When it rains, it pours.Â First DC had printing issues with All-Star Batman and Robn, and now Devil’s Due Publishing has issues with two upcoming issues of Hack/Slash featuring Herbert West: Re-Animator.Â The company sent a press release, but to be honest, I’ve read it a couple of times and it still doesn’t make sense.Â It appears Brian Yuzna, the producer and owner of the Re-Animator film franchise, has no problem with what DDP is doing, but some new company called Re-Animator LLC claims it has the rights to the Re-Animator logo and is putting the pressure on Devil’s Due to not release the two issues.
DDP says they aren’t going to distribute the two issues through Diamond Comic Distributors, but instead will solicate the issues themselves, which pretty much means it will be next to impossible to find the issues anywhere but at the online store.
Check the complete press release after the jump.
Official Press Release
Chicago, IL. (October 5, 2008) â€” In a show of support for its top-selling creator-owned title, Devilâ€™s Due Publishing will distribute the previously solicited Hack/Slash issues 16 and 17 directly, rather than through Diamond Comic Distributors. The decision follows Diamondâ€™s receipt of a Cease and Desist letter regarding the issues from an unknown, recently registered company, Re-Animator, LLC, in connection with Dynamite Entertainmentâ€™s Nick Barrucci. Hack/Slash #15 will be available for re-order as well.
A property dispute has arisen between Brian Yuzna (the producer and owner of the Re-Animator film franchise for over twenty years) and a recently registered company, Re-Animator LLC over the rights to the Re-Animator logo in various merchandise categories, which appears in the current Hack/Slash story arc, â€œCassie & Vlad Meet the Re-Animator.â€
“Devil’s Due have done a fantastic job of keeping the spirit of the Re-Animator films alive in the Hack/Slash cross-over,â€ says Yuzna â€œIt has been a pleasure to collaborate with such a talented crew. And I am proud to be working with them after the admirable stand they have taken in the face of economic coercion. This company exemplifies the independent spirit of the genre film and comics community. It may seem crazy to Re-Animator fans to think that a company that had nothing to do with the classic films could actually claim ownership of the “Re-Animator” brand and threaten to stop anyone else from creating comics, films or merchandise with the word ‘reanimator’ or ‘re-animator’ in it- even the actual producer of the films that created the brandâ€”but in this wacky world that is exactly what has happened.â€
The decision to distribute the issues outside of Diamond was not easily made. â€œWe deliberated internally long and hard,â€ says DDP President Josh Blaylock, â€œBut this was in good conscience not something I felt we could roll over and just accept. Iâ€™ve reviewed the facts, spoken to copyright, corporate and entertainment attorneys, and resolved that this, in my own personal opinion, is a ridiculous bully tactic that only hurts Tim [Seeley] and all of the creators who work so hard to make Hack/Slash the great book that it is and abuses the Diamond policy of staying out of legal issues.â€
â€œUnfortunately, a dispute over the publishing rights in regards to the Re-Animator characters has arisen between DDP and Re-Animator LLC, and we have been advised by Diamondâ€™s attorneyâ€™s to not distribute issues #16 and #17 of the series Hack/Slash, plus process any additional reorders for #15 as well. It is our understanding that DDP will be self distributing the issues previously mentioned, and beginning with Hack/Slack #18, will once again be distributed by Diamond,â€ said Bill Schanes, Vice President of Purchasing for Diamond.
The situation comes during a banner year for Hack/Slash, which has included a sell-out of the seriesâ€™ first Omnibus collection, the addition of screenwriter Justin Marks to the Hack/Slash film in development at Rogue pictures with director Todd Lincoln, and a nomination in the category of â€œBest Comic Bookâ€ for the 2008 Spike TV Scream Awards. Fans can still vote for Hack/Slash on Spike TVâ€™s website:
â€œIt’s been a really great year for Hack/Slash with the SG Annual, the sold out Omnibus, a Spike TV Scream Awards nomination, and gaining lots of new readers and such,â€ said writer and creator Tim Seeley. â€œI just want to do the right thing and with your support and understanding, we’ll do everything in our power to get this book out there and things will be back to normal in no time. Thank you, readers and retailers!â€
To order Hack/Slash, retailers should visit DevilsDue.net where two levels of discounts are available ranging from 50-60% off the cover price. These offers will only apply to Hack/Slash #â€™s 15-17 for a limited time. Hack/Slash orders can be placed through the DDP Store by going to: http://tinyurl.com/hackslash
About Devil’s Due Publishing:
Proliferators of comic culture, DDP is one of the largest and most established comic book publishers in North America, carrying a diverse line-up of original, creator-owned and licensed properties. With offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, DDP has many projects in development for film and television with major studios and production arms including 20th Century Fox, ABC Family, Rogue Pictures, DiVide Pictures and Kevin Spaceyâ€™s Triggerstreet Productions. DDP’s titles include Drafted, Lost Squad, Sheena, Dungeons & Dragons, DemonWars, Voltron, Rest, Serpo and the cult-favorite Hack/Slash. The company recently launched a line of cutting edge designer toys and lifestyle accessories under the imprint DDPOP.