HOUSTON – This could be the most colorful lawsuit in legal history.
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A Houston comic book store is suing its neighbor for negligence and mischief. The 24-page legal document filed by the owners of the Third Planet Sci-Fi Superstore contains an 18-page comic book-style story illustrating his complaints against the Crowne Plaza River Oaks Hotel and its parent companies, the Houston Chronicle reported .
According to the lawsuit, guests of the hotel threw various heavy objects on the roof of the store, including fire extinguishers, KTRK reported. The perpetrators threw the items from the hotel’s balconies, the lawsuit said. Other missiles allegedly thrown on the roof include concrete blocks, luggage racks and ceramic mugs, attorney Cris Feldman told the Chronicle.
Feldman said the worst offense occurred in March 2019 when hotel guests allegedly threw 16 fire extinguishers that pierced Third Planet’s roof. This allowed rainwater to seep into the store, the Chronicle reported.
“They’re on the balconies and it’s like a target, they’re trying to hit a point and destroy fire extinguishers,” said TJ Johnson, owner of Third Planet, who opened their business 45 years ago and has been in the same location since 1988, towards KTRK. “We damaged a lot of goods.”
The hotel’s lawyers said the property and its San Diego-based owners are not liable for the actions of its guests, the Chronicle reported. Crowne Plaza argued that it was criminal nonsense, not neglect of the hotel.
To illustrate the store’s problems with the hotel, Feldman reached out to Bad Cog Studios to paint a picture of the ordeal rather than just filing a boring legal case. Feldman said it could be the first time a full comic has been filed along with a lawsuit, the Chronicle reported.
Bad Cog Studios artist Michael Charles is also a Third Planet client. He also has some of his own comics for sale in the store, the newspaper reported.
“I was really intrigued by it because the first thing I did was get a lawyer to call me to do a creative project,” Charles told the Chronicle. “When he approached I brought it to the boys and they said, ‘Yeah, we can do that. We have never done anything like this before, but yes, we will, we will not shy away from a challenge. ‘”
The comic panels include illustrations of fire hydrants falling through the air, hitting the roof of Third Planet and going up in flames, KTRK reported.
We see an illustration of fire hydrants falling through the air. The fire hydrants hit the roof, an illustration shows flames. Another picture shows Johnson holding buckets while rain pours in from the damaged ceiling.
“I think it was a perfect match,” Bad Cog artist Michael Brooks told KTRK. “I thought this was a little different because it has a lot of legal language and laws embedded in the actual script, which we normally don’t.”
Feldman said his legal colleagues gave the comic positive reviews.
“We obviously didn’t write a lawsuit to create a published comic,” Feldman told the Chronicle. “But hey man, you just ride the wave.”
Depending on the outcome of the legal dispute, a second edition of the comic is possible. On the last page of the comic text is the iconic announcement “To Be Continued …!”
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