Creator Spotlight – Todd McFarlane

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This week InvestComics will spotlight Todd McFarlane. As always, there will be many comics that are not included here, but that’s okay. We’re here to have fun.

Todd Mcfarlane was and still is a very big deal in the comic book industry. He commands your attention. He’s an entrepreneur with a toy line that rivals any action figure company out there today. Also, his artwork style rivals anyone in the industry. Todd’s artwork is a unique brand. Not everyone is a fan of it, but the voice of a few never outweighs the voice of many. He brings the angles to life and a certain realism that brings many to instantly relate to it. His Spidey bends in ways that are probably anatomically impossible for any human being to do, but we believe Spider-Man can really bend like this and it almost makes sense. Todd McFarlane’s Spidey became the main staple for many artist to emulate after. If you’re a Spider-Man artist, you want to make sure you’re up to par with Todd. Then there is Spawn. Spawn #1 sold over a million and a half copies and to this day remains one of the highest selling comic books of all time. Todd has gone on to do so much for the industry, but Spawn is his baby. This man is the real deal. Always has been, always will be.

Let’s check out some of his key books. As always on InvestComics, click the red links or comic covers to buy/bid on Ebay as you read. It’ll even open in a separate window so that you won’t lose your place!

So in no particular order, let’s go!

Todd’s first professional work was at Marvel Comics. Coyote #11 (1985). He was the penciler in a backup story. His first DC work was in Infinity Inc. #14 (1985). Todd collaborated on the cover and penciled the issue.

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Coyote #13 (1985) – First Marvel cover. (collaboration)

Infinity Inc. #26 (1986) – First solo comic cover.

Incredible Hulk #330 (1987) – First solo Marvel comic cover. Todd went on to do many Hulk issues. He was a fantastic Hulk artist.

Crusade of Comics Presents: Spawn #1 (1992) – The first time Spawn ever saw print. This very cool free mini-comic insert is the first true appearance of Spawn. The insert predates Spawn #1. A very nice collectors item for any comic enthusiast. Not many of these on Ebay right now. It was included in the ‘Lotus’ VHS tape. What is VHS? Google it.

The Amazing Spider-Man #298 (1988) – This was the game changer. Todd’s Spidey shooting those webs on the cover that became standard after he defined them and Spidey’s physical attributes contributed to the new age for Spider-Man. The Spider-Man character has two defining artist in his storied history, Steve Ditko and Todd McFarlane. There have been fabulous artist throughout the entire runs, but no two artist have defined the character the way they have.

The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (1988) – After redefining Spider-Man two issues prior, Todd blows the doors off with this comic. The first appearance of Venom and that cover. This cover, (as many of Todd’s covers) has been paid homage to so many times over the years, it’s ridiculous. Todd has officially arrived.

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Detective Comics #576 (1987) – A year prior to his Spidey, Todd killed it with his Batman. He went on to do other Batman comics thereafter.

Spawn #1 (1992) – One of the biggest selling comics of all time. Anyone who is a comic book collector owns this comic book. Even if they didn’t buy it, its somehow made its way into one of your comic book boxes. For real, check you’ll find one. Still Todd’s baby though.

Spawn-Batman #1 (1994) – With Spawn exploding at the seams in popularity, what better way to capitalize than to get Batman AND Frank Miller involved? This was a huge book upon it’s release and never lived up to its hype. Still a fun team-up, creative wise and character wise, a great book to own. Wait, want more of a reason to buy this comic? How about that this is Greg Capullo’s very first Batman work! Miller, McFarlane and Capullo……..I’ll take one thank you.

Superman Special #1 (1992) – Todd’s first Superman work. A pinup. Also Todd’s last DC original work.

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Daredevil #241 (1987) – Todd’s first and only(?) Dardevil work. This was a fill in job. He penciled the entire issue. Mike Zeck/Klaus Janson cover.

Spitfire and the Troubleshooters #4 (1987) – This is another unusual fill in issue, penciling the entire issue.

Flaming Carrot Comics #27 (1991) – How about McFarlane drawing up some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Yep, right here! He went on to do a pinup in 1992’s TMNT #50, but this is his first Turtle book.

