Robert Kirkman has denied the allegation made by his childhood friend and collaborator Tony Moore, who claims that he was tricked into surrendering his rights on "The Walking Dead" comic book which has spawned into a TV series. In a statement released after his former illustrator filed the fraud lawsuit, the writer of the book, on which the hit AMC show is based, calls the lawsuit "ridiculous."
"We each had legal representation seven years ago and now he is violating the same contract he initiated and approved and he wants to misrepresent the fees he was paid and continues to be paid for the work he was hired to do," Kirkman explained.
On accusation that he hasn't shared any royalty or other payments for "Walking Dead" and other works, Kirkman defended, "Tony regularly receives payment for the work he did as penciler, inker and for gray tones on the first six issues of The Walking Dead comic series and he receives royalties for the TV show, to assert otherwise is simply incorrect."
Echoing Kirkman's statement, his attorney Allen B. Grodsky has previously commented on the allegation, "It's pretty ridiculous. Mr. Moore is owed absolutely nothing. There is no fraud. No money owed. No credit."
Moore, who illustrated the first six issues of "Walking Dead" and worked with Kirkman on several other projects, claimed his deal granted him 60% of comic publishing net proceeds for "Walking Dead" and another project called "Brit", 20% of motion picture net proceeds for "Walking Dead" and "Brit", and 50% of motion picture net proceeds for another project "Battle Pope".
Moore, however, claimed he hasn't not received the earnings nor any profit statements from Kirkman or his company. "Indeed, they have not issued a single statement or allowed access to their books and records in accordance with the reporting obligations of the agreement," so read the complaint.
Ironically, Kirkman once joked that he used "trickery and deceit" to find an illustrator for his books. "Because I had gotten 'Battle Pope' published, when I went to people online and I was like, 'Hey I've got this thing'... I seemed somewhat legit, despite not being legit at all. So they trusted me and I was able to do that and people would agree to do books with me," he said during a podcast around nine months ago.
Commenting on this, Moore's attorney Devin McRae stated, "As the saying goes, in all humor there's truth. And also, I think from my client's perspective, Mr. Kirkman is clearly speaking from experience."