Tag Archives: Comics

Comic Creators Comes together for a Class Action Lawsuit Against Action Lab Entertainment

Action Lab Entertainment

ClassAction.org as the news that nearly 40 comic creators have banded together for a class action lawsuit against Action Lab Entertainment. The lawsuit claims that contracts should be null and void because the publisher has fallen short of its contractual obligations. Plaintiffs include Brockton McKinney, Rylend Grant, David Pepose, Jorge Santiago Jr., Chad Perkins, Jeremy Whitley, Massimo Rosi, Dexter Weeks, Jason Strutz, DeWayne Feenstra, Colleen Douglas, Rod Espinosa, Jason Imman, Ashley Victoria Robinson, Emily Martin, and many more.

The 46-page complaint goes over the list of problems, including issues with printing, promotion and marketing, sales and income report, and much more. The lawsuit says the publisher failed to notify creators when the office “shut down without reason”.

Action Lab president Bryan Seaton is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit and the suit says he stepped away from the company in November or December of 2019 without telling the creators due to “personal health reasons,” leaving Shawn Pryor in charge of daily operations. The publisher’s offices were also closed from December 16, 2019 to January 6, 2020 during with creators weren’t paid and marketing was not done. Pryor then left the company in January 2020. Seaton then left the company in February 2020 with no replacement. Action Lab shut down in March 2020 without telling any creators and during that time no work was performed by the defendants according to the plaintiffs.

Much of this is new revelations in the ongoing saga and fight that has spilled out into social media.

Action Lab points to some of its troubles towards Diamond, the comic distribution company which suspended some of its operations during COVID.

Seaton has pushed back at some of these charges publicly in a September 2021 interview refuting the complaints about missed payments, lack of publishing plans, and lack of communication. In that interview Seaton said the publisher was strong financially and open for business.

The lawsuit says issues began well before the pandemic with promises of print releases and not just digital. The lawsuit also claims that Action Lab would change the terms of the original agreement with creators and the projects wouldn’t be solicited until a certain number of issues were completed. The lack of communication and marketing forced creators to spend their own money to market their comics.

The lawsuit goes on to say the publisher would regularly change release dates without informing creators which would impact their own events like signings at stores around the release. That even includes the cancellation of entire comics due to a lack of pre-orders.

Even further, the lawsuit says Action Lab had further issues when it came to accounting failing to provide promised sales and income numbers but also shared inaccurate quarterly reports on digital sales. Sales issues included those done at conventions which weren’t recorded.

The class action lawsuit is looking to represent all individuals in the United States who have signed publishing and/or licensing agreements with Action Lab Entertainment.

You can read the full analysis of the lawsuit here and read the lawsuit below.

Around the Tubes

X-Men #7

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d you all like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web to start your day.

Kotaku – Report: Suicide Squad Game Delayed All The Way Into 2023 – Boo!

Hollywood Reporter – Prentice Penny to Direct Graphic Novel Adaptation ‘New Kid’ for Universal, SpringHill – Nice!

ICv2 – TOON Books Acquired by Astra Books for Young Readers – Will 2022 be about consolidation?

Class Action – Comic Creators File Lawsuit Saying Action Lab Entertainment Contracts Should Be Null and Void – Woah.

Reviews

Collected Editions – Superwoman Vol. 3: The Midnight Hour
CBR – X Deaths of Wolverine #1
CBR – X-Men #7

Dan Mendoza and Action Lab Entertainment Settle a Lawsuit as Creators Speak Out About the Publisher

Zombie Tramp is one of the longest running comic series published by Action Lab Entertainment and its “Danger Zone” imprint. The series original launched by Dan Mendoza and was self-published from 2009 to 2011 before Action Lab began publishing it in 2013. But, not all was good behind the scenes. Mendoza filed a lawsuit against the publisher in April 2020 over the use of the character.

A joint statement has been released that the litigation has been withdrawn and the parties have settled. Under the agreement, Action Lab Entertainment will finish and release a final seven-issue run of the Zombie Tramp comic book issues it has been producing. That should end by next summer.

Dan Mendoza and Action Lab Entertainment, Inc. announced today that they have reached an agreement to respectfully part ways on the production of Zombie Tramp, and to place the Zombie Tramp character and story back into its original creator’s hands for the future.

Mendoza stated:

This is a meaningful agreement between me and Action Lab Entertainment, Inc. which allows Zombie Tramp fans to Get Back to the source of what Zombie Tramp was about from its inception — Creepy, Grindhouse Horror with a slice of sexy, with the original Leading Lady that Fans Love — Janey Belle; all written and drawn by me once again. I am happy that Zombie Tramp will be coming home to join all of my new characters at my self-published Label, Still ILL Princess Studios. I’m proud of the work we created at Action Lab, but happy to have Zombie Tramp return to my individual and full creative control.

