In May of this year, Bleeding Cool pointed out that there may be a possible problem regarding the trademark of a bar in New York, Dead Rabbit, which published its own comic books/menus, and the then-upcoming comic book Dead Rabbit, by Gerry Duggan and John McCrea, published by Image Comics, and both named after an infamous New York gang.
The comic book was published by Image Comics in October. And the first two issues were published to much acclaim.
Yesterday, Image Comics issues a 'Mandatory Product Recall' of the comic book, first reported by Bleeding Cool. All mention of the comic was stripped from their website and from Diamond Comic Distributors. We suspected the trademark was behind this and now we have confirmation.
In September, the US government approved a trademark registration by DRT for 'Dead Rabbit' to cover "Comic books; Fiction books on a variety of topics; Non-fiction books on a variety of topics; Recipe books."
On October 22nd, DRT sent a Cease And Desist letter to both Image Comics and Forbidden Planet to stop publishing, distributing and marketing the comic.
And when Image's lawyer asked for more time to respond, they requested the planned second issue not be published. However, Dead Rabbit #2 was published on November 7th.
They state they did not get a response from Forbidden Planet, who continued to sell the comic book.
Subsequently, DRT Group, filed paperwork in New York Courts against Image Comics for publishing the title, and New York comic store Forbidden Planet for selling it.
The paperwork cites Image Comics selling into New York stores and their appearance, promoting the comic, at New York Comic Con, and Forbidden Planet operating in New York to justify why the case is being brought in New York.
Dead Rabbit is claiming two million dollars in damages from Image Comics and Forbidden Planet – each.
It is also notable that this occurred after the New York bar's latest Dead Rabbit publication, The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem: The Story of John Morrissey and the World's Best Cocktail Menu. Esquire Magazine ran a review of it, describing it as a cocktail book but also a bloody, brilliant graphic novel.
The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem tells the bloody, vindictive tale of John Morrissey, a real-life Irish gang leader in New York City who died in 1878. In this story, he's reborn in 1978 as a rabbit with fierce red eyes. New York in the '70s is a scum den, and Morrissey fits right in. He's no Ray Liotta bellowing "KAREN" as he snorts cocaine into his pasty, porous face; he's a man—no, rabbit—of values, really f-cked up values that lead to lots of murdering in the name of revenge and Irish pride. The women in his life wear tight, breast-baring clothes and wield machine guns. The men pound the shit out of each other. This rabbit is also uncomfortably jacked.
And that's just the graphic novel portion of the cocktail book. For each page of illustration there is a cocktail with a name like "Billion Dollar Man" or "Sucker Punch" that ties into the story, its recipe, and the inspiration behind it.
This is how the first issue of the Image comic book was described;
DEAD RABBIT #1
(W) Gerry Duggan (A/CA) John McCrea
Back in the '90s, DEAD RABBIT was a prolific Boston stick-up man and hoodlum, until he took down one last big score and disappeared. Nobody ever discovered the truth: he retired to be with the love of his life. Now he's back in the mask to save her, but no one-not his wife, the mafia, or the cops-is happy that he's out of retirement.
From JOHN McCREA, the artist and co-creator of MYTHIC and Hitman, and GERRY DUGGAN, the writer of ANALOG and Deadpool, comes the action-comedy-drama tale of Martin Dobbs, a.k.a. DEAD RABBIT, the man who says he's descended from one of the original gangs of New York City. Get on board with the oversized first issue of an all-new ONGOING SERIES for mature readers.In Shops: Oct 03, 2018 SRP: $3.99
It's also a much better comic book. But in the law, of course, that doesn't even come into it.
Image Comics, Gerry Duggan and John McCrea did not respond to inquiries made yesterday.