Official Press Release
Todd McFarlane, one of the most influential comic book creators of the last two decades, returns to the character he created with his first cover illustration since 2000’s Spawn #100. Now, 50 issues later, and on the cusp of an all-new direction for his Hellspawned warrior, Todd once again puts pen and ink to paper to craft another in a long line of visually stunning cover images.
During the creative process, Todd took the time to consider a number of possible layouts for what will undoubtedly be a fan favorite amongst the four covers produced for Spawn’s milestone 150th issue (incoming artist Philip Tan, longtime Spawn contributor Greg Capullo and one of Todd’s original Image Comics partners, Jim Lee, provide the other three).
Should he go with a close-up of Spawn’s head and shoulders? A nice close-range image, which would allow him to go crazy with all of the gross little details present in Spawn’s broken, beaten, burnt and decayed visage? Really go to town on all of the insane details he has become known for?
Or maybe, he could construct a violently hypnotic battle between the hell-spawned reincarnation of Al Simmons’ damned soul and one of his many old (as well as some new and as-yet-unrevealed) enemies? Maybe Spawn could be tearing the Violator to pieces in a necroplasm-fueled rage? Or, it could be the Disciple, a mysterious new adversary who makes his first appearance within the pages of Spawn #150, feeling the full brunt of Spawn’s fury. Whoever Spawn’s foe would be, the overall theme of carnage would remain the same, allowing the brutal action to portray a contrast to the other three cover offerings.
Then, of course, there was the thought that an iconic image of the tormented warrior would serve well to not only showcase Todd’s talent, but to also bridge the gap between the past, present and future of Spawn. With more attention being focused on having the covers capture some element of the story within each issue, this would be the perfect time to showcase Spawn in all of his glory. No overly dramatic posing or twisting angles, just Spawn — back straight, chains whipping about, hands glowing that eerie shade of green, as he manipulates the destructive power of the necroplasmic energy which makes him whole.
This last idea hit the mark, and Todd went to work. First, sketching out the rough outline using non-reproducing blue lead — this allows the artist to rough out the basic concept without having to worry about mistakes. Then, going back in with ink to bring the art to life and add the fine details that have long been a hallmark of his artwork — both in terms of comic books and his many concept sketches and notes for any number of action figures.
One of the elements of Todd’s Issue #150 cover that differs from some of his past work is the fact that he deliberately stayed away from adding any heavy blacks, allowing his line work to better stand out. Instead of a harshly shadowed image, Todd worked closely with colorist (and newly appointed editor-in-chief of the Spawn comics lineup) Brian Haberlin, to ensure that the colors used on the cover not only worked to set the mood, but also added an extra dimension to Todd’s original artwork underneath.
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