GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Sheep Interview: Spawn creator Todd McFarlane + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sheep Interview: Spawn creator Todd McFarlane + giveaway

By: Katie Dalton
Founder & Head Writer

Image Expo 2012 Oakland, CA. After months of waiting and days without sleep our interview with the mega legend himself Todd McFarlane was upon me. With hands shaking and paramedics standing by I pressed on in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Make sure to stay tuned until the very end for a special giveaway.

Our full interview is transcribed below, I hope you enjoy.

Katie: Hi Todd, I'm Katie from I Smell Sheep. So outside of Spawn your very unique style of art is best known for Spider-man and Batman. How did you end up drawing two of comics's most iconic characters and who rocks the most? Batman or Spider-man?
Todd: I think Batman's cooler because Batman is more of a shape. So he's geometry, for a guy like me that's more of a designer than true artist ya know? Jim Lee and Mark Sylvester know the anatomy way better than I do. I was more of a designer. Spider-man was arms and legs so I couldn't hide him behind anything but the guys with the capes, it's no accident Spawn's got a cape, the guys with capes and stuff you can create these cool silhouettes with them that look pretty imposing. And I gotta tell ya anyone who's got a million bucks and doesn't want to spend it and doesn't want to date pretty girls and just sits in his house and waits and waits until 3 o'clock in the morning and says "get me the black suit I'm going to go scare the shit out of the bad guys" I kinda like that guy. Right?
Katie: *laughing* Right.
Todd: He's just like, "I don't want all the normal stuff I just want to get rid of the scum of the earth." I kinda dig that guy.
Katie: Okay.
Todd: I wish he'd kill somebody every now and then though…
Katie: Hey, maybe he will.
Todd: No. That's why I created Spawn. *smiles*

Katie: Since we're speaking of Spawn, he is your greatest body of work. Tell me how you came up with the character and how you feel about having such creative control?
Todd: The character I created when I was about sixteen in high-school. I just started collecting comic-books at the age and feel in love with the medium. Started training myself on how to do comic books, and as you might imagine almost anybody who wants to break into comics does the same thing you start creating your own characters. So I started creating dozens of them but the guy that I sort of liked the most was this guy that I called Spawn. At sixteen I was going to do a comic book about him. It was originally set in the future because Star Wars was kinda popular at that point but the concept was still there. A guy who's in love with his wife, to me it's a romantic story. A guy who wants to get rid of all the white noise in the world, good or bad, and just wants that one last moment to say goodbye to his loved one.

I have to believe in spite of all what people say that I don't care what your religious background is that most people would do the same thing. If they got into a fight with their wife, left, got hit by a bus and somebody said you can say goodbye one last time to them and you don't want to end it on a bad note 'cause you had a fight. I think people would cause we're just humans we would want that. So he takes that deal. Then again you get into the fantasy part of it, who made the deal? He didn't look at the details of it which makes for a good comic book with all the back-story. But at its core is a guy that says I don't want to serve Hell or Heaven, I don't want to serve either of you guys. I'm my own man I just want to live my own life. It's all metaphors for me. That's who I am too.

Katie: Recently you worked with the man, the myth, the legend Stan Lee on Red Dragon. How was that?
Todd: I met Stan, I think I was seventeen, I was accidentally at a hotel that had a comic convention in Miami. I meet him for the first time and I thought he was the most energetic guy I ever saw. We now fast forward over thirty years later and he's STILL the most energetic guy. I mean, he's like a machine! I think he's like the movie Dave, there's something inside him little people or something because I see him and go "If I could have half the energy that man has when I'm his age I would be happy." He's awesome. He really knows how to make the people and the fans feel good after they've meet him. And he doesn't take himself too seriously. He brings so much.

Katie: Superhero movies have finally come into their own over the past decade, why has it taken films so long to finally come up with the right recipe for summer blockbusters?
Todd: I don't know. I don't why it took until 1945 before we let minorities step onto a baseball field. Sometimes we as humans can't figure obvious stuff out. I always thought it was weird that at sixteen when I started collecting I was a geek. I was the classic closet collector. I literally had my comics in my closet, and a couple people found out and they would roll their eyes. They would say oh he's mentally arrested, because they would say that's sorta childish. But the odd thing was I would say "well what are you doing this weekend?" And they would say going to the movies to see Star Wars and James Bond and Indiana Jones and its ALL comic book stuff! Just because they aren't wearing spandex and wearing armor instead. It was some big sort of divide.

Fast forward Batman comes it and breaks down the wall, we now have a dozen-plus movies out there. Now we're not geeks anymore because regular folks have accepted us. The Geeks have inherited the world now, all those things we've been doing for years now we're saying you guys are the ones that are late for the party!

