Cartoon Canon: Frankie say relax!

RICHMOND, Va. — Creating a weekly comic strip in Pittsburgh, you have a lot of opportunities to draw Mario Lemieux making other NHL teams look silly. So while in the grand scheme of things, Soixante-Six notching five goals in a single game – against a team with that Wayne Gretzky bum on it, no less– is by far the more impressive achievement … sometimes it’s more fun just to draw a couple of tough guys knocking the spam outta each other.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time Tony Twist has appeared in a comic strip … sort of. Back in the 1990’s, artist/writer Todd McFarlane (who was also a minority owner of the Oilers) named a violent mobster in his popular ‘Spawn’ comic book ‘Tony Twistelli,’ noting that he’d based the character on the hockey player. The real Twist was not amused, and in 2004 he sued McFarlane, alleging that the comics creator had profited from Twist’s likeness. A St. Louis jury agreed, awarding Twist $15 million in damages. The verdict landed McFarlane in bankruptcy court, and held up through two appeals. The parties eventually settled for $5 million!