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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Marvel Tales 225 InvestComics

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Invest wisely. Read comics.

Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz

Best Selling Non-Super Hero comics of April 2013

Best Selling Non-Super Hero comics of April 2013

Here we will analyze the 50 best selling comic books that venture into drama, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, movie/tv franchises and kids titles.    46 comics this month had orders of over 10,000 copies each !

The strength of Walking Dead has helped give rise to a growing number of non-superhero comic book titles.   Image leads the way with 3 of the top 4 titles.   This chart is impressive showing that 50 of the Top 200 best selling comics are non-superhero that is an impressive 25% of all comic sales.   However note that only 4 titles make the Diamond Top 50 showing that hero books still have a grip on the biggest overall sales and consistently best selling titles.

What is unique to this list in particular though is the growing fan base has helped increase the values of most of these books early issues.    We all know about Walking Dead #1 being worth $1000.00 and leading the pack for most valuable 21st century comic book.   However early issues of Saga, Star Wars, East Of West, My Little Pony, Adventure Time, Sex, Morning Glories, Manhattan Projects, Revival, Thief Of Thieves, Doctor Who, Five Ghosts, Bedlam etc. have ALL gone up in value and all moved into numerous reprintings.

Image in the past year has been the hot bed for back issue price increases with most of the titles on this list.   In this particular month we even see 2nd printing of East Of West #1 make this Top 50 chart at #48 which is considerably high for a non “big 2” reprint book.

The highest ranking books on the list which have NOT seen price increases yet include Jirni and Constantine.   In the case of Jirni #1 it was low priced at $ 1.00 which helped create the huge print run of 35,000 so that book is not likely to ever go up in value.  Constantine has potential but is not a new character (Swamp Thing #37 in 1985).   This could help create interest in older appearances but is no guarantee of the demand in the new book.  However there are 2 things in this book’s favor.  First of all the #1 1st print has sold out and the #2 issue had a print run almost as high as #1 meaning that the quality is there and retailers did not drastically reduce their orders like they usually do from a #1 to a #2 issue.

Star Wars, My Little Pony, Buffy, Adventure Time, Star Trek, Doctor Who, GI  Joe are all strong franchises with orders of 13,000 each or higher.   The cartoon titles My Little Pony and Adventure Time have both sold out original print runs and have been some of the most impressive selling titles ever to a potentially younger audience.   Regular Show #1 comes out in a month and will likely rank just as high with potential of a sell out of #1.

The Big Two = DC has a number of titles always appearing due to their non superhero “Vertigo” line.   Marvel really seems to be missing the boat in the non-hero genre with only 2 titles in the entire Top 50.

IDW is the kingpin of franchise titles so they have a strong showing on this list.

Small indie publishers with strong showings on the chart include Aspen, Boom, Avatar, Oni all with 1 title each.  These are books to watch in the future and will be some of the most likely books to increase in value as these books have reached a lot of hype.

Of course this list is up for debate as some titles cross-over with hero characters so you can argue that some books on this list might not truly belong here but it gives us a great overview in comparing what is popular and how the publishers are selling on their top non-hero books.

WalkingDead109Saga12StarWars4

RANK – DIAMOND – TITLE – ISSUE – PRICE – PUBLISHER – PRINT RUN

1 8 Walking Dead 109 $2.99 Image 90362
2 27 Saga 12 $2.99 Image 53339
3 40 Star Wars 4 $2.99 Dark Horse 45019
4 46 East of West 2 $3.50 Image 41838
5 60 Jirni 1 $1.00 Aspen 35777
6 65 My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic 6 $3.99 IDW 33903
7 69 Constantine 2 $2.99 DC 30789
8 73 Swamp Thing 19 $2.99 DC 29254
9 79 Animal Man 19 $2.99 DC 27562
10 91 My Little Pony Micro Series 3 $3.99 IDW 23338
11 95 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Freefall 20 $2.99 Dark Horse 21901
12 97 Adventure Time 15 $3.99 Boom 21682
13 101 Sex 2 $2.99 Image 21342
14 103 Morning Glories 26 $1.00 Image 20918
15 104 Adventure Time Fionna & Cake 4 $3.99 Boom 20760
16 115 Morbius Living Vampire 4 $2.99 Marvel 17544
17 116 Manhattan Projects 11 $3.50 Image 17517
18 120 Star Wars Darth Vader & Ninth Assassin 1 $3.50 Dark Horse 17278
19 121 Revival 9 $2.99 Image 16977
20 123 All Star Western 19 $3.99 DC 16838
21 125 Star Wars Legacy 2 $2.99 Dark Horse 16384
22 131 Star Trek Countdown To Darkness 4 $3.99 IDW 15782
23 132 Fables 128 $2.99 DC 15606
24 133 Fairest 14 $2.99 DC 15269
25 135 Thief of Thieves 13 $2.99 Image 15201
26 138 Doctor Who Prisoners of Time 4 $3.99 IDW 14653
27 142 Angel & Faith 21 $2.99 Dark Horse 14102
28 150 G.I. Joe Cobra Files 1 $3.99 IDW 13231
29 152 Five Ghosts Haunting of Fabian Gray 2 $2.99 Image 13127
30 154 Chew 33 $2.99 Image 12964
31 158 Conan The Barbarian 15 $3.50 Dark Horse 12845
32 160 Bedlam 6 $3.50 Image 12607
33 161 Django Unchained 3 $4.99 DC 12561
34 162 Dark Tower Gunslinger Evil Ground 1 $3.99 Marvel 12473
35 164 Star Wars Dark Times Fire Carrier 3 $2.99 Dark Horse 12435
36 169 Abe Sapien Dark & Terrible 1 $3.50 Dark Horse 11783
37 172 I Vampire 19 $2.99 DC 11469
38 173 Sword of Sorcery 7 $3.99 DC 11412
39 177 BPRD Vampire 2 $3.50 Dark Horse 11072
40 178 Uber 0 $3.99 Avatar 10849
41 182 Lost Vegas 2 $3.50 Image 10608
42 184 Locke & Key Omega 4 $3.99 IDW 10466
43 186 BPRD Hell On Earth 106 $3.50 Dark Horse 10419
44 187 Doctor Who Vol. 3 8 $3.99 IDW 10414
45 188 G.I. Joe 3 $3.99 IDW 10372
46 189 Helheim 2 $3.99 Oni 10256
47 191 1 For $1 Mind Mgmt 1 $1.00 Dark Horse 9926
48 193 East of West 1 $3.50 Image 9742
49 194 Magic The Gathering Path of Vengeance 4 $4.99 IDW 9734
50 196 Massive 11 $3.50 Dark Horse 9661

I am always happy to hear your comments and thoughts/criticisms on any of my posts.

Terry Hoknes (author) loves analyzing statistics and watching the growth and fall of comic titles over a period of time.  He sells all the hot new comics at www.HoknesComics.com and also self-publishes a series of books called “Investing In Comic Books” that focus on the Golden, Silver and Bronze ages of comics.