Katie: Do you think the iPad is going to be a game changer for comics?
Todd: Depends what your definition of "game changer" is. Well, taking a step back, the definition of a comic book in its simplest form is words and pictures. A novel is words. So you can sort of break it down. Movies are moving images and sound. Comics are words and pictures. Words and pictures are never going away. They've been there since the hieroglyphics so the question then becomes what's the delivery mechanism of the words and pictures? Maybe a thousand years from now they'll go, "They used to put it on paper!" then something else but I don't care if words and pictures are now on the sides of blimps and thats how everybody gets them. We still have to tell good stories, good characters. All those things will remain the same, but how people get it I don't know. If there is an easier way to get it into your hand sitting at home in pajamas hit a button versus going out getting dressed and walking in the rain to the comic store that might change.
Katie: Right, and then there's what happens to the comic stores and the chain effect that takes place.
Todd: We saw it a lot with music. The world evolves and you just go with it, can't fight it. With us we're just going to go with it. Not fight the delivery mechanism.

Katie: Would you like to do some fun questions?
Todd: It's your interview, you do what you damn well please. *smiles*
Katie: *laughing* Awesome! So, I'm going to ask you some rapid fire questions and just answer with the first thing that pops up.

Katie: Spongebob or Patrick?
Todd: Spongebob

Katie: Coke or Pepsi?
Todd: Coke
[people in background hiss YESSS, including myself]
Todd: My wife likes Pepsi.
Katie: No, no. YOU said Coke.
Todd: Well, I'm just saying...

Katie: Super strength or super brains?
Todd: Super brains. Because super brains would hire the super strength guy to work for him. Every time.

Katie: Serenity or Enterprise?
Todd: Serenity

Katie: Shaken or Stirred?
Todd: Stirred

Katie: Lucky Charms or Trix?
Todd: D'oh. Captain Crunch

Katie: Vampires or werewolves?
Todd: Vampires

Katie: Which fictional character would you want watching your back in a zombie apocalypse?
Todd: Godzilla. He would just *stomps feet* he would see them coming from a mile away, that would be too easy. Wouldn't even be fun.

Katie: If you could pick a theme song when you walked into a room what would it be?
Todd: Born Free. That's it. That's what I want on my grave. " Here lies Todd, he died a free man". That's all I want, I don't want anybody to tell me what to do in my life. That's why I do what I do. It's not like I want to do anything crazy, I just want to do art.

A big thanks to Todd for taking the time out of his busy schedule to interview with us and to Image Expo for grating us the media access. Truly an incredible time hosted by a classy venue.

Photographed by: Michael Natusch

Todd was kind enough to sign a copy of his hit comic series Spawn which one lucky winner will receive. This contest is open the everyone and ends March 10th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am just starting to explore the new generation of comics. I am finding them fun to read.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    1. That's so cool Debby, I look forward to hearing what you find next. You can find some very emotional stories in comics, it's so much more then pictures and tights. ;)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I for got to add that I first read comics around 7 years old

  4. I can't remember when I read my first comic, but I know it was Archie. I know, silly huh?! It's okay, I just loved that silly Jughead!!!!

  5. What a fun interview - BIG THANKS to Todd and Katie both! I've loved superhero comic books since I was little and now I have four grown daughters that love all kinds of comics too (you should see the five of us in a comic shop - what a blast!) The artwork is AMAZING and I love the stories -- it's so cool how they're basically condensed down to pure essence.

    1. And yet another reason why I love Dani. If I was a man (or was into women like that) I would have to swoop you away from your husband. lol

  6. I loved comics for the artwork and story but haven't read any for years. Must get back to reading them soon :D

  7. Thank you for sharing this wonderful interview. (humming born free in honor of our guest) I believe I was in my early teens or just at preteen when I started reading comic book, many many moons ago - yes I was a true fan of Archie, gotta love the redheaded dude, and continued on from there. I love the artwork that goes with the stories in today's versions. Thank you for all your incredibly entertaining work and sharing with us fans of the genre!

    1. (humming bron free with Denise) for me, the first comic I read was X-Men. I was maybe 8 I think but I feel in love and haven't moved yet. Crazy how comics are woven into our lives, the stories and fun memories we have from jumping into there world.

      Thanks for the support Denise, as always, you rock it hard for the sheep!! baaaaa!!

  8. I've always loved comics and the movies that have come from them. Great interview.

  9. comics.. i usually read manga :p but i generally love comics, though i always grumble when the book finished too quickly and i must wait for the next installment to come out

  10. If I'm remembering way back when...the first comic I read was Superwoman. Wonderful interview and giveaway!
    dakota (at) dakota-banks (dot) com

  11. The first comic I read a Daredevil graphic novel and I was 15.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. I love comics we always had the donald duck ones and superman as kids.

    ticklebear2 at yahoo dot com