Marvel Comics Chief Creative Officer (CCO) Joe Quesada and Publisher Dan Buckley spoke to Comic Book Resources. They were wanted to address the controversy concerning Ghost Rider creator Gary Friedrich. He tried suing Marvel for a percentage of the money made from the first Ghost Rider movie. The movie grossed over $225 million. Of that, Friedrich didn’t receive a penny. Marvel counter-sued Friedrich for selling unauthorized, unlicensed Ghost Rider prints at comic book conventions. It’s how Friedrich has been making a living. Thanks to this heartless counter-suit, Friedrich now owes Marvel $17,000. It’s money he doesn’t have.
Joe Quesada said the following:
As many people in the industry know, I’ve been deeply involved with the Hero Initiative since its inception. It’s a cause that is very near and dear to my heart and the only organization of its kind that I’m involved with. Regardless of my role as CCO, I have never nor would I ever stand in the way of someone receiving much-needed help, and I don’t get involved with Hero’s decisions on how to help. As a matter of fact, when all of this Ghost Rider stuff broke, I immediately checked with Hero’s President, Jim McLauchlin, to see if Gary was in need of assistance, and Jim informed me that up until that point Gary had not applied for any. My understanding is that Hero has since been in touch.
What is the Hero Initiative?
Hero Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping comic book creators in need. It’s a wonderful organization doing outstanding work. Joe Quesada, CCO and the public face of Marvel Comics, is also on the board of Hero Initiative. According to the interview, before Marvel counter-sued Gary Friedrich, he needed no assistance from Hero Initiative. Since the lawsuit, he’s now in financial need and is evidently receiving financial assistance from Hero Initiative.
Joe Quesada is playing both sides here. On one hand, he’s the public persona of the cooperation causing financial ruin to an elderly comic book creator. On the other hand, he’s also on the board of the Hero Initiative. It’s an organization dedicated to helping comic book creators in financial need.
The fact that Joe Quesada is on the board of Hero Initiative and is also working on the behalf of Marvel/Disney to quash the negative publicity caused by their treatment of an elderly comic book creator, seems ridiculous.
Inappropriate and ridiculous.