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Monday February 13, 2012 1:57 pm

Marvel Comics And Gary Friedrich




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Marvel Comics

Sgt Fury #45Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the last several days, you’ve no doubt heard about Marvel Comics' demand against one of their former writers, Gary Friedrich.

Friedrich sued Marvel for compensation related to exploitation of a character he created, Ghost Rider. He lost the first round, and Marvel’s coming after him. Here’s a round-up of just a handful of links and commentary to get you better acquainted.

Daniel Best at 20th Century Danny Boy broke the story about Marvel’s pushback against Friedrich, with a post that includes documentation.

Here’s an update with a note from Friedrich.

Mark Evanier has a sane and rational view of the situation.

One of the greatly appealing things about webcomics is that the creators managed to hold onto their rights and are free to exploit their work according to their own path. Gary Tyrrell at Fleen has some thoughts on Friedrich’s situation.

Steve Niles has started a fund drive to help Friedrich out.

At Bleeding Cool, writer Tony Pannacio ties Marvel’s decision against Gary Friedrich into other bad corporate decisions involving The Lone Ranger and Batman. “The problem in all three cases is that all these corporations are making a massive mistake — they are allowing their attorneys to dictate their public relations and marketing policy.”

Comics Bulletin’s Regie Rigby looks at the rights and wrongs of the case. “If I'd been Marvel, I'd probably settled out of court with some kind of "goodwill" payment. I suspect they could've come up with a "without prejudice" formula that recognized that creators didn't have any legal call on the proceeds from the franchising of a character they had created on a work for hire basis, but recognized their contribution.”

If you’re interested, you can read some of Gary’s 1960s Marvel work online, for free. It's at Marvel's website, of course.

And just how interesting was Friedrich as a writer during that time? The Nick Fury blog looks at his long run on Marvel’s long-running Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos. “Friedrich instead marked his time with a number of uncharacteristic tales that pushed the formula for a Sgt Fury story. Friedrich created a number of memorable guest characters, both hero and villains that merited return appearances.”

[Artwork: Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos #45, © Marvel Comics]

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