Spawn #1 (1992), featuring one of McFarlane's most popular creationsThe Amazing Spider-Man #316 (1989) featuring Venom, a villain whose first appearance was drawn by McFarlane

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Todd McFarlane

Todd McFarlane (born March 16, 1961 in Calgary, Alberta) is a cartoonist, comic book writer, artist, and media entrepreneur. more...

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, McFarlane became a comic book superstar with little precedent due to his work on Marvel Comics' Spider-Man franchise. more...

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In 1992, he helped form Image Comics and created the occult hero Spawn, who became one of the 1990s' most popular heroes and encouraged a trend in creator-owned comic book properties.

In recent years, McFarlane has illustrated comic books less often, focusing on entrepreneurial efforts, such as McFarlane Toys, whose meticulously detailed action figures have set new standards in the toy industry, and Todd McFarlane Entertainment, a film and animation studio.

McFarlane is also co-owner of National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers and a high-profile collector of history-making baseballs.

Biography

McFarlane was born in Calgary, Alberta. He graduated from William Aberhart High School. As a teenager, he discovered comic books and was a fan of stars such as John Byrne and Frank Miller, but was especially drawn to the more atypical art of Michael Golden and Art Adams (Adams' detailed but cartoon-ish approach is especially noticeable in McFarlane's work).

In the early 1980s, McFarlane attended Eastern Washington University on a baseball scholarship and studied graphic art. He sought to play baseball professionally after graduation but was not contracted by a professional team. During his time at EWU, McFarlane worked at a comic book shop in Spokane, Washington. Drawings he had done of Marvel and DC superheros were sold at local shops.

McFarlane's first published work was a 1984 backup story in Epic Comics' Coyote. He soon began working for both Marvel and DC Comics. He illustrated several issues of Marvel's Incredible Hulk and DC's Infinity Inc. and various Batman series.

In 1988, McFarlane joined writer David Michelinie on Marvel's The Amazing Spider-Man. McFarlane changed the character's appearance, making him more spider-like with wiry limbs and large eyes. His interpretation would influence those of many subsequent Spider-Man artists. McFarlane also drew the first appearance of Venom, a wildly popular villain.

McFarlane's work on The Amazing Spider-Man turned him into an industry superstar. In 1990, Marvel launched a new monthly Spider-Man series, simply called Spider-Man, which McFarlane both wrote and illustrated. Spider-Man #1 sold 2.5 million copies, partially thanks to the variant covers that were used to encourage collectors into buying more than one edition. Spider-Man #1 is seen by many as the beginning of the comic speculation boom that lasted through the first years of the 1990's (reaching its bust with DC Comics "Death Of Superman" storyline of mid-1993.)

After a year on Spider-Man, McFarlane left Marvel with six other popular artists to form Image Comics, an umbrella company under which each owned a publishing house. McFarlane's studio, Todd McFarlane Productions, published his creation, scripted by Lance Gueck, the occult-themed Spawn. Spawn #1 sold 1.7 million copies, still a record for an independent comic book.

The series continued to be a sales smash throughout the early 1990s and was initally seen as one of the more respected series from the Image Comics imprint, in regards to staying timely to scheduled release dates and for McFarlane's artwork. However, the book was still panned (like the majority of Image's titles) for its threadbare writing and its generic characters . A promotional stunt of early Spawn issues written by noteworthy writers (including Neil Gaiman, Dave Sim, and Frank Miller), however, would also give the benefit of adding more depth to the title's storyline.

McFarlane eventually would hand off scripting duties (while still overseeing plotlines) to other writers, and the book continued to retain a respectable following. However, McFarlane's studio began to suffer the same inability as other Image titles to meet its own announced publishing schedule. This, in turn, created a backlash among direct market comic shop owners, who became increasingly reluctant to promote the Spawn line of comics and other McFarlane-manufactured products. Spawn continues to be published as of 2005, but has lost significant sales momentum.

McFarlane's defense of the Image Comics ethic during its early years led to a noteworthy "style verus substance"-themed feud with comic writer Peter David. McFarlane's bold assertion that comic writers were irrelevant in comparison to artwork was seen as boorish, egotistical behavior, and the exchanges with David as bad publicity for the Image line that took the comic imprint several years to recover from. David himself would work on Image-created books, most notably for Dale Keown's book, Pitt. However, this wasn't a shocking turn within the comics community, as Keown had previously worked with David during his acclaimed initial run on Marvel's The Incredible Hulk.

