INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Todd McFarlane has revealed he gave permission for Spawn to appear in such NetherRealm Studios games as Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat X, due out in April from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
However, he tells GamerFitNation there’s a catch: It’s a “short deal” that comes with a ticking clock.
“It’s a little bit of me trying to say out loud, the reason that Spawn looks and feels the way that it does, which is slightly different than some of the better-selling books right now at Image, is because it was started in 1992, and those trappings were put in there intentionally at that time. I can’t undo the blueprint. It’s a superhero book, and it’s always been a superhero book. That’s what it is. It’s not that I can’t do non-superhero books, or I couldn’t do a comedy book, or a true romance book, I just have chosen during that time not to. It’s not for lack of ideas or skill, I’ve just chosen not to. If people like it, some people may say, ‘Oh, it’s a change of pace for Todd. I didn’t know you could do all of this stuff.’ To me, it’s not really different than saying, ‘Draw a circle or draw a square.’ They’re both different shapes. I can do both of them, I just have been drawing a circle for so long. But it didn’t mean I couldn’t draw a square any day of the last 20 years. I could have. That’s not what Marvel and DC did, and when we left, that wasn’t what we did. We did our thing, and people then could say, ‘Well, you could have done it in the last 20 years,’ and the answer is not really, because that really wasn’t the footprint and the identity of what Image was at that point.”
– Todd McFarlane, discussing his upcoming Image Comics miniseries Savior
Coinciding with the release of the landmark Spawn #250, the entire library of Spawn comics — including the 20-volume Spawn Origins Collection — is now available digitally for the first time on comiXology.
As Todd McFarlane breaks it down on his Facebook page, “That’s over 23 years (and more than 5,300 pages of story and art) of the Spawn mythology available with one swipe of your finger.”
Todd McFarlane has unveiled a glimpse of a planned Spawn/Batman crossover that never saw the light of day. In what the Image Comics co-founder characterizes as “a bit of fate,” the project was to have been drawn by current Batman artist, and longtime McFarlane collaborator, Greg Capullo.
“Years ago there was a deal for DC Comics and myself to do a cool Batman/Spawn cross-over book (for those not hip to comic lingo, that’s a book in which both characters are in the same issue),” McFarlane writes in a Facebook post accompanying the long-lost cover. “I [was] to have written and inked it, while a talented penciller, Greg Capullo, was going to draw it. For a variety of reasons (mostly on my shoulders) the book never got off the ground, but a few pages and promo pieces were done for it. Below is one such piece drawn by Greg and inked by myself.”
Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane has made it a habit of late to open up his archives via his Facebook page, sharing everything from early Spawn designs to evolutionary charts. But this weekend, he held court on some of his publishing philosophy as it applies to his past life as a Marvel Comics superstar.
“Here’s the the answer to a question I get asked a lot: ‘NO!… I WILL NEVER DRAW for Marvel or DC Comics AGAIN!'” the artist wrote in a new post. “But it’s not why you might think…”
Skottie Young has revealed his variant cover for the landmark 250th issue of Spawn, set for release Jan. 28 from Image Comics.
The 64-page issue, written by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and illustrated by Szymon Kudranski, marks the climax of the current story, clearing the way for the return of Al Simmons and the introduction of the new creative team of Paul Jenkins and Jonboy Meyers.
Ahead of the arrival of the landmark 250th issue, Todd McFarlane has unveiled “The Evolution of Spawn,” a graphic tracing the character’s numerous costumes, from the original design to the Greg Capullo-drawn Commando Spawn to Jonboy Meyers’ upcoming interpretation.
“And if you’re doing the math, that’s 24 YEARS. TWENTY-FOUR!!!!!!!!” McFarlane writes on Facebook. “It’s cool to look back and see how things have changed since 1992….it’s hard to believe we’re already coming up on our #250th issue.”
Todd McFarlane frequently uses his Facebook page to inspire fans with lessons he’s learned in his own life, and his latest post is little different — except that it features the first piece of Spawn promo art, drawn on the day he left Marvel in 1991.
“When I left Marvel … I JUMPED OFF THE CLIFF into the unknown to start Image Comics and then McFarlane Toys,” he writes. “But I knew in that by following my heart, I would be a better husband and father. No amount of money could be buy me that!!!
