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Girl Trouble at Archie
DeCarlo and Archie Comics Quarrel over Josie and the Pussycats
By Michael Dean
Posted March 18th, 2000

As Josie and the Pussycats prepares to go into development as a feature film, ownership of the property has become a point of contention between Archie Comics and 80-year-old longtime Archie artist Dan DeCarlo.

A source at Archie, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Journal that DeCarlo, who designed the original characters, was offered a check for $35,000 to sign away his rights to the property and refused. DeCarlo confirmed that he was involved in a dispute with Archie over ownership rights to the characters and that negotiations were in progress between his attorney and Archie‘s attorneys. Archie Publisher Michael Silberkleit did not respond to requests for comment. DeCarlo‘s attorney Whitney Seymour declined to go into detail, saying, “I‘m not at liberty to discuss Mr. DeCarlo‘s private negotiations.”

No injunction has been filed in court, but negotiations have been under way for at least three months. During that time, DeCarlo, whose style has been closely associated with the Archie characters for 40 years, has continued to draw new material for the comics. “I‘m still working,” DeCarlo told the Journal. “So far, they continue to give me all the work I want.”

Asked if the dispute over rights to the characters has created a rift between him and his longtime employer, DeCarlo said, “They‘re not speaking to me except to give me assignments.”

At stake is a big-screen, live-action film to star Rachel Leigh Cook (She‘s All That, Dawson‘s Creek) as Josie. The film is in development at Universal with the directing team of Harry Elfront and Deborah Kaplan, the pair who directed recent release Can‘t Hardly Wait.

(See TCJ #221 for a full report.)

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