The World vs Todd McFarlane: Part Three

The World vs Todd McFarlane


“And so it goes. Antonio Twist tries to swallow up more power. His nickname on the street is 'Dracula' because he lives to suck the power out of everyone. He considers his options, which companies to engulf; what to wear to the charity fundraiser; whose wife to seduce.” (Spawn #6)
One thing that almost everybody, other than those directly involved, could agree on was that the overall writing on those early books left a lot to be desired. The quality of writing in Image Comics in the early days wasn’t overly respected, both amongst peers and the public. Not that any accusations of poor writing were ever going to stop them, nor could it. The fans, and especially the speculators, were buying anything with the Image logo on it in the hundreds of thousands.
Spawn had been out for maybe about a year at this point or close to it and Image Comics was founded by a bunch of artists and the knock against us was that, y…

The World vs Todd McFarlane: Part Two

The World vs Todd McFarlane

PART TWO: FORMING IMAGE, CREATING SPAWN and NAMING TONY TWISTAfter quitting Marvel, McFarlane took time off to be with his family. With the money that he had already earned and the cash continuing to pour in from Marvel, he could more than afford to reflect upon his next move, and he wanted his next move to be one of total control. One person he was talking to, who had the same kind of success, but was pilloried even more than Todd McFarlane, was Rob Liefeld, then hot off the New Mutants and, like McFarlane, had a new title created just for him, the newly launched title X-Force. Liefeld also wanted more control over what he was producing, so the seeds for what would become Image Comics were beginning to be sown.
“I'd been having off and on conversations with sort of other free-lancers and friends about sort of saying, ‘Why don't we start our own company. What are we working for the companies for? Sort of dancing to their tunes to some extent. Why don&…

The World vs Todd McFarlane: Part One

The World vs Todd McFarlane

Part One: Todd McFarlane's Early Years
Before delving into the many trials of Todd McFarlane, it’s worth looking at a quick overview of his early career. Much of what McFarlane would do, and how he would act, was dictated by the views he formed in the earlier part of his career. McFarlane appeared to be an overnight sensation, but the reality, like most careers, is far from the truth.
“I attended Spokane Falls Community College starting in, I think, the beginning of 1980, spent about a year and a half there and then transferred over to Eastern Washington University and stayed there until graduation in 1984. Graduation about May of '84, started working for Marvel Comics, sort of a subdivision called Epic Comics, had a short stint, probably for four or five months; and then from there jumped over to DC.” (McFarlane Deposition, 1 March 2006)
His early days, pencilling Coyote (Epic Comics, a Marvel Comics imprint) and Infinity Inc (DC Comics) allowed him ti…

The World vs Todd McFarlane


Each generation of comic books seems to throw up at least one person who manages to polarise the entire medium. Be it Stan Lee, John Byrne, Frank Miller, Jim Shooter, Alan Moore, Jim Steranko, Neal Adams or, these days, Ethan Van Sciver, creators have often been either loved or hated by the masses for any number of reasons. They’re either looked upon as credit stealing hogs (Lee and, to a lesser extent, Shooter), having controversial opinions that go against popular views (Byrne and Van Sciver) or just plain nuts (Miller). It’s rare that a creator comes along who gains the respect from the entire industry, even the seemingly untouchable greats, including Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, have their critics.
When it comes to dividing an entire industry, there’s one artist who stands above all others.
Todd Dean Mark McFarlane.
There are those who consider Todd McFarlane to be the most exciting artist to emerge from the post-Watchmen­ era. Equally there are those who con…

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