McFarlane Paying Gaiman $382,000 In ‘Spawn’ Settlement, Who Really Wins? Charity.

Remember when Toddy  McFarlane said to Robert Kirkman, “they only sue when there’s money” and we all had a good laugh at his reductionist tendencies? Oh, good times. ‘Cause it really doesn’t mean there can’t be money and  just cause or whatever. Such was the case in the Gaiman vs McFarlane court battle, where Gaiman ended up winning. A considerable amount of money, that he is going to donate to charity.

Robot 6:

Todd McFarlane will pay Neil Gaiman $382,000 in the wake of  the settlement in January of their nearly decade-long legal battle  over the rights to Medieval Spawn, Angela and other characters.

According to documents obtained by  Daniel Best, a federal bankruptcy judge last week ordered the release of the funds placed into escrow in 2008 under McFarlane’s reorganization plan to offset potential losses from the lawsuit.Todd McFarlane Productions filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2004  following the $15 million court award to former NHL player Tony Twist, who sued over the use of his name in  Spawn  for the mob enforcer Antonio “Tony Twist” Twistelli. McFarlane and Twist settled in 2007 for $5 million.

Best notes that with interest, Gaiman should receive somewhere around $464,000, although much of that will likely go to legal expenses. The writer has publicly stated that he gives money won in the proceedings to charity.

The agreement reached in late January gives Gaiman 50-percent ownership of  Spawn  #9 and #26, as well as the three issues of the 1994  Angela  miniseries, ending a fierce court fight over the characters he and McFarlane created together some two decades ago. A federal jury had already found in 2002 that Gaiman has a copyright interest in the characters, but the subsequent bankruptcy of Todd McFarlane Productions left the writer unpaid. McFarlane was dealt another blow in 2010, when  a federal judge ruled that Dark Ages Spawn, Domina and Tiffany are mere derivatives of Medieval Spawn and Angela, meaning that Gaiman is also the co-owner of those copyrights and entitled to one-half of the profits generated by the characters.

That’s a lot of fuggin’ moola. Lotta. Fuggin’ moola.