence.
Comics still reading: Floppies- Saga, Daredevil. TPB- GI Joe ARAH, 6th Gun, Hawkeye, Usagi Yojimbo. DC is unreadable...
I feel sorry for him because he helped create Ghost Rider and he should have some compensation from the movies and sales of the book; but at the same time he really should have done something about his beef with marvel back in the 70's or 80's instead of waiting for the movie to come out.
Also if he sold other artists drawings without their consent and tried to pass them off as his work then he should have gotten into trouble way more soon than now.
If he is just doing his own drawings or sketches of Ghost Rider then he shouldn't be sued.
This is now becoming a big problem with comic companies because they are transferring a concept from one medium to another and making more money on that concept than what was originally thought possible and no one thought of any legal issues for this back in the early days of comic making.
It's no wonder why new and established creators don't want to come up with a new comic character with having some type of control over how and where it'll be used after they leave the book or company.
Disney's lawyers are watching.
I imagine that Friedrich likely got a lawyer to take the case back in 2007 because his lawyer thought he could beat Marvel's lawyers. But then Marvel was bought out by Disney mid-way through their case and suddenly Disney's fearsome legal team took over representing Marvel. The guy didn't have a chance in hell of winning after that happened. They beat the Kirby heirs. Why did this guy think he stood a chance better than the Kirby's had?
He had no case. He got paid for his creation back in the day. You know the rules when you play. Flat fee to create a new character that becomes property of the company. His character very well could've gone on to be nothing but one of many sitting in Marvel's stable that's not worth a dime of marketability or popularity. Then it's joke on Marvel, he got a bonus for creating a character that was only good for an appearance of two.
This is a cautionary tale to any one else out there that might want to retroactively try to get something they are no longer due.
On a personal note I've met the guy twice and he reeks of being a grumpy, burned out, scatter brain of an individual. I only went to his table the second time to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe that other time I caught him on a bad day, in a bad moment or something. Nope, he's a jerk with zero charisma and full of spite.
"Freedom is the Right of ALL Sentient Beings" - Optimus Prime
This isn't about whether Friedrich had a case; this is about Marvel's choices, to press the counterclaim and to insist on immediate payment in judgment, despite the obvious inability of Friedrich to pay the penalty.
In short, Marvel chose to be punitive and vindictive when they could have simply gotten a cease-and-desist which would have served to protect their adjudged property rights. They pressed for more because they could; not out of any higher motive.
This is all right with some because of their personal opinion of Friedrich as bitter, spiteful, addled, etc. You'd think all those years of reading this stuff would give people a better idea of justice than that.
God help any of us who find ourselves in his situation -- outgunned and facing an opponent who has decided you deserve to be crushed for annoying them. I'll be more than happy to give the $20 I would have spent at the cinema on The Avengers to helping Friedrich give Marvel their pound of flesh.
Before Watchmen looks respectful compared to this.
Last edited by Global Honored; 02-09-2012 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Profanity
This is the first place I've seen where people are actually thinking of Marvel's side of the story. He says he created Ghost Rider. The other people involved with creating ghost rider say he didn't, including the guy who drew him. And Marvel says even if he did create Ghost Rider, they paid him to. They owned the name from a previous incarnation of the character and they paid him to come up with the new version. So they went to court and a judge decided he didn't create Ghost Rider. It sucks but he took a chance and he lost. Where are the other characters he's created since? He has had thirty years to find some other work, why is he completely broke?
I think this whole story is a cautionary tale about the comic book industry. You're not going to get rich drawing someone else's characters. Make up your own characters and draw them. You still won't get rich but at least you own them. If you are drawing for the big two, save your money, invest wisely. Work on other skills in case the big guys stop calling one day or one day you'll find yourself driving a taxi to pay the bills. Drawing pin ups of Batman and Spiderman at conventions might pay for your table rental but it's not a career.
Eh, I for one will still be going to see Avengers. In fact I'll probably see it more than once.
Loving Marvel NOW! right now! Amazing books. Down to just Batman for DC. New 52 sucks.
This is Disney doing this, not Marvel. Just saying.