The short answer: not as far as we know or can legally prove. In fact, bless that Paul Blart. Somebody had to be “the” Mall Cop in pop culture. He won.
But here’s a longer Q&A with Walt Jaschek about that, originally published in 2009, when the movie was coming out but more than a decade after Mel Cool: Mall Cop was published.
Copy and layouts: Walt Jaschek. Art: Don Secrease.
Q. Are you and your collaborators getting a piece of the action from the new movie “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” opening January 16, 2009, in theaters everywhere?
Q. Why is that?
Walt: Paul Blart: Mall Cop is not (as far as we know or can legally prove) based on Mel Cool: Mall Cop®, the long-running comicbook and web series created by Don Secrease and me in 1995, even though there was both a Mel Cool feature film screenplay and a cartoon series pilot script floating around Hollywood for years.
Q. What is your reaction to that?
A. Existential sadness mixed with raging anger.
A. No, I’m just playin’ with you.
A. I’m cool with it. Mel Cool with it. I’m philosophical about the whole thing.
A. Yes. In fact, let me put on this toga. [Rummages through a box of costumes, looking for the toga.]
Q. [While he does so.] But you just said there was a completed screenplay…
A. [Still rummaging.] There was. Cary Anderson and I wrote the story, based on the comic; Cary wrote the screenplay. Paul Fey produced. It’s a funny script. But in Hollywood, you gotta be your own agent and work the thing on a daily basis. I was in St. Louis, Cary is in Baltimore, and Paul has World Wide Wadio to run.
Q. Quit rummaging.
A. [Finds toga, puts it on.] Ah, here it is! My philosophy is, “live and learn.”
Q. All that for that?
A. “Live and learn.” To the victor, the spoils. That is, to the first one to actually get a star and a deal and Happy Meal tie-ins, the spoils. Have we gleaned nothing from “Entourage”? Next time we bring a comedy concept to Hollywood, we dig in like a pit bulls on amphetamines.
Q. You have more movie-worthy comedy concepts?
A. What, are you kidding me? I’d tell you, but…
Q. …you’d have to kill me?
A. [stares at him from an angle] No, but what an odd thing to say.
Q. [quickly changes subject] So: you’re not bitter about Paul Blart and you’re not suing?
A. No. I really think it’s just great comic minds thinking alike. The movie looks really funny, actually. Kevin James. He knows from funny.
Q. Any sales of your work in the wake of publicity from the movie?
A. We’ve sold one comicbook, one t-shirt, and made about 46 cents in AdSense revenue.
Q. So it looks as if you’re raking in some dough from the whole Mall Cop thing, after all.
A. Praise the mall gods. There are mall gods, you know.
Q. We believe you. Um, are you going to leave that toga on?
A. Yes. I think it’s flattering to my shape.
Q. Thank you, Walt.
A. You’re welcome, Q.
Mel Cool: Mall Cop is TM and © 1993-2022 Walt Now Studios
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