Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

November 18, 2016

Missed It: Dr. Seuss Holding Company Sues Over Crowdfunded Star Trek/Seuss Mash-Up Comic


By Tom Spurgeon

Since I forgot to put together a digital comics column this week, let's focus on the biggest story for a player in that world: that lawyers on behalf of Dr. Seuss enterprises filed a copyright/trademark/unfair practices suit against ComicMix and three related individuals -- Glenn Hauman, David Gerrold and Ty Templeton. Although primarily a digital presence, ComicMix raised money through a crowdfunder to support the printing of this book in physical form.

At question is a comic strip combining elements of Seuss story "Oh The Places You'll Go" with Star Trek imagery. Gerrold was a writer on the latter property's original series, and is a writer closely linked to that property.

Here's the PDF of the complaint, complete with images.

To me this seems like clear and allowable parody, but that doesn't mean the law will come down on the side of the defendants.

I was a bit constrained in my ability to report this last week -- it broke on the 11th -- due to a potential personal involvement, but I did manage to receive a note from the defendants' lawyer Dan Booth, headquartered in Cambridge.

"As anyone looking at the book could tell, the creators have great love and appreciation for the works of Dr. Seuss. They are deeply disappointed that his estate is affronted by their creative work, which they maintain is a fair use, not a matter of infringement or unfair competition. We hope to reach an amicable resolution."

I hope they do.
posted 1:25 am PST | Permalink

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