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Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, is currently involved in three lawsuits, two against him and one countersuit. Two of the lawsuits were filed by Tony Moore, the former artist and collaborator of The Walking Dead who wanted a share of the proceeds and ownership of the popular zombie apocalypse series.
Tony Moore wants co-ownership of The Walking Dead. His first lawsuit was filed against Kirkman in February and has gone over to federal courts. In the lawsuit Moore claims Kirkman and his agents used fraud to get Moore’s copyright and he’s suing for breach of contract. He wants 60 percent of the “comic publishing net proceeds” and 20 percent of the “motion picture net proceeds” from the AMC show based on the comic book series. This lawsuit is still pending.
Kirkman was recently sued a second time, again by Tony Moore. Moore wanted royalties in his last lawsuit, but now wants to be considered a joint author of not only the popular Walking Dead title, but also Battle Pope, Brit, Dead Plant and My Name is Abraham, according to Moore in his complaint filed in LA on August 7th, 2012:
“Kirkman is a proud liar and fraudster who freely admits that he has no qualm about misrepresenting material facts in order to consummate business transactions, and it is precisely that illicit conduct which led to the present lawsuit (and to Kirkman’s business ‘success’ generally).”
But Moore claimed this wouldn’t be the end of the lawsuits, saying he planned to “pursue his rights as a co-owner to proceeds generated from the Works.” Kirkman’s attorney Allen Grodzky doesn’t think the lawsuit will stick. He states:
“His lawyer finally realized, ‘Oh crap, we filed in the wrong place…’ Our position is that it is never going to get to that issue because he is never going to be able to show fraud, plus the statute of limitations on co-ownership has passed. Also, he’s not a co-owner.”
Kirkman also claims Moore is violating their contract by suing him for the proceeds. Kirkman says:
“Tony regularly receives payment for the work he did as penciler, inker and for gray tones on the first six issues of The Walking Dead comic series and he receives royalties for the TV show, to assert otherwise is simply incorrect…”
In response to the second lawsuit Kirkman filed a counter lawsuit against Moore saying he was overpaid more than $43,000 for his work that Kirkman was entitled to the money instead, and that he violated a confidentiality agreement between the two of them.
It’s a shame the comic book business for these two is a battle, especially since Kirkman and Moore were friends when they were children and have worked together to make a horror comics that nearly the entire nation has heard of. Or, to quote someone much funnier from Investor Place named Angela Nazworth:
“… since there is no love lost between the two comicbook crafters today, I’m guessing that in the event of an actual zombie apocalypse — which is coming … never — one of the men would shoot the other in the foot and use him as bait.”
Wait, you mean the zombie apocalypse isn’t actually coming? …awww, how am I going to return my anti-zombie shelter?