Frazetta sues Vanguard

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FrazRef PR web Frazetta sues VanguardLegendary fantasy artist Frank Frazetta has filed suit against David Spurlock and Vanguard Productions for $2 mil, claiming the publisher used Frazetta’s artwork and signature without permission. Frazetta released a press release with his side of things yesterday:

World-renowned fantasy artist Frank Frazetta filed a complaint today with the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, against publisher J. David Spurlock and Vanguard Productions. The complaint alleges that in publishing the book FRAZETTA DEFINITIVE REFERENCE, featuring Frazetta’s artwork and prominently displaying his unique signature, Spurlock and Vanguard used the artist’s name for advertizing and trade purposes without obtaining prior approval, thus committing a violation of Section 50 of the Civil Rights Law of the State of New York.

The complaint further alleges that, during the period beginning on or about April 8, 2008, Spurlock and Vanguard knowingly, willfully, and in bad faith released in New York State and elsewhere literature prominently using Frazetta’s name in advertizing the book, including solicitation materials clearly stating, “endorsed by the artist,” despite possessing knowledge that such statement was contrary to fact and made without the artist’s consent. No agreement exists, oral or written, between Spurlock or Vanguard and Frank Frazetta.

Section 50 of the Civil Rights Law of the State of New York guarantees the right of privacy, and states that, “A person, firm or corporation that uses for advertising purposes, or for the purposes of trade, the name, portrait or picture of any living person without having first obtained the written consent of such person, or if a minor of his or her parent or guardian, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Section 51 states, “Any person whose name, portrait, picture or voice is used within this state for advertising purposes or for the purposes of trade without the written consent first obtained … may maintain an equitable action in the supreme court of this state against the person, firm or corporation so using his name, portrait, picture or voice, to prevent and restrain the use thereof; and may also sue and recover damages for any injuries sustained by reason of such use …”

Stating in the complaint that Spurlock and Vanguard have been “unjustly enriched by unlawful use of the plaintiff’s name and reputation as an artist,” Frazetta demands that Spurlock and Vanguard be enjoined and restrained from using his name, image, or likeness in distribution, promotion, or sale of the book.

Based on Section 51 of the Civil Rights Law of the State of New York, Frazetta has further asked for compensatory damages of $2,000,000 and exemplary damages of $500,000, while requiring that Spurlock and Vanguard provide an account of all proceeds received from sales of the book. Frazetta is represented by The Law Office of Tedd Kessler, PC, located in New York, NY. Vanguard Productions is located in Clinton, NJ and is represented by Penino & Moynihan, LLP, White Plains, NY.

Comments

  1. Oooppssss ….

  2. Frazetta may be older, but he still swings a keen sword.

  3. michael says:

    are Spurlock and Vanguard idiots?!? They did this without any permission? O.o

    I don’t think he deserves the 2 mill, unless a lot already sold, but he is sure in the right on this one.

  4. Alan Coil says:

    This book has been planned for over a decade. I hope they can come to some agreement that allows it to be published.

  5. Bring Back Zot says:

    Too bad. Mr. Spurlock seems to have good relations with many artists he publishes, including Carmine Infantino and Jim Steranko (who were ate Spurlock’s booth at the NYCC. I hope this is sorted out.

  6. Spurlock prolly did tell Frazetta all about the book and get all the sign offs on it and Frazetta’s old ass prolly forgot it..! They’ve done a few Frazetta books so why this one? We don’t have all the facts yet…

  7. Charles Knight says:

    ” Spurlock prolly did tell Frazetta all about the book and get all the sign offs on it and Frazetta’s old ass prolly forgot it..!”

    And you think his lawyers didn’t look into that before filing?

  8. So much for their next book, “Frank Frazetta: Octogenerian and Legend”, ha ha.

  9. Alan Coil says:

    Some here are assuming that because Frazetta is old that he is senile. Don’t make that assumption about old people.

  10. He is old and senile and had health issues. That’s why he wife was (is?) running the business and if you called to license one of his images you had to deal with her and she was tough by all accounts.

    So fuck off.

  11. Well, this has happened since the dawn of time. Most 20-somethings think they’re better than older folks. Then, as they age, they start talking about how they’re better than anyone older or younger than them. Then, as they progress into their “golden years” they’re better than everyone younger than them.

    So why wouldn’t some asshole show disrespect for Frazetta?

  12. Alan Coil says:

    Attaboy, Scott.

  13. Alan Coil says:

    Hey, Scott, no snappy comeback?

  14. Jack Rivington says:

    Scott, you’re an ass to put down someone because of their age. And to call the great Frazetta “senile” is insulting. You’ll get there too one day and I hope you get taken advantage of as well.

  15. Javier says:

    This was bound to happen one day.
    J. David Spurlock stepped on one too many toes on this one. I’ve known Jesse (the J. part), for a good many years, and is a very educated person when it comes to being a comic historian…but he does have a very obnoxious side when he gets into his “ultra-fanboy” mode. In this case, he probably wouldn’t leave the man (Frazetta) alone, and this is his way of telling Jesse to just “leave me alone!”. I mean, how many books of Frazetta does one need??? What would make Vanguard’s book of Frazetta different from the others??? Has he done more recent paintings???
    The man paid his dues, just leave him alone! Jesse, look at another “great artist” and bug the hell outta him and make a book about him (and try not getting your ass sued!).

  16. Javier says:

    This was bound to happen one day.
    J. David Spurlock stepped on one too many toes on this one. I’ve known Jesse (the J. part), for a good many years, and is a very educated person when it comes to being a comic historian…but he does have a very obnoxious side when he gets into his “ultra-fanboy” mode. In this case, he probably wouldn’t leave the man (Frazetta) alone, and this is his way of telling Jesse to just “leave me alone!”. I mean, how many books of Frazetta does one need??? What would make Vanguard’s book of Frazetta different from the others??? Has he done more recent paintings???
    The man paid his dues, just leave him alone! Jesse, look at another “great artist” and bug the hell outta him and make a book about him (and try not getting your ass sued!).

  17. Hellen Distasio says:

    By not getting written permission from Frank and Ellie Frazetta confirms that Spurlock/Vanguard are completely in the wrong. Regarding the book itself, Frazetta deserves a professional “catalogue rasoinne” not this amateurish checklist (checkout Norman Lindsay’s Etchings as an example). I hope one day a publisher (c’mon Russ Cochran !!) can finally put together a quality product worthy of his genius.

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