As we are writing a comic book, we find ourselves blocked by legal issues: The script contains fictional and real political elements including disputes and dialogues between dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena, both deceased in 1989.

We caricature the couple extremely, and we are afraid of being sued by the Ceaușescu family.

How could we avoid legal repercussions?

  • Speak to a lawyer. Note that in most countries you can't be sued for libel by dead people. But if you also mention living people you may be at risk.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 21 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


You will basically have to look at the relevant laws of your own jurisdiction as well as those of Romania and see what they say about this and whether there is an extradition treaty between the two. You may have to pay a lawyer to give you sound advice.

In many jurisdictions of the Western world (a) satire is legal, while libel is not, and (b) public figures may be portrayed in media, while other people have to be asked for permission. As long as what you present is true (documentary) or the falsehood is obvious and used for the purpose of political criticism (satire), you should be safe, but if you defame the persons or lie about them, you risk both legal consequences and your reputation as an author.

If you look at how Ceaușescu has been portrayed in other publications in your country, you will get a general idea of what you may safely do.

There have been many questions about the use of real people in writing on this site. I'm sure some of them have answers that might be useful to you.

  • Thank you, please consider (1) what we described is fictional dialogue but they based on historical facts: her vile harmful stupidity. Someone could see that as subjective.Moreover the characters are based on historical characters deceased 30+ years ago and they destroyed millions of people including us, I wonder if these details counts. The media depicted them negatively but lately there is a nostalgic trend who tend to wipe out all what was bad. The nostalgicals were then young hence the sweet memories and the bitter perception of the present, while the youngsters are ignorant and credulous.
    – Kandinski
    Commented Mar 11 at 16:31
  • @Kandinski The Ceaușescu's "vile harmful stupidity" is not a historical fact. That is your interpretation and it is phrased as an insult. Historical facts are what they did, not your opinion of it, and especially not an abusive way to express that opinion. The fact that someone committed a crime does not make it legal for anyone to insult them (in a jurisdiction where insults are criminalized). —— Whether or not "vile harmful stupidity" would be considered an insult by a court of law is not something I can predict. I am not a lawyer.
    – Ben
    Commented Mar 12 at 7:59

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