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Wow, the system really DOES work...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by grail, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. grail

    grail New Member

    for comic book fans (especially those of us that actually HAVE copies of all the Miracleman stuff), there has been no bigger story than Todd Mcfarlane and Neil Gaiman's very public legal battle over both Gaiman's interest in multiple Spawn characters that he helped create, and McFarlane's "claim" on the rights to the character of Miracleman. well, it looks like justice has been served, and the man with the million dollar (base)balls has just had them handed to him.

    check this out:

    http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/1883.html

    to quote bad tv: "now we are so happy, we do the dance of joy!"

    my day has been made...
  2. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock New Member

    Man your such a sheep man, you need to Rage Against the Machine man!!! :D hehe. Rage...good music, kinda stupid messages. Anyway, its good to hear about the dispute being settled. I don't do Spawn, but it's still nice to hear a good resolution now and then. Also, is Miracleman the name of the company or is that another book or what? I was under the impression Spawn was a Darkhorse thing. Go ahead graily, the wind up, the pitch, the waterballoon to the face....is ON TARGET! Wooooo!! :)

    -Matt
  3. grail

    grail New Member

    okay, here's the story in a nutshell (this is where i would typically insert a picture of a nutshell, but we can't do pics here, so just imagine it, will ya?)

    okay, seriously...

    For those not familiar with the players:

    Todd McFarlane - one of several comic creators who, in 1992, split off from their very popular work on properties owned by the big guns (Marvel and DC, though they mostly came from Marvel), to do their own "creator owned" books with a new company called Image. Todd's book, Spawn, was widely popular, and "spawned" a very good cartoon, a horrible movie (i actually walked out...me), and was responsible for McFarlane toys, which popularized the "look but don't touch" style of action-figures that is so unpopular with those of us that actually enjoy playing with the things we spent our money on, not waiting until it was worth the most, then selling it off. he was recently sued for his character Tony Twist...by the real guy. he lost, but because he has money now, he appealed and got it overturned because "it's just a comic book"...seriously. he's a bit of a slime, and not real likeable, from what i hear...and he recently has spent a couple million on baseballs...because he apparantly doesn't have a pair of his own, so he bought someone else's.

    Neil Gaiman - highly respected author of both books and comic books. wrote the legendary "Sandman" for DC-Vertigo, among other comic projects. books include Good Omens, which will someday (hopefully) be a movie directed by Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python, directed Brazil, 12 Monkeys, etc) and the more recent American Gods. apparantly a really nice guy.

    now then...waaay back towards the beginning of Spawn, Neil Gaiman helped out. He created the characters of "Caligrosto", "Medieval Spawn", and "Angela" for the comic. and as their creator, he owns part of the rights to said characters. he never got any compensation for them, and McFarlane even used his picture and bio without permissionon an "Angela" collection. then in 1997, they made a deal stating that Neil would turn over his rights to the characters in return for the rights to the comic "Miracleman" that Gaiman had done some work on for Epic comics.

    then Miracleman showed up in Spawn. and McFarlane was stating that new stuff would be forthcoming. which was impossible because Gaiman now owned him, right? well apparantly, while Neil kept his part of the bargain, Todd did not, and was now claiming ownership to both Miracleman, and the characters Gaiman had created. obviously, this didn't fly. eventually, Gaiman sued him over it, and has now won.

    now...here's where Neil is a genius. in the "damage phase", he had the option to either keep his interest in the three characters, and seek damages accordingly, or he could take the rights, and get a lesser amount of damages. while we all know he badly wants the MM rights, he decided to keep his interests in the other three. this entitles him to a share of the profits of any time the characters were used (there's apparantly about 5 mil in sales of Angela and Medieval Spawn action figures alone...he's entitled to some of that).

    it also gives him a bargaining chip...Todd still wants those characters. he even talked about how badly on the stand. Neil's already going to get a lot of money out of this, but he still has the control because now he can offer to sell him the rights again, for even MORE money and the rights to Miracleman...Todd just isn't going to get those characters back without giving him up.

    that's basically it...check the link i posted above for more details
  4. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock New Member

    Good write up Mike, thanks for the info. Here is just a little thing I think;

    Why are these specific characters so **** important? I just don't get it. Loose variations could be made, with new bodies, attitudes, etc., to create new characters all together. Now, being that these newer made characters were a success, wouldn't it be safe to say that if Todd came out with some new character that were not the same but similar to the ones in reference, that the kids would take to them as they did with the noted? I mean yes copyrights have padlocks on everything, but like you said Mr. Moneyman has cash to burn, so why not just pull the right strings? Get a new set made, either alike or different, give the old ones to Neil, and forget about them. Maybe I'm not getting something here. Is that not a legal thing (to make new characters at the present time of the company maybe?)?

    -Matt
  5. grail

    grail New Member

    the other three are DEEPLY entrenched in the backstory, to take them out now would kill much of the story in the comic. besides, todd's an egomaniac...he want's it all, and he wants it to belong to him.

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