Recently, Marvel triumphed in court against Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider, in a case to decide who really owns the character. Ghost Rider has now appeared in one movie, with the second movie starring Nicolas Cage on its way. The court ruled in favor of Marvel, claiming that Gary had passed his rights over to Marvel, for no payment, decades ago. The first Ghost Rider movie made millions of dollars in profits for Marvel, none of which they have shared with the characters creators.
And while the court decided that Marvel owe Gary nothing, they also accepted a counter claim from Marvel, that Gary Friedrich owes $17,000 for selling prints of the Ghost Rider character at conventions and the like.
This represents Gary’s earnings from selling such prints over several years – but now Gary is penniless. And Marvel is demanding payment now. He is also not allowed to say he is the creator of Ghost Rider for financial gain.
We ask that Marvel forgive the $17,000 in damages awarded by their counter-suit. This amount might seem minor to some, but to a man who is unemployed and facing crippling legal fees, it is a mountain. Marvel has the legal right to waive damages and we ask that they exercise this right.
Until then, people should boycott any and all things related to Marvel, including the soon-to-be-released 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance'. If the creator of one of their comics gets nothing for their work, then neither should the company selling it. Characters are not created by companies, they are created by people. Ghost Rider was not created by Marvel Comics, it was created by Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas, and Mike Ploog. It is time Marvel did the right thing by the creators whose characters they now reap millions of dollars from.