Todd McFarlane’s original cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #300 is expected to sell for more than $250,000 when it goes up for auction later this month.
The 1988 issue not only marked the 25th anniversary of the Marvel comics series but also the first full appearance of Venom, the popular villain created when Spider-Man’s black symbiote suit merged with Eddie Brock. The cover is signed by McFarlane three times on the front, and includes a handwritten note on the back from the artist (presumably to series editor Jim Salicrup).
Counting down to the landmark 250th issue of Spawn, Todd McFarlane has given fans a glimpse into the cover process for Issue 248 — “only two more issues until AL SIMMONS returns!!” — penciled by Syzmon Kudranski and inked by McFarlane himself, which goes on sale Nov. 5.
“It’s pretty COOL to see how it all comes together,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “There’s a lot of work that goes into this comic stuff.” He also offered a reminder about the art contest for Spawn #250, noting that he’ll start collecting submissions on Nov. 1.
The biggest comics news Thursday out of Comic-Con International was undoubtedly that, after years of debate, comiXology has introduced DRM-free backups of titles purchased from its storefront, with Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, Top Shelf Productions and Zenescope Entertainment signing on to the program.
An email went out last night notifying customers that books they’ve purchased can be downloaded and stored as PDF or CBZ files, and pointing them to an FAQ on the subject.
“This has been an oft-requested feature,” comiXology CEO David Steinberger said during the company’s Comic-Con panel. “It’s a real backup file — it’s a fairly plain PDF or CBZ. They are high resolution, not a lot of bells and whistles, and my feeling is that people will continue to use the cloud-based reader to do their reading.”
The other big announcement was that Marvel will publish Avengers: Age of Ultron, an in-continuity graphic novel by the Uncanny X-Force team of Rick Remender, Jerome Opeña and Dean White scheduled to arrive in April 2015, ahead of the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Over the course of his 30-year career, Todd McFarlane has spoken frequently about his lone road into the comics industry, one dotted with more than 700 submissions and 350 rejection letters. If you thought that was an apocryphal story akin to tales of having to walk five miles to school … uphill … both ways, think again.
On his Facebook page, the creator of Spawn shares a few photos from his submission days, featuring a sampling of his rejection letters, including one from former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, as well as a chart he created to track where he sent the packages, and whether he received responses.
Three weeks after Marc Silvestri and Todd McFarlane pulled back the curtain on their collaboration process for a Skybound cover, Image Comics has unveiled the final product: a variant for Manifest Destiny #7. It’s colored by series colorist Owen Gieni.
The issue kicks off a new arc in the series by Chris Dingess and Matthew Roberts, which tells the hidden story of the Lewis & Clark expedition (one filled with monsters).
Manifest Destiny #7, which arrives June 11, can be ordered now with Diamond Code APR140575; the Silvestri/McFarlane variant is MAR148175.
On his Facebook page, Marc Silvestri pulls back the curtain on his collaboration with Todd McFarlane on a cover for an unidentified Robert Kirkman comic. It’s a work in progress, with McFarlane inking over Silvestri’s loose pencils — and providing a bit of commentary about the role of the inker and how this collaboration came about.
“Robert was able to convince Marc Silvestri to pencil the cover and since I happen to be on the phone with him when he mentioned he was doing this cover, I offered to ink it for him,” McFarlane explains. “I also told Marc to ‘loosen up on your pencils, I’ll do some of the artistic lifting on the page.’ So, what you have is a female character riding a giant insect creature as they battle in the sky.”
There’s more at the link.
Sequart has premiered a clip from its upcoming documentary The Image Revolution in which Image Comics founders Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane recount the fateful meeting they and Jim Lee had 22 years ago this month with then-Marvel Comics Publisher Terry Stewart. It’s an oft-repeated tale — it’s part of Image’s origin story, after all — that benefits from Liefeld’s animated storytelling and impressions.
Funded in part through Kickstarter, the documentary from director Patrick Meaney, Sequart and Respect! Films traces the 20-year history of Image, “from its founders’ work at Marvel, through Image’s early days, the ups and downs of the ’90s, and the publisher’s new generation of properties like The Walking Dead.”
You can preorder The Image Revolution for $4.99 digital download at Sequart.