Comic book writer and artist Frank Miller is suing the fortune of his widow and comic book magazine founder for attempting to sell two pieces of promotional art he created at auction. Appearing on the cover of David Anthony Kraft’s magazine Comics His Interview in the 1980s, the art includes an early portrayal of Batman and a female Robin from his series Dark His Knight in 1986, His Returns. It can become a valuable collection.
The lawsuit seeks the return of Batman artwork used for the cover of Comics Interview No. 31 in 1986, as well as art depicting the title character from Miller’s 1983 Ronin series. Sent both to Craft for use in. Ronin’s artwork was used as the cover for the 1983 comics Interview with him No. 2. In court documents, Miller claimed that he and Kraft agreed that they were being loaned, citing “customs and customs of trade at the time.” Repeated requests for returns.
But Kraft’s widow, Jennifer Bush Kraft, disagreed with Miller’s allegations. “My husband kept all correspondence,” she said in a telephone interview. To put it bluntly, I don’t know if you can appreciate the level of detail.He bound all these correspondences alphabetically by year, by name, by company.”
When asked about demanding the return of the work by 2022, she said she searched her husband’s files and found no such request.
Siren Thomas, CEO of Frank Miller Inc., said in an email that Miller does not comment on ongoing legal matters. The lawsuit First reported by Law360was filed Monday in the Gainesville Division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Bushcraft said he believed Miller gifted the art to Kraft. (Another promotional piece by Miller for the comic was used by Kraft in the 1990s and returned, he said in the lawsuit.)
“He wouldn’t have ruined a relationship with someone I might work with in the future,” she continued. “He would never have ruined” the relationship. Art was created for promotional purposes, and it was common practice for craft to hold such types of works.
The controversy began in the spring, and in May Miller’s lawyers sent him a cease and desist letter after he learned of the potential sale of the work. comic connectAt an online auction house that specializes in comics and pop culture memorabilia, he said he gave them to Kraft as a loan and expected them to come back after a period of time.
A lawyer representing Metropolis Collectibles, a sister company of Comic Connect, wrote: In hopes that publishers like Mr. Kraft will use the artwork in their publications, thereby providing publicity and exposure to the artist and his work. is only recent, he writes that decades later, under the expiration of the statute of limitations and other theories, his request may be premature.
However, Miller wrote in court filings that he and his publisher had sought the return of the work, both directly and indirectly, since the 1980s and believed the work was lost. Miller seeks damages “in excess of $75,000, as determined by the court,” for the value of the work.
Selling artwork can be lucrative. In June, the cover of the first issue of The Dark Knight Returns was auctioned for his $2.4 million. In 2011, in his one page in the third issue of the series, an aging Batman and Carrie Kelly (then new female Robin) were flying over the Gotham City skyline. Sold for $448,125.
“I can’t afford to go to court, and I can’t afford to go to court,” Bushcraft said. “I’m just one person. I’m not Frank Miller. I don’t have a company.”
Neither Miller nor Bushcraft currently own the art. Bush-Kraft was listed on Comic Connect ahead of its scheduled auction in June. (Both works were withdrawn before the auction began.)
Comic Connect and Metropolis Collectibles CEO Steven Fischler said, “We will let the courts decide who owns the work. In the meantime, we will retain ownership. I will.”