An invincible artist is suing Robert Kirkman for profits from animated shows

Invincible Creator Robert Kirkman is being sued by a comic book artist who claims he was tricked into giving up his copyright.

William Crabtree claims to have helped create Invincible (he was the colorist of the comic for the first 50 issues) but was persuaded by Kirkman to give up his ownership of the title in 2005 to facilitate the sale of the rights to the studios.

“Fraud and deception have become a standard business practice for Kirkman and that apparently lies in his true creative talent,” alleged attorney Devin McRae in the lawsuit (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Crabtree claims he had an oral agreement with Kirkman that gave him 20 percent of the retail sales for Invincible and 10 percent of all income from “other commercial film or television exploitation of the Work along with derivative projects based on the Work” and all related thereto Rights or ancillary rights to the work. “

Essentially, it means that Crabtree would have missed a huge paycheck when Invincible was turned into an animated series.

Why this agreement was never written, Crabtree claims that Kirkman convinced him to sign his rights with a “Certificate of Authorship” at San Diego Comic Con in 2005.

He claims that Kirkman convinced him that Invincible would be better salable for studios if it came from a single creator.

“Kirkman falsely told Crabtree that if Crabtree signed the Copyright Certificate, Crabtree’s rights and financial interests in the work would remain unchanged, and that the document would simply allow Kirkman to more easily market the work’s license, resulting in increased profits for both of them . “”, It says in the lawsuit.

After signing the document, the lawsuit alleges that Kirkman continued to pay Crabtree to sell comics as well as license MTV for an animated series and Paramount Pictures for a film and television option.

But when Invincible was picked up by Amazon Studios, Crabtree claims that Kirkman denied his claims for damages.

“When Crabtree asked Kirkman why Kirkman continued to pay Crabtree royalties on the work for years after the author’s certificate, Kirkman stated that those royalties were in fact just ‘bonuses’ paid at his own discretion,” the lawsuit said.

How invincible became a modern superhero icon

The lawsuit accuses Kirkman of fraud and breach of contract and denies Crabtree access to profit statements related to the Amazon TV series. The lawsuit ultimately calls for a judgment, the Crabtree is Invincible co-creator, as well as a report of its debt and punitive damages.

Of course, this is not the first time Kirkman has had legal problems at work.

the Walking Dead Co-creator Tony Moore also sued Kirkman, claims he “tricked” him out of winnings and leftovers for the comic book adaptation. Moore’s lawsuit ended in a settlement between the two parties. In addition, Kirkman himself (and other creators) sued AMC in 2017 for breach of contract all about the post-apocalyptic TV series.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment writer and film critic for IGN. You can follow him Twitter.

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