Friday, June 5, 2009
So I just found out that Cosmic Debris Etc., owner of the all too familiar Emily Strange comic character of fashion and comic books (who will soon get her own series of novels from HarperCollins, and has a movie deal, a line of hair products, themed guitars, and even a limited-edition soft drink in the works) will be suing writer and illustrator Marjorie Sharmat and Marc Simont who wrote and illustrated one of my favorite childhood books Nate the Great. Cosmic Debris Etc. claims that Emily Strange does not in anyway infringe or is similar to Rosamond.
As you can see the character itself is almost an exact copy of the other (less desperately nonconformist) character, Rosamond, from the children’s book series “Nate the Great”. Emily the Strange, according to the wikipedia page, was “created” in 1991 to promote the Cosmic Debris clothing line. The Nate the Great series was first published in 1978 and continue on into the 80’s.
"Emily the Strange is a young, slim girl with long, straight, black hair and wears a short black dress. She has four cats (named Mystery, Miles, Sabbath, and Nee-Chee).
Rosamond (who predates Emily by a decade) is a young, slim girl with long, straight, black hair and wears a short dress. She has four cats (named Super Hex, Big Hex, Plain Hex, and Little Hex).
Emily’s cats now have distinguishing features, but originally they differed only in their sizes (exactly like Rosamond’s cats)."
This is incredibly disturbing to me. I hate the idea that someone could make money off of someone else's idea. But the fact that Cosmic is suing the owners of Nate the Great, saying that Emily is it's own original creation and that Marjorie Sharmat and Marc Simont have no right to sue for damages... it's just maddening.