Todd McFarlane is about to add yet another accolade to his wild list of accomplishments. Any one of McFarlane’s genre redefining moments within his multiple industries would be enough for most people, but the man just won’t stop working. He founded McFarlane Toys, a hyper detailed toy manufacturer that is still a gold standard for model figures to date. He also founded McFarlane Entertainment, a film and animation studio. (Remember Korn’s awesome “Freak on a Leash” music video?) He’s a fixture of the sports world, owning Mark McGwire’s, Barry Bonds’, and Sammy Sosa’s record breaking baseballs and serving as the previous co-owner of the Edmonton Oilers.
On the comic book side; he reinvented Spider-Man’s style (and webbing) creating Venom along the way. You mention McFarlane’s Batman and you can’t help but picture that iconic cape. Not content with the state of the industry at the time he co-founded his own (still thriving) publishing company Image Comics alongside Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, Erik Larsen, Mark Silvestri, Jim Valentino and Whilce Portacio. To this day Image is still the third largest publisher in all of comic books, bringing in a wild array of next level talent, and they just can’t stop getting nominated for Eisner Awards.
As he was co-founding the company, McFarlane invented Spawn, one of Image Comics’ most prolific titles. Writing and illustrating Spawn for much of the character’s existence, McFarlane also attached to directed the new rebooted film for Blumhouse. But now, with issue 301, Todd McFarlane and Spawn are about to cross another benchmark: longest running creator-owned comic book ever. (The previous record holder Davis Simms’ Cerebus ran an impressive 300 issues) But he doesn’t want to stop there; each and every issue after 301 is a record breaker, and he knows it.
I sat down with Todd McFarlane at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 to talk about the oversized and record-breaking Spawn 301, why now is the best time to create indie comics, Venom coming out of a happy accident and more. All before he ran off to get back to pencilling, and writing, and directing, and founding companies, and….
- How it feels to cross that 300 and then the 301st benchmark.
- Why it’s important to endure against the larger corporations, carving your own way.
- Now being the best time to create independent comic books.
- The 108th, and 122nd Books being the next best available properties to adapt
- Venom being a happy accident.
- Canadians being record breakers in comic books.
- Spawn surprises coming in 300 and 301
- Being aware of the retailers and consumers at all times
- Where we stand with the Blumhouse Spawn movie
- Keeping the record going into the future