Fight Over Comic Character Emily Strange Lands in Court


     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Cosmic Debris Etc. has sued two children's book authors, claiming its "Emily the Strange" character does not infringe on Marjorie Sharmat's and Marc Simont's "Nate the Great" copyrights. Cosmic Debris acknowledges that both characters are "Goth Girls," but says such characters abound in popular fiction.
     Cosmic Debris cities Morticia and Wednesday from "The Addams Family," Lydia from "Beetlejuice" and Vampira of "The Vampira Show."
     Emily the Strange is used to promote skateboards, T-shirts, comic books and other merchandise. Cosmic Debris claims it created the character in 1991.
     Though Sharmat and Simont claim Emily was inspired by their "Rosamond" character, Cosmic Debris denies it. "Emily" has dark bangs and pale skin and wears a black dress, but "Rosamond" is "rosy cheeked and smiling," and wears dresses of varying color. The only similarity seems to be that the two are often accompanied by cats, the complaint states.
     Cosmic Debris asks that the defendants be restrained from recovering damages regarding Emily, and that they be prohibited from claiming that Emily infringes on their work. The plaintiff is represented by Mark Lee with Manatt, Phelps and Phillips.