Todd McFarlane Productions has also published multiple Spawn spin-off mini-series, but, unlike other Image studios, such as Jim Lee's Wildstorm, McFarlane's studio was never intended to focus on being a comic book company, and had always intended to diversify into other areas. McFarlane increasingly concentrated his own personal attention to those other ventures, which resulted in irregular work as an illustrator. By 1994, he ceased to be the regular illustrator of his own "signature" book, and would only re-visit Spawn sporadically, or as a promotional stunt for the title.

That same year, McFarlane created McFarlane Toys. Its line of meticulously sculpted line of Spawn action figures set a new standard for detail and commercialized action figures as art. McFarlane Toys changed the entire industry by focusing on more mature consumers and non-traditional action figure inspirations such as musicians. The company has licensed the right to produce action figures of athletes in all four major North American sports - baseball, hockey, football and basketball - and several recent, successful film franchises, including The Terminator, The Matrix and Shrek. It has also created figures of rock musicians, including Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and the members of Kiss.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Incredible Hulk Lot #342, 346 (1988) Todd McFarlane Art! The Leader, Nick Fury.Incredible Hulk Lot #342, 346 (1988) Todd McFarlane Art! The Leader, Nick Fury. $4.99 New ListingDemonstorm #1 Caliber Press 1997 Series Todd McFarlane Cover Vg+New ListingDemonstorm #1 Caliber Press 1997 Series Todd McFarlane Cover Vg+ $4.99
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Spawn #327 Todd McFarlane Variant Cover Homage to Spider-Man Haunt NewSpawn #327 Todd McFarlane Variant Cover Homage to Spider-Man Haunt New $13.98 New ListingSpider-Man #1 - Cgc 9.8 Silver Edition Custom Label - New Slab - McFarlaneNew ListingSpider-Man #1 - Cgc 9.8 Silver Edition Custom Label - New Slab - McFarlane $79.00
Gunslinger Spawn #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10 Nm 1-10 Set A Covers McfarlaneGunslinger Spawn #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10 Nm 1-10 Set A Covers Mcfarlane $44.99 Amazing Spider-Man #300 1st App Venom Todd McFarlane Newstand Ed. Cgc 7.0 NiceAmazing Spider-Man #300 1st App Venom Todd McFarlane Newstand Ed. Cgc 7.0 Nice $385.00
Spawn: Monolith #1 (Of 3) Cover B Todd McFarlane VariantSpawn: Monolith #1 (Of 3) Cover B Todd McFarlane Variant $2.99 Spider-Man #11 Marvel Comic Book 1991 Wolverine Wendigo McFarlane 4 Of 5Spider-Man #11 Marvel Comic Book 1991 Wolverine Wendigo McFarlane 4 Of 5 $3.99
Spider-Man #6 1990 | McFarlane | Hobgoblin | Vf+/NmSpider-Man #6 1990 | McFarlane | Hobgoblin | Vf+/Nm $3.99 Batman Spawn #1 (One Shot) Cvr T Todd Mcfarlane Var (12/14/2022)Batman Spawn #1 (One Shot) Cvr T Todd Mcfarlane Var (12/14/2022) $7.89
Spawn #1 Vf Misprint Error Variant McFarlane Image ComicsSpawn #1 Vf Misprint Error Variant McFarlane Image Comics $0.99 New ListingSpawn #3 Aug. 1992 Image ComicsNew ListingSpawn #3 Aug. 1992 Image Comics $0.99
