Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane has made it a habit of late to open up his archives via his Facebook page, sharing everything from early Spawn designs to evolutionary charts. But this weekend, he held court on some of his publishing philosophy as it applies to his past life as a Marvel Comics superstar.
"Here's the the answer to a question I get asked a lot: 'NO!... I WILL NEVER DRAW for Marvel or DC Comics AGAIN!'" the artist wrote in a new post. "But it's not why you might think..."
After explaining that he holds no ill will towards the corporate superhero giants and is proud of his work on titles like his best-selling '90s run of Spider-Man, McFarlane went on to explain, "The reason I don't and won't draw for them is that one of the many titles I have, at my various business interests, is that of President of Image Comics. And I take that responsibility very seriously. Image Comics is the THIRD largest comic company in North America, and as such we are in direct competition with both Marvel and DC Comics. As President of Image, I personally think it would be a conflict of interest for me to do work for a direct competitor. And in fact in some states being the President/CEO of a company forbids you to work for a direct competitor (The president of Microsoft won't/can't do freelance work for Apple Inc.) So, for me this isn't any different.
"In 1992, a handful of us decided to form Image Comics, and ever since then I have not worked at either Marvel or DC Comics, and as long as there is an Image Comics, I will continue to give all of my comic book efforts towards the company I helped form."
However, McFarlane left the door open to some more co-publishing efforts with the Big Two. "Does that mean there will never be a Spawn/Spiderman cross-over? No. That could happen as a joint collaboration. The same would be true with a cross-over with DC Comics. But it would just be a one month 'event' thing that would be beneficial to both sides," he said.
Since the 1992 formation of Image, McFarlane is the only company founder who's never done any kind of freelance work for DC or Marvel. However, he did work a deal with DC in the late '90s for a set of Spawn/Batman crossover issues. A second crossover between the characters was solicited a few years back but never released.