Put some time aside  and read this case, in which comic book greats Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane tussle over ownership of characters that Gaiman created for McFarlane’s Spawn comic book (including Medieval Spawn, pictured).  It’s worth the read just to hear Judge Posner tells us the legend of Spawn.  Judge Posner’s discusses what can begin a statute of limitations clock running on copyright (answer: neither copyright notice nor third-party copyright registration)  Also, a discussion of scenes-a-faire doctrine (in which McFarlane argues that he uses ‘stock characters).

Gaiman v. McFarlane, 03-1331 (7th Cir Feb 20 2004).