Welcome fellow Broken’ers! It’s your friendly big Jake writing. On Sunday April 28, I came across an act of plagiarism and copyright infringement of the highest order with the comic called The Legend of El Lobo. The Lobo comic had taken several major plotline points from Aztec of the City.
The major scene that had been completely lifted was where the hero of the comic learns that his comic hero is coming to life and detectives question him about his involvement with the Aztec Warrior’s appearance.
Fernando Balderas Rodriguez had been working on creating his comic book since the early 1990s. Rodriguez and his brother created the first volume in 1993. He created a second volume that was picked up by Diamond Comics Distribution, which gave Aztec of the City national distribution and Rodriguez madeappearances at local cons in the California area.
Furthermore, Aztec of the City was the first Mexican-American comic book hero in California when it made its debut on May 5, 1993. (Cinco de Mayo). Rodriguez has been featured in Frederick Luis Aldama’s book, Your Brain on Latino Comics. Aztec of the City has a good healthy 20 year history in the marketplace and has had a major impact in the industry.
Rodriguez has even shared that in 1994 he was approached by DC Comics about their own upcoming Aztek comic series to assure there wasn’t going to be any type of copyright infringement. Once Rodriguez examined the character, he saw that there were no similarities with the two projects and gave his blessing for DC to proceed.
On the other hand, Rodriguez has stated that both Richard Soto and Bruce Logan are in full copyright infringement with Legend of El Lobo whose entire premise has been lifted.
Rodriguez also has his story registered with the WGA since June 13, 2010 which is based exactly off of his Aztec of the City comic book series that has been copyrighted since 1993.
Trying to contact the Legend of El Lobo creators has been a difficult task for Rodriguez. He has made several attempts to contact them and send them cease and desist orders to stop their attempts to continue with their project, which is financially damaging to Rodriguez’s property Aztec of the City. He posted and emailed them several times through their social media outlets because they have no other contact information available.
The Lobo creators finally did get in contact with me, and they were claiming that Rodriguez was defaming their names and being libelous with his accusations, which was why they were not going to engage in conversation with Rodriguez. When I tried to reason with the Lobo creators, they were acting rather fast and loose, tap dancing around the issues, and asking me what was Rodriguez’s issue with their property to begin with, and what the similarities were. Seeing as it has been clearly stated how the premise was exactly the same, it seemed like they were back peddling, and they claimed that they had trademarks and copyrights to their story that went further than Rodriguez’s own copyrights. When asked to produce said copyrights and information, they did not produce such documents to prove they were within their rights. In addition, their refusal to give any further information for Mr. Rodriguez to get in contact with the proper claims person to engage in conversation leads one to wonder what sort of game they are playing.
I don’t really know what they are trying to do here since they have been rather curt and sparse on their conversations and are very quick to claim that they have only received threatening posts and emails from Rodriguez. That doesn’t answer any questions. I would love if they gave me an interview as well, so I could talk with them more freely than these hit and run tactics they are using right now.
Here is a cover to Aztec of the City:
Here is a cover to the Legend of El Lobo:
Do you see how the Lobo cover is almost a direct rip off? Makes one wonder, right?
What do you think?
Please come back as I will be directly interviewing Fernando Balderas Rodriguez in the next few days.
About the writer:
Jake Estrada has been publishing his own comics since 2005. His first comic, Bocas, centered on a Hispanic character, and there are six books in that series. His other books include Estrada Media Serials 1, Estrada Media Serials 2, Bridgeton Nights, You Cannot Silence Me: The Unauthorized Pedro Albizu Campos Story, Tainos, Motorist vs. Bocas 1, Motorist vs. Bocas 2, The Human Virus, and Screw Phillips. Other books are currently in the production stage and are scheduled to be released in 2013.