Official Press Release
Independent Comic Book Publisher Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
It was a day like any other. Chris Dickens, the writer and co-creator of the comic book Vigilante Project, got a message. He recalls, “My friend Brian contacted me on Facebook congratulating me on my newfound success, but I had no idea what he was talking about.” Clicking a link Chris was taken to a website where he discovered a live-action web series similarly titled Vigilante Diaries.
Billed as, “a new, graphic novel-inspired action comedy series” Vigilante Diaries stars Jason Mewes who also serves as an executive producer. Chris said, “Brian saw that it was ‘inspired by a graphic novel’ and he assumed that it was mine. After I checked out the pictures, I knew why.” Mewes, famous for playing the character “Jay” in a number of films (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks, and Dogma) has teamed up with upstart video website Chill.com to bring Vigilante Diaries to the masses.
Chris immediately contacted his business partner and Vigilante Project co-creator Phil Morgenthaler. Together they reached out to intellectual property and entertainment law firm One LLP, where they teamed up with attorney Peter Afrasiabi. On Wednesday, One LLP filed a complaint detailing copyright and trademark infringement by Mewes, Vigilante Diaries writer Paul Sloan, and their associates. “We had dreamed of one day seeing Vigilante Project make the transition to live action” Phil said, “but this clearly wasn’t what he had in mind.”
Both Project and Diaries have black and red logos featuring bold and distressed red letters. Both Project and Diaries feature a young, African American vigilante character that wears a hooded sweatshirt and a skull mask. Both properties boast dark, reality based stories and while Vigilante Project uses the line, “No capes, no cowl, no web… no problem”, Vigilante Diaries’ IMDB page boasts, “No capes and masks and superpowers.” But the similarities don’t end there.
One LLP has yet to hear back from Chill.com, but both Vigilante Project and Vigilante Diaries are headed to Comic Con International in San Diego to promote their respective work. “We’ve been at this since 2009 and we’re making moves to take Vigilante Project to the next level” Chris Dickens said. “We can’t have consumers thinking that we’re the same property or that they came first. This lawsuit should clear things up.”