Bryan Seaton, Action Lab Co-Founder stated about the settlement:

We are pleased to reach this agreement with Dan Mendoza. It will allow Zombie Tramp fans to continue to follow Zombie Tramp’s adventures as the title returns to Dan and moves forward, which is how the book and character began. Action Lab is looking forward to giving Zombie Tramp fans a great final hurrah with our final issues, and I would also point out that the original origin story and the entire 84-issue run of Action Lab’s Zombie Tramp will continue to be available in print through Diamond and comic retailers, and digitally through Amazon and Comixology. We are pleased to have worked with Dan on the Action Lab Zombie Tramp title and look forward to seeing how he will carry the character forward.

While Mendoza and Action Lab have indicated they are happy with the conclusion, things are looking rough for the comic publisher. In recent weeks creators have become very vocal about the publisher and deals that have their comics being held by the publisher and difficult to regain the rights.

Stories about Action Lab sitting on comics, not releasing print editions, not paying creators, demanding cash payments for unsold stock to regain rights, the stories are the same over and over.

Creators have repeated stories about Action Lab claiming comics were not profitable so no payments were sent, overprinting comics leaving large stacks sitting in warehouses still, lack of promotion, missed deadlines, cancelations, and other unprofessional behavior.

We’ve reached out to Action Lab multiple times with no response. Creators who would like to discuss specifics can contact us here.

Preview: Adventure Finders: The Edge of Empire #5

ADVENTURE FINDERS: THE EDGE OF EMPIRE #5

Writer(s): Rod Espinosa
Artist Name(s): Rod Espinosa
Cover Artist Name(s): Rod Espinosa
32 pgs./ T / FC
$3.99

Having escaped the pursuing orcs and ogres, Clari’s group now turns to survival. There is food to be foraged and a hundred babies and their nursemaids need to be fed constantly!

When other heroes shirk this humble responsibility of feeding refugees, Clariette and her friends take it on with eagerness and passion.

Their foraging takes them deeper into the Green Shroud. Something watches them. Clari climbs the top of a huge hill hoping to locate where they are… and that is when things get really interesting!

ADVENTURE FINDERS: THE EDGE OF EMPIRE #5

Preview: Powers in Action #4

POWERS IN ACTION #4

Writer(s): Art Baltazar
Artist Name(s): Art Baltazar
Cover Artist(s): Art Baltazar
32 pgs./ E / FC
$3.99

SUPLEX and DOGPLEX must face the evil SUPLEXIANS when they come to retrieve their…dog? That’s right, fans! The Suplexians are here to take back the powers and the dog that belongs to the world of SUPLEXIA! SUPLEX is forced into a fight to the finish! The loser must give up the powers or leave Earth forever! Will our hero be banished? …or does SUPLEX have a chance to defeat the evil TRIO from space? How does the HERO SQAUADRON play into this? Join us for the epic conclusion to the first mini-series story arc! Based on the vintage super hero creations of famous cartoonist Art Baltazar! AW YEAH!

POWERS IN ACTION #4

Action Lab’s Adventure Finders: The Edge of Empire and Supermom: Expecting Trouble are Out March 4

ADVENTURE FINDERS: THE EDGE OF EMPIRE TPB

Writer(s): Rod Espinosa
Artist Name(s): Rod Espinosa
Cover Artist Name(s): Rod Espinosa
124 pgs./ T / FC
$14.99

Having survived their first small encounter with the mountain torbulds, Clari and her friends finally reach the city of Bridge Town and find it in a state of war. Remembering her promise to her friend Mecomi, Clari prepares to escort the orphans back to the safety of the mountain village. They ride with a massive caravan of 20,000 sponsored by Lord Justinius Biverius, who is to take up a cushy post guarding Good River, Clari’s hometown.

Little do they know, the caravan is about to run into terrible danger!

ADVENTURE FINDERS: THE EDGE OF EMPIRE TPB

SUPERMOM: EXPECTING TROUBLE #1

Writer(s): Gordon Mclean
Artist Name(s): Caio Oliveira (Pencils and inks), Fahriza Kamaputra (Colors), Frank Cvetkovic (letters)
Cover Artist(s): Caio Oliveira (Cover A), Tanya Roberts (Cover B)
24 pgs./ T / FC
$3.99

Superhero Voltra is out to stop her archnemesis from taking over the planet. There’s just one problem: she’s pregnant… and he’s the father. Cue the world’s strongest mother fighting the world’s evilest father over the fate of both the world and their unborn child in this action-comedy filled with big laughs, crazy fights, shocking twists and (most importantly) evil monkey clowns. What more do you need?

