- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 11, 2010

LONDON (AP) - A little-known author is suing British comic Ricky Gervais for allegedly ripping off his ideas when he wrote his popular “Flanimals” book, according to court documents.

John Savage, 44, claims that his 1998 book “Captain Pottie’s Wildlife Encyclopedia” was the basis for Flanimals, which features a medley of bizarre-looking cartoon beasts with names such as Underblenge, Plamglotis, and Grundit.

Both books “involve a whimsical take on the animal kingdom through the use of drawings and text, which in the case of the latter is a copy, in form and substance, of the former,” according to documents lodged at London’s High Court.

Gervais denies the allegation, saying through a spokeswoman Wednesday that the concept and artistry for Flanimals, published in 2004, predated Savage’s work.

Flanimals’s quirky charm has spawned a series of sequels and the concept is being adapted into a Hollywood movie, according to Gervais‘ website.

The comic is best known as the co-creator and star of the British version of “The Office,” which later was successfully adapted as an NBC comedy. He also co-created and starred in “Extras,” a comedy series that aired on HBO.




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