During the Q&A, McFarlane was taken by surprise by the remarks of a particular fan.
When the laughter and hissing subsided, McFarlane replied.
At that point, Brian Haberlin outed the rabble-rousing audience member as none other than Robert Kirkman, writer of Image's "Walking Dead" and "Invincible" comics.
There is but one word to describe the look on Todd McFarlane's face: pwn3d.
"I know Marvel has tried to get you to do stuff and other people have tried to get you to do stuff," Kirkman continued. "You're here because of the comics. I don't want to say you 'owe' it, but why can't you help on a comic book? Why can't you do a new comic book? I think everybody here will agree they'd love to see you work on a new comic!"
Everybody did agree, and when the applause died down, McFarlane answered Kirkman, "You write comic books. You should try drawing one some day, pal."
"I can do layouts!" Kirkman declared.
"Yeah," McFarlane responded. "You and my mom."
Even behind the "ooohs" and applause, a lone voice was heard in the crowd. A single fan stood up in his seat, held his hands in the air and screamed, "SHAKE HANDS! YOU ARE BOTH MY HEROES! SHAKE HANDS! HUG!"
McFarlane approached Kirkman.
"How cool would it be for Todd and Bob to do something?" Haberlin yelled.
"OK," McFarlane relented. "If you convince Haberlin, [and if] he convinces me ... me and you."
Cue thunderous applause as the pair of creators shook hands.
"And I'll give you some free toys," McFarlane added.
Speaking of toys ...
First on the block were McFarlane Toys' new line of sports figures, the first of those being, appropriately enough, the San Diego Padres. Figures of players Manny Ramierez and Jake Pevey were featured, as well as the Yankees' Gary Sheffield.
"I personally hate the Yankees," McFarlane admitted, to thunderous applause, "But there's too many damn Yankee fans, so I gotta keep making [figures]! I have a guy in my office who's always reminding me, we've made more of the Yankees than any other team."
Figures of NBA legends Walt Frazer and Irving "Magic" Johnson were shown next.
"Can I say I hate the Lakers?" McFarlane laughed. "I am a giant sports fan, but as a kid, I gotta tell ya I never liked the teams that won. It was too easy. So I like the Padres."
McFarlane explained that he really enjoys the classic players, but that making their figures is considerably more complicated than those of current teams, or even entertainment properties. In order to make a figure of a retired star, "you have to do a contract with that person; with all the different players individually. With movies and shows and [sports] unions, you get all the characters [in one licensing deal]."
Fans reacted very favorably to McFarlane's next wave of toys based on motion picture characters, starting with the second series of the company's popular "Corpse Bride" toys. Also shown were new "Napoleon Dynamite" figures, including Kip, Uncle Rico, and a deluxe set of Napoleon feeding Tina the Llama. All the Napoleon Dynamite toys will come with sound chips featuring dialogue from the cult film.
"Sometimes, actually a lot of times," McFarlane explained, "We ask [actors and musicians for the license to make toys in their image] and they just won't let us. People think they're selling themselves out and they think it's cheap and they don't like it."
Three-dimensional versions of the following posters and albums were displayed to great reaction:
- Metallica: Master of Puppets
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Are You Experienced
- Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks
- Friday The 13th
And there was plenty of that fare to see. The Spawn line of toys has reached series 30, trade paperbacks of out of print Spawn material are forthcoming, and Spawn and Batman are due to team up once again.
"Obviously, it's a very political song," McFarlane said, matter-of-factly.