Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Todd McFarlane: "I Like Big Capes & I Cannot Lie!!!"

Cape Ends
(Spawn #4, September1992)
Art by Dave Sim
(from Facebook, 30 May 2016)


When I was starting out I was influenced by some of the GREATS in the comic book industry. One of those greats was Marshall Rogers. For those of you who don't know who he was, he worked at both Marvel and DC Comics as an illustrator of Batman AND Silver Surfer.

He also illustrated one of the FIRST graphic novels... called Detective Inc. (if you haven't looked it up... it's pretty COOL). Anyways... what I LIKED most about his art in that series, was the SEXY, BIG capes he drew. 

So when I started Spawn, I wanted Spawn's capes to be BIG and SEXY. 

His cape is ALWAYS big... ALWAYS!! The magnitude of the cape MAKES Spawn!! 

It's menacing. 

You DON'T want a limp cape that looks like a towel on the back of a superhero... or in my case... an ANTI-SUPERHERO!

Be good.


Todd McFarlane is the creator (and occasional writer/artist) of the Spawn comics series, which made its debut in May 1992. Spawn #264 is currently on sale and is published by Image Comics.


Michael Grabowski said...

But is such a large cape really ADVANTAGEOUS?

Jimmy Gownley said...

"His cape is ALWAYS big... ALWAYS!!" (With CAPS and double exclamation points!!") and "You DON'T want a limp cape." I'm literally crying laughing. Oh Todd, I'm sure your "cape" is very big and sexy, and never limp at all.

God, the 90's were weird.

Paul Slade said...

Has Todd even seen the Marshall Rogers book he mentions? For a start, it was Detectives Inc (plural). More to the point, it was a hard-boiled crime story, with everyone dressed in normal clothes throughout. I've just had a glance thorough my copy and there's not a single cape (or any other kind of costume) in the whole thing. Take those two mistakes together, and I wonder if he's confused it with Rogers' Batman work.

Though he's technically right in calling Detective(s) Inc a series, that incarnation didn't come till later. It was first published as two stand-alone graphic novels, each with a self-contained story of its own, and with a gap of five years between the two. The monthly comic book that followed recycled these two books' material.

Other than that, he's entirely ACCURATE.

Travis Pelkie said...

*cough cough* penis compensation! *cough cough*

heh. Don't forget he also bought another fella's balls!

Paul Slade said...

... and boasted about his action figures being an inch or two bigger than anyone else's.

Lee Bentley said...

I forget the name of the parody comic that Image put out, but I've always found the cover funny: A little Spawn cartoon (similar to the Cerebus version shown here) with his cape lying on the ground trailing off into the distance, saying "Oh, sure, like it's windy *all* the time!"

Travis Pelkie said...

@Lee -- that one was called "Stupid". Funny stuff from Hilary Barta (and other people, maybe).

al roney said...

@Michael Grabowski - I see what ya did there! Nice!

What a terribly written comic that was...truly awful.

Dave Sim said...

I think we have to "cop" to the environment we're in: Jim Valentino's "panties and capes". You can sort of forgive a kid for wanting to read about big muscular men who wear panties and capes. Past puberty it becomes a little more problematic in the real world.

On the "artist" side it's a little different. Skintight clothing is just an excuse for drawing muscles accurately. When Neal Adams draws Superman -- well, NO fabric, not even spandex is going to cling that tightly. When he started drawing super-heroes he went and bought wrestling magazines. Which is brilliant. There's all the OVERDEVELOPED muscle groups and what they look like in perspective and from strange angles. Capes are draped clothing. Virtually every Renaissance artist slavishly imitated each other's drapery. What THAT cloth looks like draped over THAT arm. If Leonardo "nailed it" it crops up in dozens of other paintings from that period.

Everyone did the same with Neal.

One of the pluses with Marshall's capes was that they didn't need to be accurate. In fact accuracy was a hindrance. Which is part of what appealed to Todd, I think.

Tony Dunlop said...

One of my favorite aspects of Rogers' Batman was how his cowl had ears which, as a friend of mine once put it, "you could pick your teeth with."

Dave Sim said...

Yeah, I don't want to leave anyone with the impression that I'm diminishing Marshall Rogers' BATMAN.

Considering how few of them he did, it was definitely (I'll go out on a limb here) the "iconically closest" modern version of the character to the pre-Robin BATMAN (DETECTIVE #27 to 38). Even closer than Steve Rude's who was actually "riffing" on that look. So that's really saying something, I think.

Tony again said...

Wait, Steve Rude drew Batman? Man, THAT I gotta see!

Barry Deutsch said...

Tony - you can see Rude's take on Batman here. Or to just see a drawing, here's one.