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Who would ever have thought that this little comic could cause such a huge ruckus – Spawn #9

August 2, 2010


I lost touch with Spawn a long, long time ago, but when it first came out my youthful interest in comics was definitely in its waxing phase. Image was exciting and new, and in my enthusiasm I didn’t really grasp how hollow a lot of their stories were. I didn’t care — the pictures were pretty! But for a few early issues of Spawn Todd McFarlane had the wisdom to open up his sandbox and let a few established writers come in and play. Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Dave Sim, Frank Miller — not a bad lineup.

I can’t believe how contentious the Gaiman collaboration has become.

I won’t rehash all the rancor over the ownership of Cogliostro, Medieval Spawn and Angela, all the litigation, or the way the Miracleman rights played into the whole damn thing. Some simple research will fill in the holes in anyone’s knowledge. And I won’t point out the obvious ironies involving Image’s founding principle and the character ownership arguments between McFarlane and Gaiman — they’re pretty obvious. But I had no idea that those two guys were still fighting, this time over derivative characters in the Spawniverse, until I saw an article about a decision in the most recent case. For an account of the latest round, go here. I warn you, it’s a long read, but it’s an interesting one.

I don’t have much to add. This post is just this my way of shaking my head in amazement — this thing has dragged on longer than that Roddy Piper/Keith David fight in They Live. And though I’m on Gaiman’s side and have been for a while, I do have some sympathy for McFarlane. He has to wish that he could travel back in time and write that stupid issue himself and erase this page of credits from history:

He might even make a deal with the devil to do it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2010 5:12 pm

    Great link. You’re right. It was fascinating.

    • August 5, 2010 6:29 am

      Yeah, the whole Gaiman v. McFarlane saga desrves to get the full book treatment someday.

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