Robot 6

Comic creator sues for $60 million over Heroes carnival storyline

From "Jazan Wild's Carnival of Souls"

From "Jazan Wild's Carnival of Souls"

Just a day before NBC announced the cancellation of Heroes, a comic creator sued the network and Tim Kring’s Tailwind Productions, claiming they ripped off the “carnival of lost souls and outcasts” used in the show’s fourth season.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles federal court, Jazan Wild (aka Jason Barnes) claims the traveling carnival that menaced the final season of the NBC drama is “virtually identical” to the one depicted in his 2005-2006 comic series Jazan Wild’s Carnival of Souls.

“The settings and the storylines are virtually the same,” the complaint states. “The main character in both stories leads a carnival of lost souls and outcasts. This dark character seeks to make his carnival more powerful by recruiting new members with special abilities. The appearance of some of the characters is also virtually identical to those in the plaintiff’s books. [...] Even the dialogue is similar. Indeed, some of the scenes in Heroes appear as if plaintiff’s books were used as storyboards by the defendants.”

The lawsuit cites specific examples of alleged similarities, including the appearance at the carnival of a young boy who receives a life-changing prophecy and later develops special abilities, a house-of-mirrors scene, dreadlocked “Jamaican Voodoo witchdoctors,” and the climactic destruction of the carnival in New York City. However, Barnes asserts the defendants changed the Season 4 finale “in an attempt to minimalize the similarity.”

Barnes wants to prevent NBC from rebroadcasting the season, which concluded in February, and seeks $60 million in compensatory and punitive damages for copyright infringement, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

Since debuting in 2006, Heroes has been criticized on several occasions for relying heavily on story elements similar to those in comics like The Uncanny X-Men and Watchmen.

In 2007, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against NBC and Kring by artists Clifton Mallery and Amnau Karam Eele, who claimed the idea for the character of Isaac Mendez — an artist who can paint the future — was stolen from a short story, painting and short film they produced. New York District Judge Denise Cote called the plaintiffs’ claims “absurd,” and ruled that, “Nearly every instance of alleged similarities between Heroes and the plaintiffs’ work relates to unprotectable ideas rather than protectable expression, and viewed more broadly, the ‘total concept and feel’ of these works is profoundly different.” Mallery and Eele were ordered to pay more than $99,000 in attorneys fees for the defendants.

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Comments

15 Comments

He’s claiming the most cliched elements of the carnival storyline as IP? I don’t see this going well.

For a minute I thought they were referring to Chaos Comics’ old ICP Carnival of Carnage. Or was it Images’ Kiss Psycho Circus. Or was it… Well, you get the idea.

Chris Schillig

May 17, 2010 at 8:48 am

Ray Bradbury (“Something Wicked This Way Comes”) and Stan Lee (the Circus of Crime) had something to say about menacing circuses in pop culture long before Jazan Wild.

One hacky cliche-ridden piece of crap using similar elements as another does not consititute plagiarism. This too will be summarily dismissed.

David Hackett

May 17, 2010 at 9:04 am

“Barnes wants to prevent NBC from rebroadcasting the season…”

Umm, I don’t think you need to worry too much about that.

I love how “Jazan Wild” steals the title of a movie and then sues Heroes for stealing his cliched story.

…….called the plaintiffs’ claims “absurd,”…… I think this is really the best way to put it.
People have similar ideas all the time. In fact one or more persons on the other side of the world probably just had the exact same Idea as you, at the exact same time you did. And the race is on eh?
Besides carnivals have been a well mined area of comic book lore since the 60′s. I really don’t think that this will go very far, and if it does, God help Jason Barnes’ bank account. The last guys ended up paying an awful lot of money for essentially nothing.

“If we learn nothing from the mistakes of the past, we are doomed to repeat them.” –

The clown in the picture looks a lot like Bozo. Wonder if Bozo’s estate would be interested in a lawsuit.

Wasn’t Hulk hiding out at a circus or something?

Sorry, so he’s trying to sue them for what? Hmm. Isn’t the whole cliché of a carnival the fact that they’re all supposed to be outcasts and freaks? He’s probably going to sue all the carnivals in the world because they’re illegally acting out his comic.

He really needs to get a grip. Move on. If you’re that good that a tv show stole your idea, why don’t you write a tv show?

@Mark
“f you’re that good that a tv show stole your idea, why don’t you write a tv show?”

Well, since Heroes is being cancelled, I guess “stealing” from the guy wasn’t a good idea at all. Heroes should counter sue that his terrible carnival story caused the show to fail.

What a piece of s***. Stupid Jazan Wild. Mofo. He just wants the money. Heroes didn’t copy him! They already have powers and stuff, so just because they go to bloody carnivals doesn’t mean that NBC stole his ideas?! Prick.

I’m not sticking up for NBC though, it’s THEIR damn fauld that Heroes is cancelled!!!

Soo stupid.

P.S Hayden Panettiere is awesome :)

@Bob

I read the whole lawsuit at wild’s site and he has every right to stand up for himself. It surprising how many parts of the story are the same in addition to the pictures, which only backup the story part that were taken. What is also very surprising is how many people here seem to want to call names and put someone down for standing up against an apparent case of plagiarism . The real question is why are there so many story parts and similar images found in Heroes? Ask that Bob and maybe read the lawsuit. Then you won’t , as you put it, sound like such a, and I quote, “Stupid piece of s***. ”

http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/05/17/Heroes.pdf

P.S Hayden Panettiere is awesome

@Lauren

I would love to get more legal documents for Heroes.. I am trying to find a way to bring them back.. there has to be something we can do. some loophole. I would be interested in helping you find it :) and finding out who owns what rights to it. I know heroes is cancelled. but it can’t be over that easily. Me and my fellow Heroes supporters also read it.. his claim was correct for the most part.. but the rest of it.. the characters the other seasons etc. that was legit. there must be a way to put heroes on the air while apeasing both parties.. somehow. Heroes fans have boycotted NBC it worked.. considering star trek.. etc. They have spammed them, harrassed them, all for what.. they could just as easily submit a petition to Jazan Wild (aka Jason Barnes) and harass him..with their please save our world..
I love heroes.. I love writing it, talking about it.. remembering it.. and never grow tierd or board of the discussion.

Maybe if NBC had asked us for some help before.. this wouldn’t have happend.
and Hayden is awsome.. so are many others.

~Heroes United
~CC

Love the show!!.. I would save it yesterday if i could!!.. Big ups to Corrina Clark,Mandi Willett,Mel Bice and all the Heroes fans!!..

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