Spider-Man To Spawn
Todd McFarlane’s artistic journey from drawing The Amazing Spider-Man for Marvel Comics to founding his own publication Image Comics and creating Spawn.
Beginning with Spider-Man
In 1984, after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree at Gonzaga University, and after 700+ submissions to comic book publishers, Todd McFarlane scored his first comic job working on Coyote published by Epic Comics, a Marvel imprint.
After 16 issues, Coyote was canceled and McFarlane moved on to work for both DC Comics and Marvel from 1985 to 1987 drawing for various comic books including Detective Comics, Batman: Year Two, and Infinity).
During 1987 he worked solely on the Incredible Hulk. Then in 1988 McFarlane started drawing for Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man. His intricate drawings, most notably Spider-Man’s webbing (which the industry termed “spaghetti-webbing”), got McFarlane really noticed.
Marvel gave him a shot at the cover and he produced. McFarlane’s cover art for issue 313 made him high-profile in the comic book world. Then 15 issues later, he told Marvel he wanted more control not only over his creative work but also over the storyline.
So in 1990, Marvel devised a new comic book title, Spider-Man, for which McFarlane could both draw and write. Initially, the comic book was a hit. However, because its storylines were controversial, in November of 1991 (16 issues later), McFarlane’s run with Marvel was over.
Creation of Spawn
After that, Mcfarlane moved on and founded a new company, Image Comics, with six other artists. Image Comics was the birthplace of the Spawn comic book series. Spawn is an occult-themed comic book for which McFarlane does the writing and drawing.
He first came up with the idea as a teenager. The comic book is based on a character named Albert Simmons whose alter ego is “Spawn”. Simmons is a national security assassin for the United States who dies, gets sent to hell, makes a deal with the devil, a returns to earth as an antihero.
Spider-Man to Spawn Success
McFarlane’s journey from Spider-Man to Spawn has been a success. From Issue #1 of Spawn, which sold 1,700,000 copies, to the release of issue #301 on October 9, 2019 (27 years later), Spawn became the longest-running creator-owned comic book series. In addition, Spawn was number one in industry-wide sales 4 years in a row.
In 1993, Todd McFarlane Productions and Hot Wheels joined forces for a cross-promotion the result of which was a collectible diecast 1:64 scale model of Al Simmon’s funny car titled the “93 Spawn Mobile”.
The Spawn Mobile was released and distributed in conjunction with Spawn issue #2 of the comic book and is currently available for purchase in our collectibles store. To check it out, just click on this 93 Spawn Mobile Hot Wheel link.
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