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.
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.
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.
edit: The Uncensored Mouse replaced an Air Pirates reference