Robert Kirkman Sued by Childhood Friend and Walking Dead Collaborator

Tony MooreWell, this is disappointing. Mostly because I’m such a huge fan of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and what Robert Kirkman has done to reinvigorate the zombie genre. But this news, well, it leaves me shaking my head a little bit, and my warm and fuzzy feelings toward Kirkman getting just a little bit damp.

According to THR, artist Tony Moore, who drew the first six issues of “The Walking Dead” comic book, and for all intents and purposes co-created the comic with Kirkman (you can write all the scenes and dialogue you want, but comic book is a visual medium, and if there’s no one there to bring your writing to life with, gosh I don’t know, the art, it ain’t a comic book) has now sued his former collaborator and childhood friend for cutting him out of the lucrative money generated from the success of the TV show.

In the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by THR, Moore says he was duped into assigning his interest in the material over to Kirkman, who has since gone on to fame and fortune. Moore, on the other hand, has received very little compensation and has not be able to access profit statements from properties including Walking Dead, he says.

But it gets worse:

Moore claims that in 2005, Kirkman and his agents devised a scheme to fraudulently induce him to assign his copyright interests over to Kirkman’s company. Moore, who grew up with Kirkman and worked together on several projects…

Moore claims he was told in 2005 by Kirkman that a big TV deal was on the table but “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,” according to the complaint. Thinking the deal would fall apart, Moore signed the contract, he says, allowing Kirkman to “swindle” him out of his 50 percent interest in the copyright and never intending to pay him his share of royalties.

Ah, man. There goes the childhood friendship, because it doesn’t sound like Kirkman’s lawyers are in any mood to settle or play nice with Moore.

Look, I don’t know all the legalities involved with this, or what Moore and Kirkman agreed to back in the innocent summer of 2005 (if anything), but the fact that Kirkman seems to think so lowly of Moore’s contributions to the title that he isn’t giving the guy even a little taste of what must be lots and lots of money from the TV show makes me incredibly sad. I thought indie comic book creators like Kirkman were better than their Marvel/D.C. counterparts? Apparently not so much…

Robert Kirkman on the Set of The Walking Dead