[[wysiwyg_imageupload:649:]]Robert Kirkman is being sued by his childhood friend and collaborator, Tony Moore, over monies purportedly owed for The Walking Dead.
Moore was the co-creator with Kirkman on The Walking Dead comic book, of course which went on to become a smash hit TV series on AMC. Moore provided the interior art for issues #1-6, as well as the exterior cover art up until issue #24. The two previously collaborated on Battle Pope and Brit as well.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Moore alleges that Kirkman duped him into signing the rights to The Walking Dead away when it became known that a television deal was on the table in 2005. Apparently, Moore was told, "that Kirkman would not be able to complete the deal unless [Moore] assigned all of his interest in the Walking Dead and other works to Kirkman."
It's stated that Moore, "thinking the deal would fall apart," signed the contract.
Now, Moore is accusing Kirkman of swindling him out of "his 50 percent interest in the copyright and never intending to pay him his share of royalties."
Their previous agreement had Moore getting 60 percent of "Comic Publishing Net Proceeds" in connection with The Walking Dead and Brit; 20 percent of "motion picture net proceeds" in connection with The Walking Dead and Brit; and 50 percent of "motion picture net proceeds" from Battle Pope.
In the complaint, Moore alleges, "Indeed, they have not issued a single statement or allowed access to their books and records in accordance with the reporting obligations of the agreement."
The suit against Kirkman alleges "causes of action for promissory fraud, breach of written contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, money had an received and accounting."
Kirkman's own lawyers responded that the suit is frivolous, that Moore is owed no money, and that they will be going after Moore for attorney fees.
Cosmic Book News will keep you updated as more becomes available.
"The Walking Dead" Season 2 returns this Sunday on AMC at 9pm ET. The comic book is available monthly at your favorite local comic shop.
From the sounds of it, the lawsuit is going to come down to whether or not Moore signing his rights away to Kirkman was lawful. I suppose if Moore can back up that Kirkman deliberately misled him into signing the rights away, he might have a basis for a case. How Moore is going to prove that, remains to be seen. Regardless, it's pretty ugly.