Former NHL player awarded $54m for name in "Spawn" comic book. Slander, my ass.

Ditto what Spectrum said – I don’t know Twist from Adam, but McFarlane has a proven track record of being a Grade-A Deluxe Asshole First Class, so I’m supporting Tony on general principles.

Well, I think that’s sort of the whole point - because there are many Joe Smiths, the name’s not terribly unique. If you name a character Joe Smith, you’re not likely to be doing so after any particular person. But a name like Tony Twist, on the other hand, is unique; it’s more likely, on the surface, that the character is named after the public figure.

[J. Jonah Jameson]

It’s not slander. Slander is spoken. If it’s in print, it’s libel.

[/J. Jonah Jameson]

Your ass is particularly unattractive in those pants, Chastain86.
I suggest you hit the gym for those thighs too, dude. Damn.

This made me laugh out loud at work. Fortunately, my co-workers are used to this sort of thing.

Good form.

Without hijacking too much, can someone explain this Mcfarland = Asshole thing?

All I know about him is he wrote Spawn, and he bought some million dollar baseball.

Todd McFarlane…
[li]…is an artist who does not understand proportions, perspective, or anatomy.[/li][li]…believes writers and writing is irrelevant.[/li][li]…emphasizes flashy fight-scenes and near-nude pin-up pages over characterization and plot development.[/li][li]…bad-mouths other creators behind their backs.[/li][li]…repeatedly starts riots at conventions by throwing free comic books into crowds of overcaffeinated teens.[/li][li]…is proud of being an asshole.[/li][/ul]

Todd McFarlane…
[li]…is an artist who does not understand proportions, perspective, or anatomy.[/li][/QUOTE]

No worse than dozens of other artists. Also doesn’t further the “asshole” argument.


[li]…believes writers and writing is irrelevant.[/li][/QUOTE]

What have you based this on?


[li]…emphasizes flashy fight-scenes and near-nude pin-up pages over characterization and plot development.[/li][/QUOTE]

This seems to be mostly true, unfortunately. But again, doesn’t further the asshole argument.


[li]…bad-mouths other creators behind their backs.[/li][/QUOTE]

Cite? The only creator I remember him ever talking badly of was former partner Rob Liefeld, and that was in response to some money owed to him. And IIRC, he did so in a public forum, which wasn’t exactly behind his back.

Besides, if any creator needs a public dressing-down, it’s Rob Liefeld. A prick of the highest order, and I can tell you personal stories.


[li]…repeatedly starts riots at conventions by throwing free comic books into crowds of overcaffeinated teens.[/li][/QUOTE]

When did this happen? I know he hasn’t been to a Wizard World Chicago in ages, so it had to have been at Comic Con San Diego. In any case, this is nothing new. Plenty of creators and companies do this. Did you get beat out by someone for a “House of the Dead” t-shirt or something?


[li]…is proud of being an asshole.[/li][/QUOTE]

This one, however, is absolutely, positively true. And probably most telling.

Didn’t Tony Twist (the hockey player not the comic character) get a head injury in a motorcycle accident?

What did McFarlane have against Twist?

What is the burden of proof for slander/ libel ?

Especially when there is some basis to show that the creator of the work in question would know or recognize that name. If an author who’s also a Chicago Cubs fan were to name a despicable character in a book “Magglio Ordonez”, then the player for the White Sox would have a much better chance at a libel suit than if some, say, elderly woman who never watches sports and lives out in a cabin in Montana were to do the same thing.

McFarland paid $3 mil for Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball. That ball is now worth significantly less than $3 mil as a result of Barry Bonds’ record 72nd home run a couple years ago.

Heheh, that sucks.

I think you should have your head examined if you pay $3 million for a baseball, but YMMV. :stuck_out_tongue:

McFarlane tried to steal Neil Gaiman’s share of copyright of characters Neil created, which given his whole “creator’s rights” spiel is rather hypocritical. BooOOOOooo, McFarlane.

Assorted interviews around the time Image was first created. I remember lots of comic book writers getting pissed-off that Toddy Mac was labeling them all irrelevant just because they didn’t like the idea of a comic being 20 pages of fight scenes and two pages of a girls’ shower scene.

Off the top of my head, Peter David has reported that when McFarlane tried to talk Dale Keown off of The Incredible Hulk and over to Image, Todd badmouthed Hulk as a dead-end, low-profile title that would never advance his career. David only knew of the exchange after Dale told him about it.

Oh, I believe you. Those two are two dipsticks stamped from the same mold.

Maybe, but if you throw comics out to a crowd, start a riot that requires security to shut down your table, get told to stop doing it, then do it again at another convention, that’s guaranteed assholery.

$15 million? Good lord. And that’s down from $24 million? That tells me the guys probably an ass, but not for the same reasons you guys have given.

If you get a verdict against you for $24 million, and then you are given the gift of having it thrown out and re-tried, that is the equivalent of being handed an engraved note from above reading “Settle this case, you fool!” You just got a real jury to act as a trial jury (“trial” in the sense of “trial run,” not “court trial”) and they handed you your head. A case that got big dollars once will almost always get big dollars on retrial. Settle that ugly puppy; if you can get out for $5 to $8 mil, you’ve done a good day’s work. Either the guy had some exceptionally bad lawyers (unlikely with this level of litigation), or he ignored his lawyers’ advice.

And this is in no way akin to Simon & Garfunkel using Joe DiMaggio’s name in Mrs. Robinson. They used “Joe DiMaggio” as a metaphor for the lost innocence of America, in one line, in one song (“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio; a nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you.”) (Woo woo woo). They did not invent some fictional villian who just happened to be named “Joe Dimaggio” who then ran through their repertoire doing awful things.

But $15 million? Holy smokes. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at that trial. I wonder how they got to that number.

I’ve been wondering that too. Has Tony Twist ever made $15 million (I don’t mean in a year, I mean in his lifetime, not even my sports-freak friends know who this guy is)?

Is there any reason to believe he was going to make $15 million in the future and McFarlane screwed him out of it?

Twist was a grinder and enforcer for the St. Lou Blues for a long time. Basically, he was the thug you send out to give a thumping to one of the other team’s players to shut down a rally. At the peak of his career, I can’t imagine he made more than $1.5m mil a year.

So yes, he’s probably made a cumulative $15 mil over the course of his career, but by the time the suit was filed, he was in his (IIRC) final NHL season. A motorcycle injury exacerbated an already worn-out physique, and it was curtains for him.

In short, Tony Twist wouldn’t have made $15 mil playing hockey, but there’s apparently debate about whether his “comic alter ego” prevented him from making that much in public appearances, etc. :rolleyes:

But in the context of right to publicity I don’t think this distinction matters. The defamation count was dismissed by the court and the only remaining issue is right to publicity.

The standard your distinction would establish (and which the Missouri Supreme Court seemed to establish) would let a jury decide whether the allusion to the character was appropriately literary. The First Amendment does not allow the government to decide whether literary works are appropriately literary or not.

For what it’s worth, my brother in law was the judge in the second trial. Saw him over the 4th of July weekend, but forgot to ask him about the case.

I didn’t even know a real person by the name of “Tony Twist” actually exists. To me it does sound exactly like it’s a name from a comic book.

My vote goes to frivolous lawsuit.