The main character of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series may not be a little passive sometimes, but his creator isn’t going to take any guff from anybody, particularly someone that he thinks is ripping him off.
Wimpy Kid, Inc., which owns the rights to the series that has sold more than 52 million books just in North America, last month filed suit against a comic-book publisher, Antarctic Press, which puts out the Diary of a Zombie Kid graphic novel title, according to Reuters.
Filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, the suit contends that Antarctic stepped all over Wimpy’s trademark in various ways. The suit says that “Zombie Kid” is “deceptively similar” to the “Wimpy Kid” series and "obviously intended to confuse the public into believing that defendant's books are addition to such series," Reuters reports.
The covers of the two books have many similarities, including "distinctive striping along the spine, the hand-drawn pictures of the main character on the front and back covers, both illustrated so as to appear to be taped at each corner of the cover, and the miniature illustration of a male child's head located on the side of the book," the suit notes.
Antarctic’s publisher, Joe Dunn, told the Boston Herald that he unfortunately couldn’t discuss it: “Obviously, I would love to talk about it and give my side of it,” he said. “However I’ve been advised not to say anything.” His lawyer, William Maguire, said the company “will be answering the complaint promptly,” the Herald notes.
The Zombie Kid series has since been pulled from retail due to a temporary restraining order while the parties work out a settlement. According to one report, the Zombie Kid graphic novel sold 650 copies at comic book stores in August, vs. the 6 million of Wimpy Kid's first printing.
The sixth book in the “Wimpy Kid” series, “Cabin Fever,” spent six weeks in the No. 1 spot on USA Today’s Best-Selling Books list heading into Christmas.
One does worry, though, that even if Wimpy Kid prevails in court against Zombie Kid, the latter will just keep returning to live again, anyway. And there's even a Stinky Dead Kid out there. Be careful out there, kids!