Just days before Comic-Con, Radical Comics owner Blatant Entertainment was dealt a bit of a blow: a lawsuit from one of its co-founders.
THR, Esq. reports that David Elliott, who was editor-in-chief of Radical until his termination in April, claims the parent company hasn’t given him his full salary, failed to properly credit him on several titles (including Hercules), and is exploiting other properties in which he has a copyright stake without receiving his permission. Those, Elliott asserts, include Aladdin, Caliber, Hercules, City of Dust and Freedom Formula.
He also claims that he wasn’t compensated for acquiring three properties for Blatant: Hotwire, Cholly & Flytrap and Lords of Misrule.
The lawsuit, filed July 16 in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks compensatory damages, general damages and “harm to reputation and emotional distress damages” of no less than $1 million. In addition, Elliott asks for, among other things, a reversion of rights to Aladdin and an injunction barring Blatant from using and exploiting Caliber, Hercules, City of Dust, Freedom Formula and other projects “in any and all media and markets.”
Blatant’s Radical Pictures division already has most of those properties set up for film adaptations.
But, as THR’s Eriq Gardner points out, the most interesting and — if it’s true — potentially damaging aspect of the lawsuit may be this allegation: “Blatant’s management failed to have any of its employees sign work-for-hire agreements and/or assignments of copyrights, thereby clouding title to all of Blatant’s projects, and making it impossible for Blatant to provide proper chain of title documents and guarantees to investors, production companies, studios, and insurers, to the detriment of its shareholders.”
Elliott’s departure became public in mid-May when it was announced former Top Cow president David Wohl had replaced him as editor-in-chief. Radical characterized the move as a decision “mutually made” because Elliott was unwilling to move from New York to the company’s offices in Los Angeles.