49 Stirred Regrets of the Plundered

While the comics industry was being stirred by a newcomer, special people in special places were also being stirred.

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Jump Magazine. Somewhere in Japan.

"Torishima-san, what is the decision of the bosses? Will they help me fight against the injustice?" Akira Toriyama asked his long-time editor and laid out the Dragonball comic issues besides his artwork for Dragon Boy.

"It may not be clear from the superior details but this American company has clearly taken inspiration from my work." Toriyama stood with conviction in this discovery of his.

"Akira, I'm afraid that the company can't help you with this. Dragonball and Dragon Boy are just close in naming and isn't enough to win a copyright case." Torishima could only give the man the bad news.

Toriyama panicked as everything wasn't going along with his expectation. "What about the similarity to my art style? What about my draft? Torishima-san, when you asked me to prepare for my next project, I have already made drawings of a Sun Wukong child. Doesn't that count?"

"I am afraid that Creed Comics has already registered copyrights for those things and your draft hasn't even been made and Dragonball had already released the first publication."

Mr. Editor could only make it clear to the man. "Akira, let's just move on, or maybe we could continue making Dr. Slump stories. It would only waste our time and money to fight international cases that are already hopeless in the first place."

"But..." Akira Toriyama wanted to rebut but the sternness of the editor was clear in those words.

For Japanese mangakas, senior editors had to be taken seriously. Japan honors seniority while manga artist always listens to their editors. Mr. Editor Kazuhiko Torishima is the perfect combination of inviolable that Toriyama can't budge with stubbornness.

Toriyama could only look at the American comic book he laid out on the table and felt regret, especially at the reports of its astonishing success.

He didn't know why but he felt compelled to fight for the ownership of the comic idea.

Now that the company bosses and his long-time editor wouldn't support him, he could only let go of the illusory regret.

Toriyama could either continue Dr. Slump or choose to find a new project to focus his attention on.

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Toriyama from Japan wasn't the only one to feel this impulsive and compelling regret.

Somewhere in Dover, New Hampshire. A comic book studio jokingly named Mirage.

It was a basement that housed two people flipping through the pages of Creed Comics' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman did not know what to say as they saw how their ninja turtle idea suddenly became published by a recently emerged comic book company.

The turtles in the comic book were much more refined, impressive designed, well-colored, and incredibly popular in the industry and were even mentioned a couple of times in broadcast media.

When they compared it to their drafter and preliminary version, their turtles felt more grotesque and monstrous than they should have been.

The Creed turtles even have different curves, proportions, and color-coded masks to make it easier to identify which is which. They felt even shabbier when they compared it to their uniform red masks.

"Kevin, what are we going to do about this? Are we just going to keep this to ourselves?" Peter asked his comic-making partner.

"What can we do? They published first and we haven't even shown our works to the public. Who's gonna help us claim that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is our idea?" Kevin asked back in distress while also sighing in frustration.

The duo could only turn to silence as they looked at the well-made Creed Comics cover page and felt haunted by the missed opportunity just because someone was faster than them.

They even had the same New York premise but the names were a nice touch that their Japan-esque name pitches that couldn't work well.

Laird and Eastman's silence went on as they contemplated hard on fighting for this regret that haunt them or to move on and not waste their limited budget.

Ultimately, they shook their heads in frustration and decided to just move on to new comic book ideas.

The option to fight back was still open though but that has to wait until they have enough resources to do so.

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At the home of a man named Ted 'Tobin' Wolf, his daughter Janice has just handed him a comic book that her friend bought.

The father and daughter duo flipped its pages and could only marvel at its amazing design that blows everything in the 80s.

"Dad, isn't this like your animal-human idea?" Janice confusingly asked her father to solve this confusion. "Isn't Lion-o and the Lion King very cool?"

Ted could only nod at his daughter's curiosities. He was already pitching a preliminary idea to his friend and didn't even know that there was already someone ahead of them.

He then remembered that Stan might be pitching the idea to Rankin/Bass offices and could only telephone the Leisure Concepts President to call the concept off from the roster of ideas.

Unlike Toriyama, Laird, and Eastman, Mr. Wolf was much more at ease as he understood that his idea about humanoid cat people would also be thought of by other people.

A feeling of regret still hounded him though as it is as if he was deprived of a success that he didn't know he would be having.

Stan Weston, on the other side of the phone, heard Ted's recounting and felt regret at the missed opportunity as well.

Weston, however, could still leverage this disappointing news. He created G.I. Joe and a simple comic book company wouldn't stop him.

If the public really likes this 'Thundercats' as it is, then he could ask for authorizations to gain profits from its toy lines and even reluctantly help the lucky Creed Comics by making them an animated show through his connections.

Wolf and Weston discussed those details further and felt that the chances of them succeeding is very likely.

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As Creed Comics were selling like hotcakes, its influence spread and reached the people who were supposedly fated to have created them.

Each had varying degrees of reaction but whatever they may be, the deed has already been done.

The society which has been introduced to the version made by Creed Comics has no idea about their contribution at all.

Just as how topic-worthiness of a comic book becomes boosts in sales, the value of Creed Comics in the comic book industry has been rising.

From one topic worthy publishing to another, the brand of the comic book company gained traction that would be beneficial overall.

Anyone who studies the sales chart of Creed Comics had already noticed how every new release would be piggy-backed by the previous ones.

The success of one comic title helped with the success of the other comic titles underneath the Creed brand.

Everyone was envious of such a success model that Alexander had no time to care about the hidden regrets of the people he plundered from.

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