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A joint statement has been released that the litigation has been withdrawn and the parties have settled.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.
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.