Robot 6

Ruling in Gaiman vs. McFarlane case spawns a Twitter feud

Spawn: The Dark Ages #1

Spawn: The Dark Ages #1

In the days following last week’s ruling in the long-running copyright dispute between Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman, we heard from Gaiman, countless fans on both sides, and an Image Comics founder. However, we didn’t get comment from McFarlane — that is, until last night.

“Neil Gaiman has the absolute right to defend his position,” he wrote on Twitter. “That’s one of the great privileges we all have in this country.”

That’s it; just two sentences. That’s in stark contrast to Erik Larsen, who has tweeted on the subject more than 50 times since early Monday. His flurry of comments, which were largely critical of Gaiman, drew a few replies from the writer.

“Waves. Hi Erik,” Gaiman tweeted last night. “When Todd comes out of bankruptcy you owe me $40,000. [...] Of course @erikjlarsen is grumpy over me winning again. He ran Image when the 1st round of the case gave me a $40,000 judgment against them. Last time @erikjlarsen blamed the loss not on Todd breaking the law, but on a female jury (& now on a female judge?) http://bit.ly/cbrs8i.”

This morning, Larsen fired back at Gaiman’s initial tweet with, “what did *I* ever do to you? Seriously. What was it that *I* personally did to you which would warrant such a thing?” Minutes later, he added: “How did you ever come up with Spawn on a horse, @neilhimself?”

When one Twitter follower, Brandon Fox, replied, “Dude, a judge, a jury, & the court of public opinion ALL believe @neilhimself deserves a portion of a characters he CO-created,” Larsen answered: “and a jury decided OJ Simpson didn’t kill his wife. What’s your point?”

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33 Comments

Gentlemen, gentlemen! Clearly, this heated debate can only be settled in the most rational and civilized way possible: no holds barred cage match, one fall.

I knew when this was announced it was gonna bring the lulz. Keep em coming, Larsen.

No one does a better job at making themselves look bad than Erik Larsen.

You’d think Larsen would just be happy with all the royalties he’s been getting as the creator of Barack Obama. That guy’s all over the place.

The jury found that OJ was not guilty.
That’s not the same as saying he didn’t kill his wife.
That is simply a statement that the prosecution didn’t prove it’s case.

Frankly, I am more disturbed by Erik Larsen’s letter Gaiman linked to, which seemed to agree with Dave Sims’ misogyny-driven reasoning.

What childish comments from Larsen. This is an outrage!!!

comicsatemybrain

August 3, 2010 at 11:27 am

There just isn’t enough popcorn in the world for this…

I saw yesterday how Larsen was tweeting up a storm being very dismissive of Gaiman. And then he asks what did he ever do to go Gaiman? Did he not look at his own Twitter feed?

I predict a plethora of “Yo’ Mamma!” jokes between the two before the week is out.

If only, David. Sadly I feel Gaiman may be too British for that.

The whole thing is a debacle. I honestly wish Todd would politely ask Erik to be quiet, as he’s just making a messy situation worse.

@Nick: So… Gaiman will have to resort to “Yo mum” jokes, then?

Only Erik Larsen would seriously think it was wise to draw even the slightest comparison between this and a MURDER trial. He lost all credibility when he claimed the outcome was because women couldn’t resist Gaiman’s British charms. Give me a break.

“Your mum is so obese that The Sun has a supplement dedicated just for her”

I’m really surprised by all of you. I would have thought that out of 14 posts, at least one of you would have made a comment on that pun in the headline. (Although I am happy that no one is excessively posting bs about how Gaiman is a terrible person and a hack who doesn’t deserve the right to go to court over a serious issue.)

@chudley: Hey! That would’ve been homophobic. I mean, so what if “Gaiman” is pronounced “gay man”?

Damn, I hadn’t noticed the pun until you mentioned it. My Pun-radar must need to be calibrated.

It’s awesome to watch, lol. But IMHO, Larsen is actling like a douche.

