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Crabb didn’t buy it.

“It seems far more than coincidence that Dark Ages Spawn is a knight from the same century as Medieval Spawn,” the judge wrote.

In addition to Spawn, McFarlane illustrated a number of big-time superheroes, including Batman and Spider-Man, before co-founding Image Comics. He also manufactures action figures and made headlines in 1999 when he paid $3 million for the baseball Mark McGwire hit for his then-record 70th home run in a season.

Gaiman, who lives in northwestern Wisconsin near the Twin Cities, wrote the “Sandman” comic book series. His novels include “American Gods,” “Coraline” and “The Graveyard Book,” which won the John Newbery Medal.

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Online:

Gaiman’s blog: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/