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Ben Wicks family fighting for custody of 2400 newly discovered cartoons

Canadian cartoonist Ben Wicks, who died in 2000, was one of Canada’s great cartoonists, but was perhaps not the best at archiving and filing his artwork. Recently, two brothers found three bags full of Ben’s cartoons in the garage of a home they had purchased from the Wicks in 1992. The collection of cartoons are valued to be over $57,000 and the brothers consider themselves the owners of the originals and recognize the Wicks family as the copyright holders.

So when the two Harnett brothers decided to reprint the cartoons in a book format, they contacted the Wicks family for permission and got the ugly side of a law suit as the Wicks family wants the cartoons back.

The story linked above contains a good deal of the family’s testimony which is high on emotion, so I’m curious how this case will turn out. Certainly, Canada would have laws governing abandoned property (intentionally or not), so I’m hoping the outcome will side with established law and not swayed by emotion. The Wicks family is also bringing in editorial cartoonist Andy Donato and former Toronto mayor David Crombie – both of which I’m sure are experts in law regarding abandoned property and aren’t there to create more drama about the cartoons.

The lesson to be learned: keep track of those cartoons!

Community Comments

#1 Mooncity
May/15/2007
@ 5:30 pm

Sad to hear that Ben Wicks died. I used to watch his TV show after school. I wasn’t quite wild about his cartoons, per se, but I loved his personality and his passion for cartooning.

#2 Suzanne Taylor
November/16/2008
@ 6:41 am

My conection with Ben Wicks is that he knew my father Jimmy Taylor. Jim Taylor and some friends raised money far a cause and road to north pole on motorcycle it was called the North Pole Taylor expedition 1975″ Ben Wicks had ran a comic strip of my dad on his bike for some time? Im not sure, I have looked to see if any were around..in the archives as well, any info could be greatly recieved. For my dad has not been heard from in over 20 yrs.sue

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