What Neil Gaiman is going to do—or not do— with the $382,000 Todd McFarlane put in escrow — UPDATED

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neilgaiman427f What Neil Gaiman is going to do—or not do— with the $382,000 Todd McFarlane put in escrow    UPDATED
UPDATE: 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 created—the actual subject of the lawsuit—have yet to be audited.

For his part, on Twitter, Gaiman has announced:

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.

In 2008, as part of his bankruptcy case, McFarlane was ordered to play $382,000 into Escrow to offset any possible losses that might arise in the Gaiman suit.  Now that McFarlane has lost, the entire amount, with interest, has been released.  The upside of this is that, based on a reasonable average interest of 5% after four years and a bit, Gaiman can expect to see about  $464,000, give or take a few thousand (hey – I'm no good at maths, so if you can do better by all means do so) – and that'd be the start.  There's still an accounting of Angela and Co to happen yet.  The flip-side to this is that both sides have to pay their own attorney fees and costs, and when you realise that this case has been going on since February 2002, you can imagine what those costs would be.  You can only hope that the settlement between the pair included an extra sum to cover those very sizable fees.  It probably won't hurt to give McFarlane's store a bit of a plug – he might need the extra cash.


HOWEVER, it is still not that simple.

Gaiman was asked about this money, and responded on his Tumblr:

So I just read that you got $382,000 from McFarlane. What are you gonna do with all that money?
ajmoser

I read that too. It was a particularly stupid piece of jumping-to-conclusions journalism. All they actually knew was that the judge had ordered that amount of money (which had been placed into escrow for the court case when Todd came out of bankruptcy the last time, as a condition of him getting out of bankruptcy) released from escrow. When the final agreements and accountings were done I could be getting none of it or ten times it.

And I stated when I filed the court case against Todd that I was giving any and all money I made from the legal case to to comics-related charities. Stated it again, every time we won another round.

And it’s still true. I said I was doing it for the principle of the thing, and I was.

Comments

  1. Torsten Adair says:

    Part of Gaiman’s court costs were funded by his writing 1602 for Marvel.

  2. comicsatemybrain says:

    Indeed.

    “For Todd, for making it necessary.”

  3. Wow. In the article you quote Gaiman calling the piece you link to a “stupid piece of jumping-to-conclusions journalism”, and yet you still repeat the stupidity in the headline of your article, implying the question is what he’ll do with the money, not how much (if any) money is involved. Gaiman’s statement is that the eventual destination of the money isn’t in question, but the amount is (publicly, at least). Bravo.

  4. Matthew Southworth says:

    What is WITH the people on this site constantly trying to ATTACK, INSULT or EMBARRASS Heidi? I’m talking to you, BobH, but I’m also talking to everyone else who writes in.

    Stop being so fucking rude, read the article, make your points about it, but my God, show some class.

    Use your superior journalistic skills to create your own damn site if you’re so great at it, work your ass off getting it out on a daily basis, deliver a FREE service to readers of your site, and then listen to creeps from every corner try to find some way to make you feel like you’re an idiot or committing some minor crime.

    Jesus Christ.

  5. >> What is WITH the people on this site constantly trying to ATTACK, INSULT or EMBARRASS Heidi? I’m talking to you, BobH, but I’m also talking to everyone else who writes in. >>

    I support your point in general, but that doesn’t mean that Heidi won’t ever make mistakes or that people shouldn’t point them out when she does.

    In this case, the headline is wildly inaccurate — Neil _hasn’t_ won $382,000 from Todd* — and the “stupidity” in question comes from Neil’s description of the previous reporting error, which Heidi does repeat in the headline.

    For whatever it’s worth, Neil also called this headline “kind of still Very Bad Journalism.” Doesn’t mean Heidi set out to misdescribe, or that she and Neil are somehow enemies or something. But the headline’s still wrong, and still repeats the assumption it goes on to quote Neil as debunking.

    kdb

    *once the accounting’s done, he may have won more, he may have won less, but so far nobody knows.

  6. Matthew Southworth says:

    @Kurt–I agree with you in the sense that I think people should point out inaccuracies or otherwise try to be helpful. And if I got a little fiery at BobH, I apologize.

    The usage of words like “stupidity” and the condescending “Bravo” are representative of many similar posts I’ve seen on the Beat where people are wildly rude. It’s the rudeness and the “a ha, I caught you, you made a typo and obviously suck at your job!” attitude that I find offensive.

    But then again, complaining about rude behavior on the internet–I probably have some windmills to fight…

  7. To all: This is, to me, a “Day Two” story. The legal papers have been circulating widely for a few days but Neil’s explanation hasn’t. So my intent with the headline was to play on what people already thought was going on — and explain the correct state in the body of the story.

    So yeah, not the most accurate headline. For the sake of Google I have updated and expanded the story.

  8. Does this mean we’ll get more Angela comics from Mr. Gaiman?

  9. Snikt Snakt says:

    It doesn’t matter how much $ Gaiman wins in the end, winning the case helped to further prove what a douche bag Todd is.

  10. Torsten Adair says:

    Way back when, wasn’t the ownership of the printing film from “Miracleman” part of the court case? McFarlane acquired most of Eclipse Comics’ holdings at a bankruptcy auction. That includes a third of the rights of MM.

    While the actual MM rights are a bit hazy (although it looks like Marvel owns them completely, given their arrangement with Mick Anglo), the film would make it easier to reprint/restore the Moore/Gaiman stories.

    Of course, one wonders about the other creators who were published by Eclipse.

  11. @Torsten Adair, well through the court case, it was discovered that McFarlane owned none of Mircleman. That the copyright (which Eclipse possibly never owned to begin with) reverted back to the writers & artists when Eclipse went bankrupt. All McFarlane had was a trademark on the Mircleman logo (not sure if that is being contested or not).

    So then the lawsuit moved onto sorting out the copyright of the characters Gaiman created in Spawn. Which is what McFarlane was supposed to be trading with Gaiman for these nonexistent rights to Mircleman.

    That said I wish we could get some sort of update with what is happening with the Mircleman/Marvelman reprints of Moore/Gaiman work.

  12. Christy says:

    The money will go to Scientology, who no doubt supplied the lawyers.

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