A Calfornia cartoonist is suing Sponge Bob creator Stephen Hillemberger and Nickelodeon claiming the underwater toon icon was a rip-off of his own “Bob Spongee”:
Cartoonist Troy Walker created a comic strip in 1991 about a sponge with a personality.
Bob Spongee had eyes, legs and arms. He lived on Apple Street with his wife, Linda, and their daughter, Bubbles.
Walker, of Fairfield, Calif., then produced 1,000 dolls: yellow sponges with a “drawn-on” face that he sold as collectibles in flea markets and through the mail.
In 2002, he learned about Nickelodeon’s buck-toothed animated character, “SpongeBob SquarePants,” who lives underwater in the fictitious city of Bikini Bottom.
“They took all of it,” Walker said this week. “I sold the Bob Spongees all throughout Northern California. It obviously fell into the hands of one of the producers of the show. It’s a clear pattern of duplication.”
Walker is suing for a mere $1.6 BILLION in damages.
Nickelodeon attorneys say the claim is “without merit.”