Gaiman v. McFarlane 2010: It Begins

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Part One [This is the first part of my running report on the 2010 hearing in the Neil Gaiman v. Todd McFarlane case. For additional historical perspective, check out The Comics Chronicles' look back on Spawn #9 and the sales impact the "guest-author" issues had on the series.]

In May, my buddy Jon Manzo had alerted me to the fact that there was going to be some sort of hearing in Madison, Wisconsin, on June 14, 2010, regarding legal matters concerning Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman. I noted that in passing and eventually decided that I wanted to stay up to date in such matters, since I'd covered the October 2002 case Neil Gaiman v. Todd McFarlane in Comics Buyer's Guide #1510 and #1511.

My deep understanding of legal matters led me to think that the current case would probably consist of about an hour's worth of lawyers making motions, after which everyone would scatter. Indeed, when I entered the Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse, among the first people I encountered was Ken Levin, whom I think I'd first met in the 2002 case. Also among folks in the lobby was the aforementioned Jon. So lawyers were, indeed, on hand - and then I stepped into the elevator and there was Todd. Entering Courtroom 260, it was almost deja vu: Neil was with his lawyers at the plaintiff's table.

It was Case #02-CV-48-BBC, Neil Gaiman, Marvels & Miracles LLC vs. Todd McFarlane, Todd McFarlane Productions, TMP International and Image Comics. And I began to take notes. (How many notes I took may be indicated by just how long it's taken me to write this, which is only the beginning of what should be several posts.)



Gary Colabuono,  June 27, 2010 at 8:40 PM  

How weird this whole thing is, Maggie. I hold both men in high regard, yet Todd seems to be flat-out wrong here. Neil is fighting a good fight in my opinion - with any funds he makes going to charity, but I would rather see them both shake hands and put this disagreement behind them.

wilycheba07,  July 10, 2010 at 11:28 PM  

while both men's contribution to comics is without hard it must be, taking into today's complexities of existence to have the luxury to worry about such things to the point of legal stand-off.

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