See All Topics

Home / Section: Books

ComicMix Mixes It Up With Seuss Enterprises (Again)

Publishers Weekly is reporting that

Less than a year after settling a lawsuit with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, ComicMix is launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of The Zaks and Other Lost Stories by Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, to be released in July. The stories, which are in the public domain and available digitally on the Seussville website, include the titular story The Zaks, and The Sneetches, among others. ComicMix plans to release the titles of the other stories in the compilation as successive crowdfunding goals are met.

     
compilation © ComicMix compilation © Dr. Seuss Enterprises

During the first half of The 1950s Theodore Giesel, as Dr. Seuss, contributed nearly two dozen, mostly one to three page, features to the women’s magazine Redbook. ComicMix, during a legal encounter with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, discovered that some of the Seuss Redbook material had entered public domain.

Back to Publishers Weekly:

Publication of The Zaks follows a five-year-long legal dispute between ComicMix—a website for comics news and information that also offers professional publishing services—and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the holding company for rights associated with Geisel’s work. In September 2016, ComicMix launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! written by David Gerrold (pen name of David Jerrold Friedman) and illustrated by Ty Templeton.

…in 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overruled a lower court decision that had dismissed the fair use complaint and handed them a favorable ruling, finding that the details of new work were too similar to the original and that Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! was neither transformative nor a parody. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case.

The publication of The Zaks is a byproduct of the suit. In discovery for the case, attorneys for Gerrold and ComicMix found that some of the Seuss stories published in Redbook were in the public domain.

This ongoing ComicMix v Seuss confrontation has the makings of an Uncensored Mouse vs. Disney scenario, as it is known Dr. Seuss Enterprises defends their property as zealously as Disney does.

 

edit: The Uncensored Mouse replaced an Air Pirates reference

Community Comments

#1 Glenn Hauman
May/11/2022
@ 9:01 am

“as it is known Dr. Seuss Enterprises defends their property as zealously as Disney does.”

Except this is not their property anymore. That’s what “public domain” means.

#2 D. D. Degg
May/11/2022
@ 9:30 am

I agree with you Glenn, tho Seuss Inc probably sees it differently.

This brings to mind the problem Malibu Comics had when they published public domain Mickey Mouse comic strips.
(I have replaced the Air Pirates with The Uncensored Mouse in the above report as a better analogy of this situation.)

Malibu had every right to do what they did but Disney had the resources to put an end to it. Seuss Enterprises has that ability.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.