G.I. Joe #60 (1987) – Todd filled in for a G.I. Joe comic. Looking at this now, it seems so unlike Todd to pencil a Joe book right? Todd was supposed to do two issues, but issue number 61 was never to be. Actually, it was never to be printed. Marvel nixed the McFarlane issue for whatever reason, it wasn’t until some eight years later that issue would ever see print……

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G.I. Joe Special #1 (1995) – Here is Todd’s “G.I. Joe #61”. It’s labeled as a special number one issue, with Todd McFarlane’s name attached to maximize monetary value for Marvel. Smart move. This comic also happens to be Todd’s last original work for Marvel ever printed. And boy does that cover look strikingly similar to someone, just can’t quite place it.

What The?! #3 (1988) – McFarlane has done quite a few backup stories in his time. Here is one that he did in this odd book called “Bat-Man”. Awesome parody stuff in a Marvel book here.

Mazing Man Special #3 (1988) – More unusual McFarlane stuff here. Here he does a Mazing Man backup.

The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #10 (1990) – During his Amazing Spider-Man run, this Spidey backup story is often forgotten.

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Marvel Comics Presents #32 (1989) – With the Black Panther movie on the horizon, how about the first and only work Todd has ever done on the Black Panther? Todd does an awesome wraparound here. Black Panther is on the back cover.

Guardians of the Galaxy #5 (1990) – A Guardians of the Galaxy cover by the man here.

Quasar #14 (1990) – A fantastic cosmic cover from Todd. If Quasar ever comes into the fold with the Marvel cosmic universe they are creating for the movies, this would be a nice book no? Yes of course it would be.

Sandman #50 (1993) – Todd does a pinup in Sandman. Seems absolutely fitting for some reason doesn’t it?

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Incredible Hulk #340 (1988) – The first Wolverine by Todd destined to become a classic cover. And it has.

Marvel Age #90 (1990) – Here is an original Todd McFarlane Spider-Man cover that might be rarer than most Spidey covers he’s done.

Spider-Man #16 (1991) – How about this spectacular sideways classic cover? This would be the end of Todd’s run with Spider-Man. Good way to go out.

Wizard Magazine #1 (1991) – Ah, the real speculation boom started here. As InvestComics has said for many years, thanks to Wizard magazine for the thought process of having InvestComics be born. We’ll take it from here Wizard, thanks. The classic Wizard Spider-Man cover!

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Conan #241 (1991) – Todd does a Conan the Barbarian cover.

Amazing Spider-Man #306 (1988) – Todd pays homage to Action Comics #1 with this fabulous cover.

Satan’s Six #1 (1993) – Here is a Todd McFarlane/Jack ‘King’ Kirby cover. It’s not everyday someone can say they got their name on a comic cover with Kirby.

Hit Comics #1 (1998) – A Spawn/Batman cover printed in Germany only.

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The Crow #1 (1999) – A collaboration cover with Brian Haberlin here. The Crow is making its way back to the big screen.

Gene Simmons House of Horrors #1 (2007) – Gene Simmons from Kiss writes the intro for this comic and Todd teams up with Greg Capullo for the cover art. An usual IDW collaboration for the two here.

The Walking Dead #100 (2012) – McFarlane did a cover for the Walking Dead back in 2012. It was a 100th issue celebration cover in which many artist contributed their own cover. This was Todd’s cover, a rather morbid one and just right!

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Random awesome covers……

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Invest wisely. Read comics.

Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 7-11-12

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Welcome to InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 7/11/12.

Okay so for the first time in InvestComics’ young history; we simply could not make it to the Miami SuperCon. Simply put, automobile died! Heard it was a fantastic show as usual, but we’ll have to turn that page and focus on the New York Comic Con! Love this show for 2 reasons. One, it’s a great show and 2 it’s my hometown! Click on the above to be linked to this incredible show.