New ListingAmazing Spider-Man by David Michelinie & Todd McFarlane Omnibus new sealedNew ListingAmazing Spider-Man by David Michelinie & Todd McFarlane Omnibus new sealed $124.95 New ListingSpider-Man #13 Newsstand Variant McFarlane Cover Black Suit 1 Venom Marvel 1991New ListingSpider-Man #13 Newsstand Variant McFarlane Cover Black Suit 1 Venom Marvel 1991 $23.87
Amazing Spider-Man 316 Newsstand 3rd App Venom 1st Full Cover App McFarlane 1989Amazing Spider-Man 316 Newsstand 3rd App Venom 1st Full Cover App McFarlane 1989 $99.99 The Malibu Sun #13 Spawn by Todd McFarlane - See Pics & DescriptionThe Malibu Sun #13 Spawn by Todd McFarlane - See Pics & Description $150.00
New ListingWizard Masterpiece Edition Spider-Man Hc Hardcover McFarlaneNew ListingWizard Masterpiece Edition Spider-Man Hc Hardcover McFarlane $12.99 Todd McFarlane Spawn Batman #1 Image Comics 1994 Signed by Frank Miller w/ CoaTodd McFarlane Spawn Batman #1 Image Comics 1994 Signed by Frank Miller w/ Coa $80.00
Spider-Man #11 Todd McFarlane" (Newsstand Edition) 1990Spider-Man #11 Todd McFarlane" (Newsstand Edition) 1990 $250.00 Batman: Year Two (1990) Dc Comics Graphic Novel Tpb McFarlaneBatman: Year Two (1990) Dc Comics Graphic Novel Tpb McFarlane $16.98
Spider-Man Omnibus Hc By Todd McFarlane, New, Nm 2021 sealedSpider-Man Omnibus Hc By Todd McFarlane, New, Nm 2021 sealed $49.95 New ListingAmazing Spider-Man 309 McFarlane cover 1st Styx and Stone Marvel Comics Vf+New ListingAmazing Spider-Man 309 McFarlane cover 1st Styx and Stone Marvel Comics Vf+ $9.00
Spawn #8Old New Backstock Todd McFarlane - High Grade 9.2 to 9.6 Nm ConditionSpawn #8Old New Backstock Todd McFarlane - High Grade 9.2 to 9.6 Nm Condition $8.00 Vg 1990 Marvel Tales #237 McFarlane Cover. (Newsstand Variant)Vg 1990 Marvel Tales #237 McFarlane Cover. (Newsstand Variant) $9.99
Amazing Spider-Man 328 Todd McFarlane Grey Hulk Marvel Comics Jan 1989 VengenceAmazing Spider-Man 328 Todd McFarlane Grey Hulk Marvel Comics Jan 1989 Vengence $9.49 New ListingSpider-Man #1 1990 Marvel Comics Cgc 9.8 Nm/M Gold Mcfarlane Custom LabelNew ListingSpider-Man #1 1990 Marvel Comics Cgc 9.8 Nm/M Gold Mcfarlane Custom Label $12.50
Mutiny Magazine: #0 (Spawn) | Foursquare Comics | Todd McfarlaneMutiny Magazine: #0 (Spawn) | Foursquare Comics | Todd Mcfarlane $49.95 [7 Pack] Spawn Gunslinger #1 (10/20/2021)[7 Pack] Spawn Gunslinger #1 (10/20/2021) $28.00
Daredevil #241 Marvel Comics 1987 Todd McfarlaneDaredevil #241 Marvel Comics 1987 Todd Mcfarlane $1.00 New ListingNew Mutants #88 Vg- Direct Edition Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld cover. Cable.New ListingNew Mutants #88 Vg- Direct Edition Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld cover. Cable. $4.00
New ListingSpawn Collection Vol. 1 by Todd McFarlane (Image, Tpb, Third Printing, 2006)New ListingSpawn Collection Vol. 1 by Todd McFarlane (Image, Tpb, Third Printing, 2006) $16.00 Spawn: Monolith (2024) 1 | Image Comics | Cover SelectSpawn: Monolith (2024) 1 | Image Comics | Cover Select $2.88
Image Comics Spawn #230 Batman #423 homage cover! Very Low Print Run See ScansImage Comics Spawn #230 Batman #423 homage cover! Very Low Print Run See Scans $124.19 New ListingSpawn #320 Cgc 9.8 (Image 21) Todd McFarlane Variant Homage Spider-man #316New ListingSpawn #320 Cgc 9.8 (Image 21) Todd McFarlane Variant Homage Spider-man #316 $75.00