I’m actually in awe that the quote from Todd McFarlane on twitter is actually the most mature one to be read in this little article. Especially considering these are grown men who are for the most part in the business of making toys and comics fewer and fewer people are apparently buying these days. As for Larsen, I’m not surprised that his own twit quote makes him out to look like a bigot, but wow, talk about a guy grossly ill-equipped, and unprepared for a battle of wits.

I think Todd got screwed on the Tony Twist case, but in this instance Neil is clearly in the right. Larson saying otherwise, and acting like a douchebag, should send out a warning to anyone considering working or doing business with him.

funkygreenjerusalem

August 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I think Todd got screwed on the Tony Twist case, but in this instance Neil is clearly in the right. Larson saying otherwise, and acting like a douchebag, should send out a warning to anyone considering working or doing business with him.

You do have to remember that Larsen, as an owner of image, got sued by Gaiman.
The way image is run, he’s going to have to pay money for a course of events he had no hand in, and made no money from.
It would make you a little bitter.

In his twitter, Neil says to Rich Johnston image could have gotten out of it if they’d apologized, but doesn’t respond to the question ‘did they know that’.

So the irony in the creators rights championship, is that Todd may be a hypocrite over rights, but Gaiman sued the largest publisher of creator owned books.

I thought this was settled in 2004?

You do have to remember that Larsen, as an owner of image, got sued by Gaiman.
The way image is run, he’s going to have to pay money for a course of events he had no hand in, and made no money from.
It would make you a little bitter.

Man, if McFarlane makes the other Image partners pay for part of the damages, instead of insisting that every bit of it, attorney costs and all, come from his share in the company, then he’d have to be a bigger jerk then I thought he was.

Okay, that’s not true, he’d be exactly the same size jerk I always thought he was…

“You do have to remember that Larsen, as an owner of image, got sued by Gaiman.”

No. That’s not what happened. Image Comics is a partnership with no overarching owner.Each partner is responsible for his own stuff. Gaiman sued McFarlane, not Image Comics, so no, Larsen ther Image partners weren’t legally affected at all.

funkygreenjerusalem

August 4, 2010 at 1:57 am

No. That’s not what happened.

Yes, that happened.

Image comics owes him $40,000 due to the court ruling.

It’s right there in Neil’s tweet “when Todd comes out of bankruptcy you owe me $40,000. [...] Of course @erikjlarsen is grumpy over me winning again. He ran Image when the 1st round of the case gave me a $40,000 judgment against them.”

It’s also mentioned in this previous flair up between the two:
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2009/08/03/neil-gaiman-is-a-dick-erik-larsenr-of-image-comics-speaks-out-on-marvelman/
And by Erik Larsen, rather annoyed about it, on the image message boards.
http://www.imagecomics.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=46731&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=150
http://www.imagecomics.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=46731&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=195

So Neil seems to think he’s owed $40K, and Erik is annoyed about being sued for $40K, and thinks it’s unfair that image is being hit for something they had nothing to do with.

Image Comics is a partnership with no overarching owner.Each partner is responsible for his own stuff. Gaiman sued McFarlane, not Image Comics, so no, Larsen ther Image partners weren’t legally affected at all.

That’s what’s got Erik Larsen annoyed about it.

I respect both Gaiman and Larsen, not just for their bodies of work, but for what each of them has done for the comics industry. I can see valid points on either sides of this argument, and I understand why both creators are getting so passionate about it. But I just HAD to do this: http://is.gd/e22p0

Erik Larsen has done wonders for the comics industry.

He created Hulk with a fin on his head.

And Barrack Obama too.

And co-founded Image Comics.

@funkygreenjerusalem

Okay, guess I was wrong. My bad.

I much prefer my funny book creators to be collaborative and creative than petty and litigious.

“All juries are wrong, forever! You can’t trust a man who says a thing!”

funkygreenjerusalem

August 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Okay, guess I was wrong. My bad.

That said, surely Todd would cough up for that – not really fair to the other partners otherwise.

Hilariously, I got Spawn #9 in the mail this morning – the other week I decided to buy all the Moore, Gaiman, Sims, Miller and Morrison Spawn issues.
Just giving it a flick through was pretty funny ‘all that trouble over this?’.
(Which isn’t to slag either creator, but it’s just such a simple action story!)

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