Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Note From Gary Friedrich

Photo by Jon B Cooke
A NOTE TO MY FANS AND SUPPORTERS: Since the various news agencies and websites have reported the ruling against me on my claims against Marvel in the Ghost Rider lawsuit, and the assessment of a $17,000 judgment against me and my company instead, I have read an amazing amount of comments in my support on the internet, and have received many messages of support directly. Although the reports of my employment situation and financial difficulties as well as problems with my health are unfortunately true, I want to let everyone in the comic book world, especially my supporters and fans of the Ghost Rider character which I invented, created, and wrote, that I am going to appeal the Court's ruling and continue to fight this as long as I am able and that your support of me means more than you will ever know. I have heard your voices. I thank you with alll my heart, and I appreciate your thoughts and best wishes as I soldier on. Feel free to keep in touch with me via e-mail

Thanks again and God bless you 
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Well it's officially viral now.  Once I broke the news about Marvel seeking $17,000 in 'damages' from Gary Friedrich for selling Ghost Rider prints at conventions, as a direct result of his loss in the Ghost Rider court case, people began to pick it up.  Once a few others jumped on board it went ballistic beyond my expectations - since Thursday morning this blog has had over 30,000 people read the story, and it's been linked worldwide.  The news has been reported everywhere, not just the usual comic book related sites, but movie sites, mainstream media, entertainment sites - Marvel's eyes are well and truly black by now.  Funnily enough Marvel are remaining very silent on this and I expect that they're hoping all of the fuss will eventually subside and people will move on to other causes.  In a way they're probably right, a number of people will move away from this and focus on other things - I won't.  Gary has indicated that he will appeal this and I'll be following it as it happens.  What won't go away though is the fact that Marvel has chosen, for the first time that I'm aware of, to demand money from a creator of a character that they're about to release a movie about, resulting in possibly the worst publicity that they've had in years.  This is a monster of their own making here.

People are asking what can they do.  Here's two great ideas.  Writer Steve Niles has set up a page where people can donate to Gary, with the hopes of raising the money that Marvel are demanding - I suggest that people go there and chip in.  I already have.  A Gary Friedrich support page has been set up on Facebook, in just under two days just over 1,300 people have waded in.  And there's more.  The only downside is that there's a few high profile, so called 'comic book crusaders' who claim that they always fight for the creators who have remained very silent on this, for their own reasons.  Such is life.

It's time to keep fighting though.  The best way to fight is to show support by donating to Gary, sending him a message of support, and, more importantly, letting Marvel know, in a polite but firm fashion, how disgusted you are with this ruling.  It's one thing to tell Marvel that you're boycotting their product, or the Ghost Rider movie, but let them know why.  Let them know that you won't support them while they insist on demanding money from their creators.  Don't buy into their hype - the executives at Marvel, and this includes the likes of Joe Quesada, more than likely make as much as they're demanding from Gary in a week.  They don't need the $17,000 and it's hard to see exactly where their Ghost Rider mark was 'damaged' by the character's creator selling signed prints and promoting it.  They'll spend more than $17,000 in one ad campaign in a newspaper for the Ghost Rider II movie.  The bad publicity that Marvel have gotten with this will far outweigh any money that they recover from Gary Friedrich, but there's still time for them to get out of this and save face - they can simply waive the debt.  By doing that they're sure to be seen as a company that does care and does listen.  Fingers crossed that someone at Marvel sees and hears the people and actually does listen.

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