Tweet Although once known for combative rhetoric and an aggressive stance, McFarlane Toys CEO Todd McFarlane sounded a conciliatory note when asked about the return of Angela in the pages of ULTRON WAR #10. McFarlane once fought a bitter lawsuit over the ownership of Angela with Neil Gaiman, and perhaps the settlement included a non-disparagement [...]
TweetFollowing a multi-volume and ongoing celebrated run of bringing Peyo’s original SMURFS comics to English-speaking reader, all ages comics publisher Papercutz is poised to release the first volume of another Peyo classic, BENNY BREAKIRON on May 7th, 2013. Papercutz, headed by former Marvel editor and all round comics ambassador Jim Salicrup, has been kind enough [...]
Daniel Best digs up the bankruptcy court proceedings for Todd McFarlane Inc. and notes that the $2.2 million settlement includes $1.1 million set aside for the “Gaiman Settlement (Class 4).” As Best notes, this is not necessarily the amount of money that Neil Gaiman received, since lawyers fees were to come out of the money.
This is what we call a “hot drink” post in the biz*, as in, you must get a hot drink and a comfy chair before you dive in to the next link. Pádraig Ó Méalóid has done an amazing job of putting together a Gaiman/McFarlane/Marvelman timeline, which, although it only skims the details of the Marvelman deals of the ’80s, does cover the 10-year legal battle between Gaiman and McFarlane as it pertains to Marvelman. It’s a tale of (Tony) twists and turns. Of course the pre-history is also stunning:
Although when a final settlement was reached in the epic Gaiman/McFarlane legal battle a few weeks ago, most people thought it was all over. But now there is The Accounting. Daniel Best dug up the settlement papers which mentioned just how much money Todd McFarlane might owe Neil Gaiman. Just to be clearer about this, the money in question is in an escrow account and there is really no discussion over its exact disposition. As noted it would go to legal fees, or Neil Gaiman or other things. In addition, the profits from the characters Gaiman co-created—the actual subject of the lawsuit—have yet to be audited.
Judge Barbara Crabb has made a decision following the June court appearance by Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane over profits for the characters Dark Ages Spawn, Tiffany and Domina. Gaiman held that these cast-members of the Spawn-i-verse were derivative of Medieval Spawn and Angela (characters that he co-owns, as ruled after the epic 2002 court battle), thus he was entitled to half the profits from these characters. McFarlane held the opposite and had refused to provide information on the profits.
Judge Crabb sided with Gaiman, citing the similarity of the characters in a decision (readable here) which shows she spent a lot of time reading up on Spawn:
The week saw a scaled down direct-to-video sequel to 2002′s “epic battle’ between Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman for copyrighs to characters Gaiman created in an issue of Spawn. Out of all the press reports we’ve seen, Gaiman’s own account, blogged today, is by far the most clear and accurate — well, he is a beloved author after all:
It’s been seven (!) years since Neil Gaiman prevailed in a lawsuit against Todd McFarlane over the rights to characters he created in Spawn, but this is one of those undead cases that still rises from the grave. According to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal, Gaiman has asked for another trial to settle the issue of how much money he’s owed for these characters. But Round Two isn’t is go yet, as the judge has merely called for a evidentiary hearing on June 14.