You might remember a little while back that Todd McFarlane lost a rather large court judgement to Neil Gaiman, which coincidentally freed up the rights to the seminal ’80s comic Miracleman and got Marvel the reprint rights. It’s a pretty bizarre and elaborate case, and we’ve never gotten the full story. But we do finally have Neil Gaiman’s testimony in the case, and hoo boy, he didn’t hold back.
Posted by the Aussie comics blog 20th Century Danny Boy, the testimony is something to behold. Needless to say, there’s little love lost between Gaiman and McFarlane. And it shows. The testimony, once you get through the niceties, starts off with this:
…later I remember somebody coming up to me in the DC offices showing me Spider-Man #1, which Todd drew and which people thought was very funny because the writing demonstrated that the person writing it had never written anything before.
Not that McFarlane is the only one who comes in for a beating. Go ahead, guess which founder of Image gets called out almost immediately once they get going about the company’s early days:
And when Image started, they were getting a lot of stick from fans and from the comics press for being illiterate garbage, which is probably a polite way of putting the things they were saying about the comics, chiefly those written by Rob Liefeld.
Also, McFarlane called himself “The Todd-Meister” back in the ’90s. We love that this is part of the legal record.
The whole thing is a long but utterly fascinating read, not least because it offers some insight into the early days of Image and what a train wreck they were. If McFarlane had just sent Gaiman a contract to go with the amount of money he was getting or even just made it clear what company Gaiman was actually working for, a lot of this apparently could have been avoided.
Now, if we can just get Liefeld under oath, we’d love to hear what he has to say. Or we suppose we could just wait for him to get upset on Twitter.