McFarlane Twists In The Wind

Love him or hate him, you have to be feeling a little sorry for Todd McFarlane after being hit with a $15 million judgement in a lawsuit filed against him by “the toughest guy in hockey,” Tony Twist.

The Saint Louis Circuit Court jury found that McFarlane’s naming of his fictional mob boss, Antonio Twistelli (a.k.a. Tony Twist), was motivated by financial gain and infringed on the rights of the real Tony Twist. This is the second time McFarlane and Twist wind up in court, after the Missouri Supreme Court ordered a new trial last year (the appeals court had previously ruled in McFarlane’s favor). McFarlane’s lawyers vowed to appeal the ruling.



  1. No I don’t – that’s just 15 baseballs to Macfarlane.

  2. Yes you do!!
    Or… else!

    Besides, it’s not as much about the $15 million, but about being sued over a parody of a person. It’s sad, don’cha know.

  3. You don’t think taking someone’s attributes (brutish, enforcer-type behavior) and exaggerrating them (mobster) is parody?

  4. I think if McFarlane was trying to capitalize on TT’s name, then the character would have been a hockey player, ya know? Otherwise, he was just a character with a joke name. Definitely not worth $15 million ’cause people were definitely not buying Spawn for Tony Twist.

  5. Twist was a goon and a thug, it was perfect parody to take a little “twist” on Tony Twist by representing him as a mafia thug.

    I wonder how long it will be before I get sued by Jack Chick.

    As big a prick as McFarlane may or may not be, the argument that Antonio Twistelli was so named to cash in on the alleged marketing value of Tony Twist’s name is beyond asinine. I doubt most comicbook fans even know who Tony Twist is.

    This will likely be appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States and in the end I’m sure the ruling will be on McFarlane’s side.

    Otherwise I’m sure many of us can expect to see lawsuits too. I suppose it will only be a matter of time before I get sued by Jack Chick.

  6. Well that was a rather rambling post. I guess sleep deprivation really does have the same effect on the brain as alcohol.

  7. Dude, if Jack Chick starts suing people, half the cartoonists on the web are screwed.

    It’s not like we can help it, the man’s life work is just ripe for parody!

    Saga of the Ram

  8. To be honest, I would not be entirely surprised that when Jack Chick’s final will is read it is revealed that his entire life as a cartoonist has been one big work of performance art to satirize christian fundamentalists and the way their logic works.

  9. Heh, well, even if that is the case, he’s still been adding fuel to the misdirected fire that is Christian Fundamentalism for his entire career. It’s scary how many people I knew in highschool who actually swallowed his tripe. I’m just thankful I know as many Christians who find his work either laughable or sickening.

    Saga of the Ram

  10. I’m honestly confused here. Did Mcfarlane name Tony Twist after the Hockey player or not? Because half of the mobsters on fictional works are named Tony, and Twist just seemed like an adequate nickname. I don’t know the specifics, but I guess the player must be famous enough so McFarlane could not claim coincidence. But still, I fail to see what kind of relevance the hockey player has in the construction of the character besides the name.

    I think this kind of thing is so prejudicial… People file lawsuits for just ’bout anything… And it’s actually getting worse everyday…


  11. My first experience with chick tracks was when I was around 10 years old, back in the 70s. We had a long haired Jesus hippy freak living across the street from us and one day he came up to my friends and I as we were playing and said “Do you kids like comic books?”

    What kid is going to say no?

    So he gives us this big bag full of Chick Tracts and we all sit around and start reading them and we’re laughing our asses off. I honestly thought they were some sort of satire comic about whacky Christians. I was scared that if my parents found these comics I’d get into trouble for having blasphemous, anti-christian propaganda in my possession.

    Little did I know that in just a few short years my dad would be recruited by the apocalyptic Pentecostal death-cult and become one of the types of Christians I had thought that the Chick Tracts were making fun of.

    I guess I can thank Chick Tracts for inspiring a spark of early cynicism inside me that eventually delivered me from the clutches of Christianity and made me the agnostic I am today. How ironic that I was saved by Chick Tracts.

  12. It wasn’t a parody of Tony Twist, the hockey player. He just yanked his name and slapped it on a gangster. In fact, if it had been an actual parody, McFarlane problably would have gotten away with it.

    It’s hard to feel any sympathy of McFarlane, especially after he went out of his way to screw Neil Gaiman over with the Angela character from Spawn. For him to be completely about ignoring his contract with a writer because it suits him and then scream about his rights as a cartoonist and writer later on doesn’t make him a martyr for the comics industry.

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