The latest talent under fire is Robert Kirkman, “The Walking Dead” creator and executive producer on the AMC show. Michael Anthony Moore — better known as artist Tony Moore — filed a suit against Kirkman Thursday in Los Angeles alleging that he is co-creator of the show and owed as much as half the proceeds from the franchise.
Moore did the artwork for “The Walking Dead” comics up through issue seven, after which Charlie Adlard replaced him. He continued to design the series’ covers through issue #24. According to the suit, Moore claims he entered into an agreement with Kirkman in 2005 that granted him 60 percent of “The Walking Dead’s” comic book net proceeds and 20 percent of the show’s motion picture proceeds, among other comics’ profits. However, he has reportedly not seen those promised incomes.
Moore agreed to the deal back in 2005 because, if he didn’t, it would kill the “large television deal on the table,” according to the lawsuit. Kirkman allegedly promised to pay Moore the royalties he was entitled to and provide regular, accurate accountings if Moore assigned his copyright to “Robert Kirkman, LLC,” and so he did. Moore claims that Kirkman has never followed through on his end of the deal. Previous to the agreement, Moore had 50 percent interest in the copyright, according to the lawsuit.
Needless to say, Kirkman’s camp is none too pleased. His attorney, Allen Grodzky, issued several statements to The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline claiming that this suit will end up backfiring on Moore.
“[The case is] totally frivolous,” Grodzky told the Hollywood Reporter. “Mr. Moore is owed no money at all. And Mr. Moore’s contract has an attorneys’ fees clause in it so we will be going after him to collect attorneys’ fees. We are taking this matter very seriously.”
Moore is asking for damages associated with the money Kirkman has received from the show, plus any share of outstanding money. He’s asking for a court order to mandate Kirkman provide complete and timely accounting, as promised, as well as accrued interest and court costs.
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