Gary Friedrich Enterprises, LLC. et al v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc. et al: The Shame Of Marvel...
As per the courts instructions Friedrich has to account for any and all money that he has received, “...relating to the gross and net amount derived from Plaintiffs' sale of goods bearing the Ghost Rider image, likeness, or Marvel trademark.” This means that Friedrich has to account for every cent each and every time he sold a print at a convention or any other item to anyone, that has the Ghost Rider image or name on it, and he has to account to all of the defendants in the case, and there’s quite a few of those, including, but not limited to, Marvel Defendants, Movie Defendants, Hasbro, Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. If the defendants don’t like, or don't agree with, the numbers that Friedrich supplies then they can, and probably will, ask for a deposition whereby they can question him, under oath. It was no secret that Friedrich commissioned artists such as Herb Trimpe, Arthur Suydam and others to draw Ghost Rider images which were then sold as prints over the years. If you bought one thinking you were helping Gary, well, that cash will most likely end up in Marvels pockets. This amount will be factored into any damages that the defendants can claim from Friedrich, all of which will be bundled up neatly into a final judgement so the case can then proceed to the appeal stage.
|The handwritten order for the letter below|
|Trimpe GR print|
And people wonder why I rarely, if ever, buy comics anymore. Perhaps when the companies start treating those who helped build their empires a bit better then I might be tempted back into the flock. Until then, and while they continue to pay hundreds of thousands to writers and artists to endlessly regurgitate ideas first done, and done far better, by the likes of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Roy Thomas, Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Arnold Drake, Gardner Fox, Steve Gerber and yes, Gary Friedrich, to name just a very few, and while they continue to pay artists to draw sub-par images, I see no real point in buying the offerings. For the few million it’d cost Marvel – and DC for that matter – to set up a fund, or to pay a percentage to the original creators and their families – it’d surely be worth it for the good faith that they’d garner in the long run. But then that’s why I’m not working for Marvel or DC - call me odd, but I'd find it very hard to work for a company that treats it's founding fathers in such a manner. And if you're a creator who is working for Marvel or DC and believe that this sort of thing can't happen to you - think again. Once the broom sweeps out the current regime and a new one comes in, you'll be just as screwed as those who came before you. Count on it.
|September 2010 email from Gary Friedrich to Arthur Suydam|
|2010 Herb Trimpe Ghost Rider posters, commissioned by Friedrich for sale at conventions|
|In 2008 Gene Colan asked for $1,500,000 - a fraction of what Marvel made on Blade and Daredevil alone. He didn't get anywhere near that much...|