When Todd McFarlane created Spawn back in the halcyon days of 1993, he named him Al Simmons after an employee/friend. Since then, the real life Al Simmons has appeared in countless conventions, billing himself as Spawn, happily hanging out at the Image booth for years, and signing Spawn shit, meaning McFarlane was at least reasonably hunky-dory with Simmons cashing in on the character. What changed? Al Simmons’ autobiography, The Art of Being Spawn.
Short version: By McFarlane’s account, the book appears to be equally full of lies and trade secrets, neither of which Simmons should be telling. McFarlane is suing for libel, unfair competition, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, false endorsement, false advertising and trademark and copyright infringement.
I haven’t read the book and I don’t know the truth of the matter, because that would force me to learn things about Todd McFarlane and his company, taking up valuable brain cells I could be killing with liquor. Still, my gut is going with McFarlane on this one. McFarlane’s let Simmons cash in on Spawn for decades; and it’s far too easy to imagine a dude whose sole claim to fame is dwindling to nothing trying to stir up a bit of interest by 1) making some shit up and/or 2) telling shit he shouldn’t. McFaralane’s only suing for $75,000, so he’s not trying to make some grand spectacle or get some easy money, either. But who knows. Maybe McFarlane saw a baseball on ebay or something. Whatever. I just love the idea of McFarlane suing Spawn. (Via The Hollywood Reporter