This post contains photocopies of the primary source documents referred to in “All Quacked Up: Steve Gerber, Marvel Comics, and Howard the Duck.” Click here for the main article.

The documents included are:

1. Check (front and back) for $285.00, dated June 1, 1973, from Marvel to Steve Gerber. This check purportedly includes payment for Gerber’s scriptwriting work for the “Man-Thing” episode in Adventure into Fear #19. The story features Howard the Duck’s first appearance. (1 page.)

2. The March 12, 1976 licensing agreement between Marvel and Steve Gerber for the “Vote Howard the Duck in ’76” pin-back button. (Image + 5 pages.)

3. The March 18, 1977 contract between Marvel and Steve Gerber for scripting the Howard the Duck newspaper strip. (3 pages.)

4. 1977 Howard the Duck redesign art prepared by Disney. (2 pages.)

5. The first page of a Howard the Duck redesign memo, dated June 30, 1977, by Marvel art director John Romita. (1 page.)

6. October 14, 1977 memo regarding the Howard the Duck redesign, by Marvel production artist Marie Severin. (1 page.)

7. The October 7, 1977 contract between Marvel and Steve Gerber, formally employing him as a comic-book scriptwriter and editor of the Howard the Duck comic-book series. (13 pages.)

8. The March 21, 1978 telegram from Steve Gerber’s attorney Joseph D. Peckerman to Marvel president James Galton. The telegram demands written notice of Gerber’s termination as scriptwriter of the Howard the Duck newspaper strip. (2 pages.)

9. The April 5, 1978 letter from Steve Gerber to Marvel president James Galton regarding the termination of Gerber’s contract for writing the Howard the Duck newspaper strip. (2 pages.)

10. The May 2, 1978 letter from Marvel publisher Stan Lee to Steve Gerber terminating Gerber’s employment at Marvel. (1 page.)

11. Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter’s May 10, 1978 cover letter for the work-made-for-hire contract Marvel issued to its freelance creator pool. (1 page.)

12. Marvel’s 1978 work-made-for-hire contract. (1 page.)

13. The June 30, 1980 cease-and-desist letter to Marvel from Steve Gerber’s attorney Henry W. Holmes, Jr. regarding the licensing of Howard the Duck. (2 pages.)

14. Court Docket, Stephen Gerber v. Cadence Industries Corp., et al., Case No. 80-3840, U. S. District Court, Central District of California. (8 pages.)

15. The August 29, 1980 complaint filed in U. S. District Court, Central District of California, by attorney Henry W. Holmes, Jr. on behalf of Steve Gerber against the Cadence Industries Corporation [Marvel Comics’ parent company], Marvel Productions, Inc., Stan Lee, Selluloid Productions, Inc., Peter Shanaberg, Morrie Eiseman, and Peter Coffrin. (25 pages.)

16. The defendants’ attorney Donald S. Engel’s November 12, 1980 Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum of Points. (28 pages.)

17. Steve Gerber’s December 24, 1980 declaration in response to the November 12, 1980 Motion to Dismiss. (20 pages.)

18. Steve Gerber’s attorney Henry W. Holmes, Jr.’s January 7, 1981 reply to the November 12, 1980 Motion to Dismiss. (9 pages.)

19. The defendants’ official February 2, 1981 answer to Steve Gerber’s lawsuit complaint, written by attorney Donald S. Engel. (13 pages.)

20. The October 27, 1981 minutes order directing the defendants to pay $2,150.00 in attorney’s fees to Steve Gerber’s lawyers. (2 pages.)

21. The December 15, 1981 minutes order directing Steve Gerber to pay $1,200.00 in attorney’s fees to the defendants’ lawyers. (1 page.)

22. Judge David Kenyon’s May 14, 1982 order dismissing the third and fourth of the six claims for relief made by Steve Gerber in his lawsuit complaint. (3 pages.)

23. The November 8, 1982 case dismissal filing in Gerber v. Cadence Industries, et al., and Judge David Kenyon’s accompanying dismissal order. (4 pages.)

24. The April 30, 1985 Marvel letter accepting a submitted Steve Gerber Howard the Duck script. The letter was sent by Michael Hobson, Marvel Vice-President in Charge of Publishing, to Gerber’s attorney Henry W. Holmes, Jr. (2 pages.)

1. Check (front and back) for $285.00, dated June 1, 1973, from Marvel to Steve Gerber. This check purportedly includes payment for Gerber’s scriptwriting work for the “Man-Thing” episode in Adventure into Fear #19. The story features Howard the Duck’s first appearance. Note the rights acknowledgement legend on the back of the check.

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2. The March 12, 1976 licensing agreement between Marvel and Steve Gerber for the “Vote Howard the Duck in ’76” pin-back button. The button artwork is by Bernie Wrightson. The signatory on Marvel’s behalf is Marvel president James Galton. (5 pages.)

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3. The March 18, 1977 contract between Marvel and Steve Gerber for scripting the Howard the Duck newspaper strip. The signatory on Marvel’s behalf is company president James Galton.

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4. 1977 Howard the Duck redesign art. Disney apparently regarded the appearance of Howard the Duck as a potential infringement of their trademarks for Donald Duck and other duck characters. Marvel agreed to modify the visual depiction of Howard to placate them. Disney’s art department produced these model sheets to illustrate the approved changes.

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Model Sheet 2
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5. The first page of a Howard the Duck redesign memo, dated June 30, 1977, by Marvel art director John Romita.
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6. An October 14, 1977 memo regarding the Howard the Duck redesign, by Marvel production artist Marie Severin.

