Gaiman v. McFarlane 2010: Marketing and Angela's Design

Saturday, July 10, 2010

[This is part of my running report on the 2010 hearing on the Neil Gaiman v. Todd McFarlane case. To see coverage from the beginning, click here.]

Part Twenty-One Todd McFarlane discussed the economics of the comic-book and toy businesses briefly. Regarding the toys, he said, "The Spawn line as a whole was successful out of the gate, [produced] to draw on the popularity of Spawn." He addressed the issue of the Previews catalog listing for Spawn: The Dark Ages #1. "This is the main way you market to retailers." He said the solicitation did not mention Medieval Spawn. "We can make stuff look like other stuff and give it consistency. You call attention to the things that will get you sales. [In this case] the value is Spawn. ... If the intent was for us to use Medieval Spawn, we would have called him 'Medieval Spawn.' We weren't trying to do that."

Spawn #9 by Gaiman and McFarlane introduced Angela. "Were there elements of Angela used from Spawn?" Yes." He elaborated on his approach to drawing. "We have a flat piece of paper. We create the illusion of 3-D using cape, wind, and hair." He cited similarities to Spawn:
* Marks on her face are a repetition of the marks on Spawn's face, with the black indicating a bad guy.
* Blank eyes [since she's not a devil, her eyes aren't green]
* Her symbol is the opposite of the Spawn mark
* Her earrings are based on the Spawn mark
* "There are sharp points on Spawn, so she's got sharp points."
* "She's an angel, but wings locked on the back don't work [artistically], so they're on her head" (like Valkyrie headdresses)
* The chains of Spawn are turned into ribbons and even her hair

"Why is Angela scantily clad?" "A couple of obvious reasons: the history of women characters when men are at the helm." He cited paintings by Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo. "If we don't show skin, we put her in skin-tight clothes. Boys have been doing it since, I assume, the invention of boys."



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