Todd McFarlane's Tony Twist Spawn Evidence Finds a Comic Store

Apotheosis Comics & Lounge is a comic book store in St Louis, Missouri, who are the recipients of a rather unique comic book collection. But let's take a quick rewind.

Anthony Rory Twist, or Tony Twist, is a former professional Canadian ice hockey player who played for St Louis Blues, and currently co-hosts the Smash and Twist show. Discovering that Todd McFarlane had based a character, a mob enforcer, on him, named Antonio "Tony Twist" Twistelli, in the Spawn comic book and animated series, he sued for the appropriation of his name without permission. The court case lasted years, from an initial award of $24 million in 2000 by a court in St Louis, Missouri, to an eventual award of $15 million in 2004 when a jury found Todd McFarlane Productions had profited from Twist's likeness. The verdict was upheld after two appeals in June 2006, as Todd McFarlane Productions went into bankruptcy, but in 2007, Twist and McFarlane's insurance companies settled the lawsuit out of court for $5 million.

Well, Apotheosis Comics & Lounge has just taken possession of a piece of history. The owner, Martin Casas, writes;

Since Twist played for the St. Louis Blues at the time and live around here (bonus points for anyone who knows where he lived) the case was filed Downtown and local lawyers were hired to represent both sides. Some of the evidence used was the Spawn comics themselves to show how often Tony Twist appeared as a character. During the trial, Todd McFarlane flew into St. Louis and took the stand. His defense wanted the jury to know how he comes up with his characters, so on a poster board, Todd drew a sketch of Tony Twist for the jury. It was a great way to show Todd not as a money-grubbing Hollywood mogul (Spawn The Movie was the biggest movie of the year at this time – the soundtrack was awesome too now that I think of it.) but as a talented artist.

Todd McFarlane's Tony Twist Spawn Evidence Finds a Comic Store

This past Monday one of the lawyers who represented McFarlane dropped off the evidence used in the trial, which included nearly a complete run of Spawn comics from 1992 to 2004 – and I mean everything. They were using the books as evidence to show how often Tony Twists name was used in comics, films, and other media. Including the posterboard sketch used during the trial.

So not only do we have a very cool piece of comic book and local history – we also have the majority of every Spawn comic(1-172), mini-series, spin-off, anime, and McFarlane property used as evidence in the trial. As I said, it's probably the coolest thing we have in the shop right now.

Yes we are going to sell them, and no I have no idea for much, but I'm just having a blast looking at all these cool covers.

Hee's a look at that history, with all the evidence notes. All offers are being considered, I am sure.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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