There was a recent secret project announcement from Marvel Studios regarding a movie that will be appearing in a few years. That announcement was the Introduction into the Marvel’s Cosmic Galaxy. Guardians of The Galaxy will be the team to kick of Marvel’s neglected Universe. Here’s the thing. If you’ve been a weekly reader of the InvestComics Hot Picks, you would have read that this was going to happen! True, no lie! Check out the Hot Picks article from April 21 2010 right HERE and then check out the calling of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie in the August 8 2010 Hot Picks HERE. Yes of course we have picked lemons too, but when we call something right, it’s fun to point it out!

Hope you enjoyed the 2 part Amazing Spider-Man special. It was a lot of fun to put that together. More like that coming your way soon with the release of the Batman and Superman movies. But for now we go to our regular scheduled program.

All the talk this week is about one comic book. A comic book that flew under the radar for a little bit, but cultivated into a huge success to say the least. It spawned a television show and now it has reached its own milestone status within the comic book collecting industry. That book; The Walking Dead #100. Now with all of the hoopla surrounding this series, let it be known that any collector spending thousands of dollars for a high grade number one issue is probably not making a wise decision. Yes the series is “hot”, yes the television series is “hot”, but where will the series in both realms here go once the boredom sets in? Or once the series reaches its pinnacle, many will probably walk away. Newsflash here, this comic will not be Amazing Fantasy #15 or Iron Man #55 for that matter. Yes it’s a well written book, it’s a fantastically well rounded book actually, but is it well enough to sustain that monetary value over the long run? This collector doesn’t think so. If you’re in the market looking for a book to invest in as far as your collection goes, save your money and get a high grade aforementioned comic like Iron Man #55 (First Thanos).

So with the release of the milestone issue here comes the massive hyperbole of variant covers. Ten covers at last count. That’s absurd, but it is what it is. The absurdity could work in you favor though! If you want to make a quick buck get your hands on a high grade Retailer Incentive Charlie Adlard Cover, slab it and throw it on EBay. It’s a no brainer that you will most likely double your cash from the $250 you originally spent getting this book in the first place. Triple or more if your grade pulls a 9.9. Easy cash here. Not money wisely spent by the buyer of this comic on EBay, but shhhh we won’t tell them.

Chew fans have something to celebrate this week. IDW releases their first spin off of their wildly popular series this week. Chew Secret Agent Polo #1 will sell out quick, expect inflated aftermarket pricing by Saturday after this comic comes out on Wednesday. If you buy into it, flip the comic sooner rather than later. If you want to make a nice pairing to sell, put together Chew #8 (first appearance of Agent Polo) and this number one issue. Watch as the bidding goes up and up.

IDW also greets us this week with another number one issue to check out. The Crow (Vol 4) #1. The Crow’s first appearance of course comes from Caliber Presents #1 from 1989.

Scarlet Spider #7 brings in a new creative team that includes the artistry of Khoi Pham. One of the more enjoyable things about collecting comics is that we as fans can watch creators hone their craft. It’s like watching that childhood sitcom star grow up to become…..well not such a big star, but it’s quite the opposite 99% of the time with comics. Check out one of Khoi Pham’s earliest (if not first) Spider-Man work in What If? Spider-Man The Other #1 (2007).

This week, Batman #11 wraps up one of the most outstanding storylines in recent memory, “The Court of Owls”.

A few number one issues coming your way this week that should be checked out,  Punk Rock Jesus #1, Hoax Hunters #1 and Enormous #1.

….And what’s with DC’s cover of Resurrection Man #11? Boy that character looks familiar. Did he show up to the wrong company?

Before we go, InvestComics would like to point out 2 very cool sponsors to the website. Bags Unlimited Inc. You can find ANYTHING you need on their website for your storage and preservation needs! They are affordability priced and there isn’t anything they can’t get for you! Also check out FanPan. This site allows you to take surveys and win stuff!! Your opinion on the pop culture front counts and for that you could be a winner of some very cool stuff! Check out both of these sites by clicking on the names.

That’s it for this week. Remember that every Sunday InvestComics Hot Picks hits the website!

Scroll through some of the covers of the week below.

See you soon, Invest wisely.

Jay Katz

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