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Marvel wins legal battle; losing public opinion with Ghost Rider creator

Marvel won a legal battle against Gary Friedrich, who sued the comic book publisher claiming he was the creator of the Ghost Rider character, but Marvel is not fairing well in the press as a result. Marvel demanded that Gary pay them $17,000 for the many years he’s gone to conventions and drew the character or sold posters, sketches, etc. AND they’re demanding he stop calling himself the character’s creator. Methinks the legal team didn’t look at the movie release schedule and notice this negative publicity would come the week of the Ghost Rider sequel is due out.

There’s a growing community of supporters that are coming to Gary’s aid. Steve Niles has set up a PayPal account to raise money to pay the $17,000. Daniel Best’s blog is probably the best to keep up on the story.

Community Comments

#1 John Read
@ 7:33 pm

Alan, are you sure Marvel is suing Friedrich because he’s been drawing Ghost Rider at conventions? I thought Gary was a writer – I don’t recall his ever having drawn the character (though, admittedly, I’ve not visited with him at cons).

#2 John Read
@ 7:40 pm

And is anyone else wondering if Marvel suing an artist for drawing one of their characters at conventions (assuming that’s what they’re accusing Gary Friedrich of doing) might be them trying to set a very ugly precedent? Artists have been drawing characters they don’t own (and, in some cases, have never drawn for publication) at conventions for many years.

#3 DJ Coffman
@ 6:09 am

Gary is the writer. He doesnt draw. He DiD create Ghost Rider though, they’ve even credited him in the books in the past and now they want to take that away.

He sells prints of Ghost rider at conventions. That’s why they want 17k, and it’s probably based on Gary’s past tax returns showing profit from conventions id reckon. This is a real shame. Gary is a really nice guy- donate if you can

#4 Terry LaBan
@ 10:06 am

Unbelievable. Nicholas Cage probably got $17,000 of snacks each day in his trailer.

#5 Drew Litton
@ 1:13 pm

If I were Nicholas Cage I’d give Gary $1.7 million of whatever I got paid to make this next movie. This story really ticks me off in so many ways. I posted it yesterday on facebook. I’ll bet Marvel takes a pretty good PR hit for all of this. Ask the Susan G. Komen foundation and Netflix how bad PR effects your brand. I’m sure they will tell you.

#6 Brian Powers
@ 1:44 pm

In the past Nick Cage hasn’t been able to keep his houses out of foreclosure. I wouldn’t count on him.

#7 Bearman Cartoons
@ 6:10 pm

John Read: “Artists have been drawing characters they don?t own (and, in some cases, have never drawn for publication) at conventions for many years”

Which I get for fan art that is done at the convention as an original piece. What I don’t get is how so many are getting away with selling prints, etc.

#8 Bearman Cartoons
@ 7:35 pm

Another perspective from a former Marvel Employee

#9 Mike Peterson
@ 5:53 am

That link pretty much sums up my experience on work-for-hire as well as my experience working within a corporate structure where work-for-hire is the default, which is the case at most newspapers.

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