SUPERMOM: EXPECTING TROUBLE #1

Preview: Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir: Season Two – Skating on Thin Ice

MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR: SEASON TWO – SKATING ON THIN ICE

Writer(s): Jeremy Zag, Thomas Astruc, Fred Lenoir, Mélanie Duval, Sébastien Thibaudeau, Nicole D’Andria
Artist Name(s): Cheryl Black
Cover Artist(s): Cheryl Black
Adapted for comics by: Cheryl Black, Nicole D’Andria & Bryan Seaton
128 pgs./ E / FC
$8.99

The second season of MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG & CAT NOIR is collected here! This TPB features the episodes “Reverser” and “Frozer.” In “Reverser,” a shy writer feels betrayed by Marinette and Nathaniel, becoming akumatized by Hawk Moth. Now he’s able to reverse people’s traits, resulting in Ladybug becoming super clumsy and making Cat Noir into a scaredy cat. With their personalities all wonky, will our heroes learn to be heroes once again? In “Frozer,” a figure skater is akumatized by Hawk Moth and turns Paris into a frozen wasteland. But while things in Paris are getting chilly, things seem to be heating up between Adrien and… Kagami?! And what about Luka and Marinette? Find out if love blooms in this volume of MIRACULOUS!

SPOTS ON, CLAWS OUT!

MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR: SEASON TWO – SKATING ON THIN ICE

Preview: Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir – Bugheads

MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR: SEASON TWO – BUGHEADS

Writer(s): Jeremy Zag, Thomas Astruc, Mélanie Duval, Fred Lenoir, Sébastien Thibaudeau, Nicole D’Andria
Artist Name(s): Cheryl Black
Cover Artist(s): Cheryl Black
Adapted for comics by: Cheryl Black, Nicole D’Andria & Bryan Seaton
128 pgs./ E / FC
$8.99

The second season of MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG & CAT NOIR is collected here! This TPB features the episodes “Anansi” and “Sandboy.” In “Anansi,” Alya’s overprotective sister is akumatized into a villain with spider-like powers. With Cat Noir trapped in her web, Ladybug needs back-up. Enter a new miraculous hero: Carapace! In “Sandboy,” a child having a nightmare is turned into a nightmare-fueled villain by Hawk Moth. Now he’s making everyone’s terrifying dreams come true. However, Marinette and Adrien can’t transform because their kwamis are off on their own special mission! Will they be able to transform in time to save Paris from permanent nightmares?!

SPOTS ON, CLAWS OUT!

MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR: SEASON TWO – BUGHEADS

Preview: The Adventures of Mickey & Maj: Time. Space. Magic.

THE ADVENTURES OF MICKEY & MAJ: TIME. SPACE. MAGIC.

Writer(s): Rick Lundeen
Artist Name(s): Rick Lundeen
Cover Artist(s): Rick Lundeen
88 pgs./ T / FC $8.99

Mickey (Michael James Hawthorne), is an average seven-year-old boy who’s been stuck in his bedroom on a time-out all day. Maj (Majestic) is a talking, flying, ancient Magic Carpet that’s been stuck in the attic on a time-out for years. This is the story of how they meet. We learn about Maj, his ability to travel through space, time, and dimensions! We learn of his mysterious origin, The Weaver, The Tapestry! An evil Egyptian god shows up! We also see Mickey stuff a PB&J into his open maw. The adventure begins here!

THE ADVENTURES OF MICKEY & MAJ: TIME. SPACE. MAGIC.

Time Shopper is a Slacker Sci-Fi Comedy Epic Through History

Time Shopper is a sci-fi/comedy about a regular guy who gets a job time traveling. He’s supposed to go back in time and fix history’s biggest disasters (the sinking of the Titanic, the assassination of JFK, kill baby Hitler), but when he gets to the past he immediately gets distracted by how crazy affordable everything used to be. So… he starts shopping through time. And then obviously, hijinx ensue. There are historical celebrity cameos, killer robots, etc.

Written by Tony Fleecs, Time Shopper features art by Christian Meesey, layouts by Tone Rodriguez, colors by Brad Simpson, and a cover by Meesey.

Retailing for $14.99, the 48-page comic will be out soon and published by Action Lab Entertainment.

Time Shopper
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