Spawn #1 Cgc 9.4 Todd McFarlane 🔑 Image 1992 1st App Spawn 1st PrintSpawn #1 Cgc 9.4 Todd McFarlane 🔑 Image 1992 1st App Spawn 1st Print $99.99 Spawn #300 Near Mint 2019 Todd Mcfarlane Variant 1st Print Image Comics b-196Spawn #300 Near Mint 2019 Todd Mcfarlane Variant 1st Print Image Comics b-196 $9.15
New ListingAmazing Spider-Man #303 Todd McFarlane! Sandman! Marvel 1988New ListingAmazing Spider-Man #303 Todd McFarlane! Sandman! Marvel 1988 $0.99 New ListingSpawn #327 Cgc 9.8 (Image 22) Todd McFarlane Variant Cover Homage Spider-man #1New ListingSpawn #327 Cgc 9.8 (Image 22) Todd McFarlane Variant Cover Homage Spider-man #1 $75.00
New ListingThe Incredible Hulk #342 (Marvel, 1988) art and cover by Todd McFarlaneNew ListingThe Incredible Hulk #342 (Marvel, 1988) art and cover by Todd McFarlane $16.00 Amazing Spider-Man 300 Shattered Variant Signed Sketch Todd McFarlane VenomAmazing Spider-Man 300 Shattered Variant Signed Sketch Todd McFarlane Venom $49.00
Spider-Man #13 Black Suit #1 Homage! Todd McFarlane! Marvel 1991. NmSpider-Man #13 Black Suit #1 Homage! Todd McFarlane! Marvel 1991. Nm $17.95 Gunslinger Spawn #1 Todd McFarlane A B C D E F G Variant 7-Cover SetGunslinger Spawn #1 Todd McFarlane A B C D E F G Variant 7-Cover Set $19.20
Monolith #1 Cvr B Image Comics 2024 0324Im870 1B (Ca) McFarlane (W) LewisMonolith #1 Cvr B Image Comics 2024 0324Im870 1B (Ca) McFarlane (W) Lewis $2.99 New ListingSpawn #39 Signed by Greg Capullo Santa Spawn Christmas CoverNew ListingSpawn #39 Signed by Greg Capullo Santa Spawn Christmas Cover $5.00
Spawn #1 1992 Origin 1st Printing McFarlane Image ComicsSpawn #1 1992 Origin 1st Printing McFarlane Image Comics $20.00 New ListingSpider-Man #1 Todd McFarlane Marvel Comics 1990 Green Cover High GradeNew ListingSpider-Man #1 Todd McFarlane Marvel Comics 1990 Green Cover High Grade $18.00
New ListingSpawn 305 Cover D Variant Nm Todd McFarlaneNew ListingSpawn 305 Cover D Variant Nm Todd McFarlane $5.99 New ListingAmazing Spider-Man #328 (Marvel, 1990) Classic Cover! Groin punch! McFarlane Nm-New ListingAmazing Spider-Man #328 (Marvel, 1990) Classic Cover! Groin punch! McFarlane Nm- $15.00
Spider-Man #1 (1990) Iconic Todd McFarlane Cover!Spider-Man #1 (1990) Iconic Todd McFarlane Cover! $9.99 Amazing Spider-Man 301 1988 Todd McFarlane Cover Art Silver Sable Marvel ComicsAmazing Spider-Man 301 1988 Todd McFarlane Cover Art Silver Sable Marvel Comics $20.50
Vintage Spawn #1 Comic (Image, 1992) Authentic 1st Edition 1st Print Mint! 🔥Vintage Spawn #1 Comic (Image, 1992) Authentic 1st Edition 1st Print Mint! 🔥 $39.99 Spawn #311 Cover B Todd McFarlane Chadwick Boseman Tribute Variant 2020 ImageSpawn #311 Cover B Todd McFarlane Chadwick Boseman Tribute Variant 2020 Image $2.99
Batman #423 High Grade McFarlane 1st PrintBatman #423 High Grade McFarlane 1st Print $225.00 New Listing1990 Marvel Spider-Man #1 1st New Collector's Issue Lizard McFarlane Cgc 9.6New Listing1990 Marvel Spider-Man #1 1st New Collector's Issue Lizard McFarlane Cgc 9.6 $0.77
Spawn #246 (2014, Image Comics) Szymon Kudranski Cover Todd McFarlane Nm CombineSpawn #246 (2014, Image Comics) Szymon Kudranski Cover Todd McFarlane Nm Combine $9.99 Spawn #351 Cover C Variant Brett Booth Virgin Cover | Todd McFarlane 2024Spawn #351 Cover C Variant Brett Booth Virgin Cover | Todd McFarlane 2024 $5.95
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