Tony Moore vs. Robert Kirkman Over The Walking Dead

Walking Dead CastIt’s been a hell of a week when it comes to creator rights.  Marvel continues to fight with the Kirby estate which lead to talks of boycotts, Marvel won it’s fight against Gary Friedrich over Ghost Rider, DC decided to do Before Watchmen, then there’s the Alex De Campi/Jimmy Broxton/James Hodgkins fiasco and so much more.

Now, Tony Moore is suing Robert Kirkman over The Walking Dead.  According to The Hollywood Reporter which broke the story:

Moore says he was duped into assigning his interest in the material over to Kirkman, who has since gone on to fame and fortune. Moore, on the other hand, has received very little compensation and has not be able to access profit statements from properties including Walking Dead, he says.

In 2005, Moore signed over his rights to Kirkman’s company for 60 percent of “Comic Publishing Net Proceeds” in connection with Walking Dead and another project called Brit; 20 percent of “motion picture net proceeds” in connection with Walking Dead and Brit; and 50 percent of “motion picture net proceeds” from another project called Battle Pope.  But according to Moore, he he hasn’t received much revenue nor any profit statements.

But, things get stranger from there:

Moore claims he was told in 2005 by Kirkman that a big TV deal was on the table but “that Kirkman would not be able to complete the deal unless [Moore] assigned all of his interest in the Walking Dead and other works to Kirkman,” according to the complaint. Thinking the deal would fall apart, Moore signed the contract, he says, allowing Kirkman to “swindle” him out of his 50 percent interest in the copyright and never intending to pay him his share of royalties.

Moore and Kirkman launched The Walking Dead comic in 2003, with Moore drawing the first six issues.  The interior art duties have since moved to current artist Charlie Adlard.

Here’s the actual complaint via Deadline.com.