Neil Gaiman Files Suit Against Todd McFarlane Productions

Straight from Andy Heidel himself, here’s the press release:
For Immediate Release: Date: 1/24/02

AUTHOR NEIL GAIMAN FILES SUIT AGAINST “SPAWN’S”
TODD MCFARLANE PRODUCTIONS, INC., TMP INTERNATIONAL, INC.
AND TODD MCFARLANE WORLDWIDE, INC.

MADISON, WISCONSIN FEDERAL COURT: Neil Gaiman, author of the New York Times best-selling novel American Gods and creator of the immensely successful Sandman® comic book series, has filed suit in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin, against Todd McFarlane and his companies. McFarlane, best known for his three million-dollar investment in Mark McGuire’s 70th homerun baseball, initiated the comic book “SPAWN®.” The lawsuit concerns McFarlane’s unauthorized use of characters created by Gaiman, as well as McFarlane’s wrongful claim to the Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman authored comic property MiracleMan™. The nine-count suit includes allegations of fraud and copyright violations and non-payment of royalties regarding the comic art characters “Angela,” “Cogliostro” and “Medieval Spawn,” that Gaiman created.

Mr. Gaiman stated: “This suit is not about the money, it’s about respecting the rights of the creator and keeping promises.” Co-lead counsel for Mr. Gaiman in this lawsuit, Kenneth F. Levin, a nationally known trial lawyer and expert in comic art rights noted: “We did everything we could to get this solved outside the courts.”

Mr. Gaiman is joined as a plaintiff by Marvels and Miracles, LLC, a Wisconsin limited liability company which owns the MiracleMan rights of acclaimed writer Alan Moore and of illustrator Mark Buckingham, the original artist on the MiracleMan comic books which Mr. Gaiman authored, and Mr. Gaiman’s rights. The plaintiffs’ attorneys also include Madison, Wisconsin trial attorneys Alan Arntsen and Jeff Simmons of the international law firm Foley & Lardner, supported by Madison, Wisconsin attorney Jon Manzo. The Foley & Lardner trial team also includes Mark Hellmann, one of the country’s leading intellectual property attorneys.

About Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman has been one of the comic industry’s most popular writers, having created the legendary bestselling and multiple award-winning “Sandman®” series for DC Comics (AOL/Time Warner). In addition, Mr. Gaiman is an internationally recognized author of numerous works of fiction and screen plays. His most recent novel, American Gods published by William Morrow, debuted in June 2001 in hardcover on the New York Times bestseller list. To date, Gaiman has been responsible for raising over one hundred and twenty thousand dollars for The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for creators and retailers in the comics community.

For more information contact: Andy Heidel 917-680-1113 andyheidel@hotmail.com