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Todd McFarlane on three decades (and more!) of Spawn

"Anybody that's 30 years younger has never lived in the world in which that comic book didn't exist"

Image credit: Todd McFarlane

It isn’t just Image Comics that’s celebrating its 30th anniversary this year; Todd McFarlane’s Spawn — the second-ever Image Comics title to be released, following Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood #1 — is also hitting the three decade mark with its popularity at a high. It’s something that McFarlane has been thinking about a lot this year.

“You have to start looking at it from an intellectual point of view: anybody that's 30 years younger has never lived in the world in which that comic book didn't exist,” the creator told Popverse during his recent long-form interview. “You've got a whole generation all the way up to the age of 30. Then, let's assume that even when the book first came out of you were five or younger, you probably weren't aware of it. Anybody's 35 and under, to them, the whole world, the world's always had a Spawn in it. Why wouldn't it [exist] going forward? Just, to me, why wouldn't it keep going?”

That kind of longevity means a lot to McFarlane, who elsewhere in the same conversation, likened himself to the band Kiss of all things. But that doesn’t mean that he’s taking the current wave of Spawn success as a fait accompli — instead, he’s aware that it’s something that takes work, and is going to take just as much (if not more) work to maintain moving forward.

“Last year, the number one book was King Spawn #1,” he said. “That's almost 30 years after the start of the race and I can walk into a room going, ‘Guess what the best selling comic book was last year? Was it Marvel? Was it a DC book? It was one of mine? Cool.’ Now, again, don't know if I'll be able to replicate that ever again. Who knows? I mean, I'm constantly trying to come up with tricks. Batman/Spawn is one of them. That should be the number one selling book this year, and Spawn got his name attached to it. Better start planning for next year, Todd.”

Read more from Popverse’s Todd McFarlane interview here.

Perhaps you saw mention of Batman/Spawn above, and you’re wondering just what a 29-year-old crossover has to do with anything. Surprise! There’s actually a brand-new Batman/Spawn coming this December and we have some details about the much-anticipated rematch.

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About the Author
Graeme McMillan avatar

Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.