Thanks to Laure Parsons for the link to the following story from TSN :

A $15-million US jury award against Spawn creator Todd McFarlane has pushed his comic-book business into bankruptcy court.

Todd McFarlane Productions Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors Friday in U.S. bankruptcy court.

A jury in St. Louis awarded former NHL player Tony Twist $15 million after concluding that McFarlane and his company profited by using Twist’s name without permission and that Twist’s publicity rights were infringed.

McFarlane, a Calgary native, gave the name Antonio Tony Twist Twistelli to a violent New York mob boss character in his Spawn comic books in the early 1990s.

Twist, a Canadian from Sherwood Park, Alta., claimed the comic book character hurt his image and cost him endorsements. The former Quebec Nordique and St. Louis Blue was known more for his fighting than his skating, racking up 1,121 penalty minutes before his last big-league game in 1999.

The above story is sadly reminiscent of the free speech impositions placed on the hugely talented Peter Kay after the terrible coincidence that occurred when he named one of his “Phoenix Nights” characters “Keith Lard”, thus raising the ire of the real-life Keith Laird.