[imgright]http://www.seandahlberg.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/ghost_rider_150x109.jpg[/imgright]I can’t say I’m a hardcore comic book collector, because I’m not. But, while growing up, there were a few titles that I thoroughly enjoyed. I think it all started with the Uncanny X-Men 138 and then I added a few others over the years. I was always into the dark and anti-heroes so when I saw issue #5 of Ghost Rider (the Dan Ketch version), I was hooked. Granted, the title took some twists and turns over the years that I didn’t like… but I think most every comic goes through that.
When I saw there was a movie being made for it, I had a glimmer of hope. Some of the Marvel movies… well, sucked. But the latest ones seemed to be getting better and better. Then I learned Nicholas Cage was in it. And my hope went away. Not that I dislike him as an actor; I actually like quite a few of his movies. But Ghost Rider, whether the original Johnny Blaze or Dan Ketch version, was never a personality type that I’ve seen Cage successfully pull off. They are dark heroes with tortured souls and I just don’t think that type of character is in Cage’s repertoire. But, being the fan I am, I not only saw the movie, I bought it. And I’ll probably see the new one coming out today (with very low expectations).
But that isn’t what I’m writing about right now. In looking up the new movie, I saw that Gary Friedrich tried to sue Marvel for the first movie since he believed the rights to the character reverted back to him (and come one, someone should of sued Marvel over that movie!). Unfortunately, Gary was unsuccessful and Marvel counter-sued, demanding $17,000 in compensation for his sale of non-licensed merchandise at conventions. Marvel has agreed to drop the counter-suit if Gary pays the $17,000 and discontinues selling unlicensed Ghost Rider paraphernalia (or anything that financially profits him using the status as the character’s creator). My personal feelings is that it’s crap and Marvel should just drop the counter-suit. As much as I could pick apart the Ghost Rider movie, it grossed $237m at the box office worldwide. But business is what business does and this is nothing new.
There is a movement by fans to raise the money for Gary to pay this (he isn’t necessarily rolling in dough). Steven Niles, the writer of 30 Days of Night which was also turned into a movie, has set up a page for donations simply called “Donate to Gary Friedrich“. The page includes a letter from Gary and his wife about the feedback they have been receiving.
While I understand there are a lot of factors with something like this, if you were ever a fan of the comic, I recommend at least checking out the story below…
Read more about this at Forbes: As We Watch the Watchmen, Ghost Rider’s Creator Faces Ruin