Robert Kirkman, AMC Sued Over ‘Fear the Walking Dead’

Comic-book artist says that zombie series infringes on his work “Dead Ahead”

Last Updated: June 27, 2018 @ 9:50 PM

Will the legal entanglements stemming from AMC’s “Walking Dead” franchise ever die?

As AMC and former “The Walking Dead” showrunner Frank Darabont continue their protracted legal tussle, “Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman and AMC Networks have been hit with a new lawsuit relating to the hit zombie series’ spinoff “Fear the Walking Dead.”

In the suit, filed in federal court in California on Tuesday, Melvin William Smith Jr. accuses Kirkman, AMC and others of ripping off his comic-book series “Dead Ahead” for the show.

The suit alleges that “Fear the Walking Dead” producer David Alpert, also listed as a defendant, served as Smith’s “agent representative for the purposes of consulting with motion picture and television studios on the use or exploitation of DEAD AHEAD,” and that the other defendants “knew or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of defendant Alpert’s fiduciary relationship with plaintiff.”

The suit doesn’t offer much in the way of detail about the alleged infringements, though an online summary of the series describes “a group of weary survivors” who went on a fishing trip and found themselves “trapped on a floating prison” after the continents have “been hit by a plague that has turned humanity into living corpses – leaving our castaways at sea to fend for themselves!”

AMC had no comment Wednesday for TheWrap on the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.