- Posted by Johanna on December 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel News
ICv2 reports that
Antarctic Press has assented to a Temporary Restraining Order in federal court that will prohibit the company from selling its Diary of a Wimpy Kid parody books Diary of a Zombie Kid and Diary of a Zombie Kid: Rotten Rules.
Wimpy Kid, Inc. filed suit on December 20, alleging “In addition to the confusingly similar title, the jacket design of Defendant’s infringing works are substantially similar to those of Plaintiff’s series and are obviously intended to confuse the public into believing that Defendant’s books are additions to such series.” I think you can see, from the images below, that the covers are confusingly similar, especially to a younger reader.
That isn’t the case with another parody that hasn’t been sued, Tales from the Crypt #8: Diary of a Stinky Dead Kid. That book has a different color cover, there’s another logo prominently displayed, and there’s a big “parody” tag. None of that is true of the Antarctic Press version. Plus, their proposed second book also uses the same cover color, spine treatment, and image arrangement as the second Wimpy Kid book, Rodrick Rules.
I’d also guess, although this is purely my assumption, that Antarctic’s choice to do a second volume (and presumably more, if these were successful) contributed to the lawsuit. It’s one thing to do a one-off joke, but if you look like you’re trying to ride the success of someone else’s property as a continuing effort, that might be something to stop. Even though Zombie Kid only sold about 850 copies through comic stores (bookstore figures aren’t available), while the Wimpy Kid series has sold 52 million copies so far in North America. Wimpy Kid, Inc. is seeking in court “treble damages, plus attorneys’ fees and Antarctic’s profits from Diary of a Zombie Kid.” The companies are reportedly in settlement talks; I’m betting the settlement is Antarctic saying, “We’re sorry, and we won’t do it again.”