Dark Horse's Scott Allie has apologized to the creators of a Serenity fan film after an artist mistakenly used their ship models as reference for the Serenity: Float Out one-shot.
"While preparing to draw Serenity: Float Out, artist Patric Reynolds researched ships from the ’Verse online, and mistook some ships designed for the fan film Bellflower for canonical ships," Allie, senior managing editor, wrote on the Dark Horse blog. "The ships were designed by John Douglass, S. E. O’Brien, Sam Osbourne, and filmmaker Mark James. Their work is terrific, and completely professional, like so much of what the Browncoats do, so no one realized the mistake. ... We understand that this was a serious oversight on our part. We want to assure everyone that this is not a usual occurance [sic], and we will make sure to be more careful in the future. Please accept my most sincere apologies, on behalf of Dark Horse and artist Patric Reynolds."
Members of FireflyFans.net noticed the use of the ship designs within two days of the comic's June 2 release.
On June 28, Mark James posted that he had written Dark Horse "stating they are in breach of bellflower copyright and that action will be taken. I havent spent this much time on this film to see my ship and verse used in this manner." He offered an up an update the next day stating he had been in contact with Allie, who had pledged an official apology, artist credits and a donation in charity on behalf of Bellflower.
"Scott Allie and Darkhorse have been absolutely wonderful in regard to this matter," James wrote, "and I can only say thank you to them for their respect and support. Bless them."