Gaiman v. McFarlane 2010: Testimony Wraps Up

Sunday, July 11, 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-Two The hearing had begun at 9 a.m. It was now somewhere near 2 p.m. McFarlane was his own final witness, and his attorney Alex Grimsley asked him to compare the angel Tiffany (above), introduced in Spawn #44 (March 1996, written by McFarlane, pencilled by Tony Daniel, inked by Kevin Conrad) to the angel Angela (below), introduced in Spawn #9 (March 1993, written by Gaiman, drawn by McFarlane, here shown from Angela #3 (February 1995), pencilled by Greg Capullo and inked by Mark Pennington). McFarlane said they had the same marking around the eyes - but added that that had been a pre-existing element.
* "Angela has a spear, and Tiffany has a gun."
* "The hair is not the same."
* "Tiffany's wings are steel." He compared her wings to ninja blades.
* "Angela never had wings on her back."
When Grimsley referred to the entry on Tiffany in Spawn Bible, McFarlane said, "I don't believe I wrote that." Had McFarlane drawn the angel Domina? "I don't believe so."

Turning to the series Spawn: The Dark Ages, Grimsley asked why McFarlane had produced it. (It ran 28 issues, starting with the March 1999 issue and ending with the issue dated July 2001.) McFarlane answered, "I wanted to put more comic books out." Did he direct the team producing Spawn: The Dark Ages to base it on a specific time period? "I don't recall specifying," he said, adding that he'd told the team to "come up with something cool."

Gaiman attorney Allen Arntsen began the cross-examination. "Neil Gaiman created both Medieval Spawn and Angela in Spawn #9, right? "Right." "Angela was the first bounty-hunter angel?" "Right." "Angela is in the related story in Spawn #26, right?" "Correct, two or three pages, yeah." "Neil wrote Angela #1-3?" "Correct." "She's a major player in the Spawn universe?" "Correct. If I said it, I'll stand by it." Arntsen turned to the matter of whether there had been multiple Spawns in medieval times: "every 400 years, right?" "There may have been a time when that was true." Arntsen cited the letters page response in Curse of the Spawn #4 (December 1996): "A new Spawn appears on earth every 400 years and Daniel Llanso [the Spawn of Curse of the Spawn] is the Spawn that shows up 400 years after Al Simmons." Following an afternoon break, Arntsen returned to the 400-year plot device. McFarlane responded, "We weren't terribly consistent, and it wasn't a rule."

Questioning ended with a return to McFarlane attorney Grimsley: "How familiar are you with Spawn: The Dark Ages stories?" "Not very familiar." Regarding the 400-year basis? "We weren't consistent." "Why would you not be consistent?" "Things happen. I couldn't even keep track of how many spikes were on the costume." "Why not keep to the rules you set out?" "You break those rules because of the wants of the fans and marketing."

The session ended with attorneys agreeing to see to it that Judge Barbara Crabb received both attorneys' post-hearing briefs and (because some of the photocopies supplied to her as evidence had been virtually illegible) a set of exhibits in color by June 25.



Gaiman’s Son July 12, 2010 at 9:16 AM  

Wow again with the 400 years thing. Very big mistake them not quoting the line Gaiman wrote himself in issue # 9 on page 4 were he says,

"The discovery and empowering of a Hellspawn takes much energy and time on the part of the Malebolgia; thus far it has not created more than one in 50 years, and usually not more than one a century."

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