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Original ‘Walking Dead’ Artist Tony Moore Suing Writer Robert Kirkman

Tony Moore, the original artist to collaborate with writer Robert Kirkman on the hit comic book series turned multi-media hit The Walking Dead, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday against his co-creator. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Moore’s suit claims Kirkman cheated him of his share in the rights to the material they created together, hasn’t properly compensated him and hasn’t allowed him access to financial data.

According to the magazine, Moore’s suit states that Kirkman and Moore were “joint authors and co-owners of the copyrights” of Walking Dead and their other collaborations, but Moore claims that “he was told in 2005 by Kirkman that a big TV deal was on the table but Kirkman would not be able to complete the deal unless [Moore] assigned all of his interest in the Walking Dead and other works to Kikman,” and that this was part of “a scheme to fraudulently induce him to assign his copyright interests over to Kirkman’s company.”

Moore’s suit alleges causes of action for promissory fraud, breach of written contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, among other charges. Kirkman’s attorney told The Hollywood Reporter that the case was “totally frivolous,” but that they’re taking it very seriously.

Publisher Image Comics debuted The Walking Dead monthly comic book series in 2003. Moore drew the interiors for the first seven issues, after which artist Charlie Adlard assumed the interior art duties, while Moore continued drawing covers. He continued to do through 2005′s issue #24. The book is currently up to issue #94, and has performed remarkably well in collected editions, and has been so popular that Image has been publishing weekly reprints of single issues to help new fans catch up with the series. While Walking Dead proved their most successful co-creation, it was only Kirkman and Moore’s latest of several collaborations, including Battle Pope in 2000 and Brit in 2003.

In 2010, AMC debuted the television series based on the comic, which Hollywood Reporter says “has become basic cable’s highest-rated series, drawing as many as 7.3 million viewers.” The series is currently in its second season. Kirkman serves as an executive producer.

[Via The Hollywood Reporter]

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