Monday, March 21, 2005

Guns and Statues

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek prison guards will go on strike next week demanding a change of their American-made weapons that date back to the U.S. wars in central America almost a century ago.
While antique shops would be eager to get their hands on them, prison guards just want to get rid of their obsolete 1911 U.S. Cavalry revolvers. The guns do not scare inmates any more as safety experts have advised guards not to fire them.

It's something about that last sentence, really. It's sort of like music.

Neil --

I don't know if you saw this interview with Todd McFarlane at

He mentions the Miracleman suit and his future plans for the character. It doesn't really jibe with my understanding of the outcome, but I thought you (or your lawyers) might be interested.

-- Matt

UGO: Has the Miracleman film gone back to Neil Gaiman or wherever it is supposed to go?

TODD: 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.

UGO: Did he take Angela?

TODD: Yeah, he took some of the Spawn stuff. For whatever reason he walked away from Miracleman, so now Miracleman will be in the Image 10th Anniversary book.

Good old Todd. This was the same kind of thing he was doing in the fan press before the legal case. Charitably, I think it's fair to say that he's telling huge and easily disprovable fibs. No, he doesn't (whatever he says in the interview) have a trademark on Miracleman. The shared trademark that Eclipse had was found to have expired in the mid 90s, before Todd bought the remains of Eclipse. (Todd put in a new Miracleman trademark application back in 2001, before the legal case, which we opposed as soon as we found out about it, and which hasn't been granted.)

Beyond that, he's also distancing himself from the reality-based community in his description of the result of the legal case. (I'm not sure what to say about that, other than it's all been pretty extensively recorded.) If Todd actually owned a share of Miracleman (something that became more and more unlikely as we finally saw the actual documentation he had on it, which consisted only of: a contract that said that Eclipse's rights to the character automatically reverted if someone other than Dean Mullaney owned Eclipse, and an expired Trademark notice for a Trademark shared with me, Mark Buckingham and Eclipse) then, yes, he kept that share at the end of the trial. Meanwhile, Mark Buckingham and my share of Miracleman isn't in any doubt at all. I didn't walk away from what Todd had; Todd simply couldn't demonstrate that he owned anything that I was walking away from.

We're in the concluding stages of talks to bring the Alan Moore Miracleman stories and the stories I wrote and Mark Buckingham drew back into print. (The stories are copyright Alan and me, the art is copyright by the artists who did it.)

Currently, I'm also one of the largest creditors of Todd's comic company.

I used to get hate mail from Image Fans accusing me of delaying the Image 10th anniversary book (which was due out in 2002) because, following the trial, I now co-owned the Cogliostro character, and Todd was at one point, apparently, telling people that I was stopping the comic coming out, which came as rather a surprise to me, because it was the first I'd heard of it (and was also nonsense). Cynically, I can't help wondering if Todd claiming he's now putting Miracleman into the just-a-little-bit-late comic is just a way to put off actually publishing the comic in question for another few more years.

Which reminds me -- Randy Bowen did a lovely Miracleman statue, which was released in January 2005:

Isn't it lovely? Anyway, it's a start.


Good news, former blogger Roger Avary is now a former ex-blogger (ex-former blogger?): anyway, he's started blogging again. (The rest of is currently still down for refurbishment. But he's brought his journal back.)


hi Neil,

this is mostly a request to pass on some thanks. Last week, for my birthday a friend of mine was kind enough to buy me one of the Author's Preferred editions of American Gods (whether it is so she can snaffle the reader's copy has yet to be determined, but still :) ). Anyway, it is as beautiful as everyone has said it was to be (and I now have the only copy in Ireland allegedly), I'm exceptionally happy to have it and if you could say thanks to Ruthy on my behalf I should be eternally grateful.



You're welcome. Ruthy, Paddy says thanks. (Incidentally, all of the signature plates were signed in Ireland -- so at least part of the book has already visited Ireland once: has the story.)