Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Q&A: Todd McFarlane

UGO.com has a lengthy interview with Todd McFarlane, in which he discusses a new Spawn cartoon, Joe Quesada's challenge, the Neil Gaiman lawsuit, the Todd McFarlane Productions bankruptcy, and more.

Most interesting, and certainly most newsworthy, is McFarlane's assertion that he now holds the rights to Miracleman -- Gaiman has said differently -- and that the character will appear in the fabled Image 10th Anniversary book.

On Gaiman's lawsuit, and the status of Miracleman: "With the lawsuit, Gaiman walked away from Miracleman. I have the trademark for Miracleman. No one wants to say it out loud, but that's what happened with the lawsuit. Everyone was like "Hah hah, he killed Todd," but unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on where you are standing -- he had to pick some copyrights to some Spawn characters or pick Miracleman. He didn't pick Miracleman. ... For whatever reason he walked away from Miracleman, so now Miracleman will be in the Image 10th Anniversary book."

On bankruptcy: "... it's one of those things where people have to understand that I own multiple companies. In the case of the comic company, that had to go bankrupt because of the [NHL player Tony Twist] jury award, which we continue to fight. Companies are limited in what they can do at some points; it was either hand him the company and then hope the appeal comes through so he has to give it back, or you have to put up a wall. Unfortunately, the inconsistencies of some of the law are that your appeal takes seven months, but someone can start collecting in two months. You have to figure out how to stave off to get to your appeal. Someone forgot to double-check some of those categories. If it was a reasonable number, like $100,000, then you just post a bond and none of this happens. But when you get a $15 million verdict, they want that money plus interest, in cash. I can't say that I have $17 million lying around to give to somebody."

On Quesada's challenge: "Yeah, what is it? Whatever, I don't know what that is. He talks a good fight. I know he bugged me for Spidey and Spawn so maybe someday I will do it. I told Joe that the concept was short term stuff. A one hit wonder. So we do Spidey and Spawn, it comes out, it sells a lot of copies and everyone makes some money. But what about next month? Now what? Whatever. If I'm going to come back and draw, it would be for two reasons. One because I want to sustain something and two because I just want to draw and I don't care if anyone buys it. I have lots of those options to make money so there has to be a bigger reason than that."