Harlan Ellison forms ‘Comic Book Legal Offense Fund’ in wake of Watchmen lawsuit
If you thought Harlan was slowing down in his old age, think again.
Earlier this month, Harlan Ellison sued Star Trek for royalties on merchandise derived from his Star Trek script, "City On The Edge Of Forever". Now, in the wake of Alan Moore’s action to get Watchmen rights back from DC, he’s taken up a new cause and has formed what he’s calling "The Comic Book Legal Offense Fund".
For years, Harlan has been one of the biggest contributors to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which fights tirelessly against the forces of censorship against comics. This, however, is a bit more proactive: "The CBLDF is great as a first-response team after you’ve been hit, but as the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. An offense with hammers and chainsaws and legbreakers named Vinnie and the best lawyers money can get. I’m tired of playing nice with these sewer dwellers."
Ellison says the new group’s mission will be two-fold.
"First, we’re going after the ignorant, sloppy, mean-spirited, graceless, moronic, self-involved, naive, bigoted, and probably plague-infected pinheads who are looking to make comics their new excuse for a witchhunt, like that blond harpy who thinks if she insults enough comics she’ll get a job on Fox and Friends. Second, we’re going to be working with comics creators and performing random sales audits on books, to see if they’re being shafted out of royalties. There are only a handful of distribution outlets, and the biggest buy the books on a non-returnable basiss. It can’t be that hard to get accurate numbers. If we have any time left over, we’ll also investigate claims of illegal or unethical contracts, work-for-hire violations, evidence of contract violation by editors and publishers, misuse of royalty statements and funds, and other complaints of professional concern."
"And if I’m lucky, Paramount will start up a comics division that I can go after. Mwah-hah-hah-haaaah!" Then the laughter, and Harlan, vanished in a cloud of smoke.
Other members of the CBLOF board will be Dave Sim, Trina Robbins, Larry Hama, Mike Diana, and Not-So-Friendly Frank.