Todd McFarlane sues friend who claims he was the inspiration for Spawn

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

To paraphrase Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, into each comic's life a little rain must fall. For Spawn and Todd McFarlane, it seems the chance of precipitation is more than the average.

On the heels of a very long and bitter legal battle with Neil Gaiman reaching its climax, Todd McFarlane has now filed a lawsuit against Al Simmons, the man who may or may not have been the inspiration for Spawn.

Here are the facts as they stand. Al Simmons was most certainly Spawn's name before his death. The real-life Simmons absolutely has, in the past, dressed as Spawn and attended events in an official capacity at the behest of McFarlane himself. In fact, until the lawsuit, even had articles referring to Simmons as being "instrumental in the genesis of Spawn."

So what changed? Well it all seems to stem from SImmons's new book, The Art of Being Spawn, whose contents McFarlane feels have violated his employment terms and breached his duty of loyalty. McFarlane maintains that the book damages his reputation by exposing trade secrets in addition to claiming false endorsement and advertising. Wrap all of that up in a trademark and copyright infringement bow and Simmons is potentially facing a minimum of $75,000 in damages.

Considering that Simmons' wife, Melanie, is also named as a defendant and that McFarlane felt this necessary even though he has already been through a recent and very public lawsuit, you've got to wonder—what is in that book?

(via Bleeding Cool)

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