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7. The October 7, 1977 contract between Marvel and Steve Gerber, formally employing him as a comic-book scriptwriter and editor of the Howard the Duck comic-book series. The signatory on Marvel’s behalf is company president James Galton.

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Note: The photocopy for page 3 cuts off the text at the bottom of the page. The omitted text is unknown.

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Note: The photocopy for page 8 cuts off the text near the bottom of the page. Based on other Marvel contracts of the time, the omitted portion, at least in part, reads “throughout the world and shall be Marvel’s property for the period of the copyright and any renewals thereof.”

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8. The March 21, 1978 telegram from Steve Gerber’s attorney Joseph D. Peckerman to Marvel president James Galton demanding written notice of Gerber’s termination as scriptwriter of the Howard the Duck newspaper strip.

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9. The April 5, 1978 letter from Steve Gerber to Marvel president James Galton regarding the termination of Gerber’s contract for writing the Howard the Duck newspaper strip. Galton’s March 27, 1978 letter is unavailable.

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10. The May 2, 1978 letter from Marvel publisher Stan Lee to Steve Gerber terminating Gerber’s employment at Marvel.

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11. Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter’s May 10, 1978 cover letter for the work-made-for-hire contract Marvel issued to its freelance creator pool. The contract was in response to the 1976 Copyright Act, which went into effect on January 1, 1978.

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12. Marvel’s 1978 work-made-for-hire agreement.

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13. The June 30, 1980 cease-and-desist letter to Marvel from Steve Gerber’s attorney Henry W. Holmes, Jr. regarding the licensing of Howard the Duck. The letter specifically concerns Marvel’s dealings with Selluloid Productions, Inc., the producer of the Howard the Duck syndicated radio serial featuring Jim Belushi. (2 pages.)

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14. Court Docket, Stephen Gerber v. Cadence Industries Corp., et al., Case No. 80-3840, U. S. District Court, Central District of California.

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15. The August 29, 1980 complaint filed in U. S. District Court, Central District of California, by attorney Henry W. Holmes, Jr. on behalf of Steve Gerber against the Cadence Industries Corporation [Marvel Comics’ parent company], Marvel Productions, Inc., Stan Lee, Selluloid Productions, Inc., Peter Shanaberg, Morrie Eiseman, and Peter Coffrin. This is the formal complaint in Gerber’s lawsuit over ownership of Howard the Duck. It is filing #1 on the court docket.

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16. The November 12, 1980 Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum of Points This motion was filed by attorney Donald Engel in an unsuccessful effort to dismiss Steve Gerber’s lawsuit over ownership of Howard the Duck on jurisdictional grounds. This is filing #14 on the court docket.

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17. Steve Gerber’s December 24, 1980 declaration in response to the November 12, 1980 Motion to Dismiss. This is filing #24 on the court docket.

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18. Steve Gerber’s attorney Henry W. Holmes, Jr.’s January 7, 1981 reply to the November 12, 1980 Motion to Dismiss. This is filing #27 on the court docket. On January 12, 1981, Judge David Kenyon ruled against the dismissal motion and affirmed that the federal courts had jurisdiction in the suit.

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19. The defendants’ official February 2, 1981 answer to Steve Gerber’s lawsuit complaint, written by attorney Donald S. Engel. This is filing #31 on the court docket.

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19. The October 27, 1981 minutes order directing the defendants to pay $2,150.00 in attorney’s fees to Steve Gerber’s lawyers. The purpose was to compensate Gerber’s attorneys for fees incurred by unnecessary complications in their efforts to depose Marvel president James Galton and Marvel Executive Vice-President for Business Affairs and Licensing Alice Donenfeld. This is filing #87 on the court docket.

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21. The December 15, 1981 minutes order directing Steve Gerber to pay $1,200.00 in attorney’s fees to the defendants’ lawyers. The purpose was to compensate the defendants’ attorneys for fees incurred by Gerber’s failure to appear for a scheduled deposition on two separate occasions. This is filing #101 on the court docket.

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22. Judge David Kenyon’s May 14, 1982 order dismissing the third and fourth of the six claims for relief made by Steve Gerber in his lawsuit complaint. This is filing #126 on the court docket.

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23. The November 8, 1982 case dismissal filing in Gerber v. Cadence Industries, et al., and Judge David Kenyon’s accompanying dismissal order. This is filing #130 on the court docket. Through his attorney Henry Holmes, Gerber acknowledged in an included September 24, 1982 statement that all work he did for Marvel with regard to Howard the Duck was done on a work-made-for-hire basis. He further acknowledged that Cadence Industries, Marvel’s corporate parent, owned full title to all intellectual property rights related to the character. With these acknowledgements, the issues in the lawsuit were declared resolved by all parties. This agreement was apparently made in tandem with a “consulting agreement” (see Michael Hobson letter below) that was not filed with the court. Gerber subsequently alleged the “consulting agreement” contained a confidentiality clause that prohibited his discussing its contents.

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24. The April 30, 1985 Marvel letter accepting a submitted Steve Gerber Howard the Duck script. The letter was sent by Michael Hobson, Marvel Vice-President in Charge of Publishing, to Gerber’s attorney Henry W. Holmes, Jr. Hobson, Marvel’s de facto publisher, sent this letter along with the edited Gerber script. Gerber withdrew the script rather than accept the edits. The letter also includes references to the terms of Gerber and Marvel’s September 24, 1982 “consulting agreement.”

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