Sunday, November 11, 2012

Geek Hash Interview: Todd McFarlane Talks New Book- The Art of Todd McFarlane: The Devil's in the Details

Fans of Todd McFarlane are in for a real treat come November 21st. His new book, The Art of Todd McFarlane: The Devil's in the Details, hits shelves just in time for Christmas. The visual biography is a look at his nearly 30 year career in the comics industry. It's a complete history of the man that started out as a fan of comics and went on to become one of the founding members of Image Comics.

Geek Hash: Your upcoming book, The Art of Todd McFarlane: The Devil’s in the Details releases November 21st, what can fans expect to see in it?

Todd McFarlane: We’re trying to accomplish three things with one book. First, it’s an art book so there’s literally hundreds and hundreds of visuals of stuff that goes from my amateur days to literally all the way up to today. Second, you’re gonna get a bit of an autobiography that’s tied to it. So you’re gonna get some of the reasoning, the rationale and what was happening to my career and sort of a backstory of what was going on during some of the visuals that you’re looking at. And then lastly there are places where I was trying to give some tutorial information.

GH: You’ve been working in comics for over 20 years, what advice can you give to those that are looking to break into the industry?

Todd McFarlane: Comic books are made up of a multitude of skilled people. You don’t necessarily have to be a guy that does all the jobs. I got a little bit greedy wanting to be writer, penciler and inker but you can work in this industry if you’re a great colorist. You can work in this industry if you’re a great letterer. You can work in this industry if you’re a pretty good editor. I think we sometimes pin ourselves into boxes by thinking that we have to be a super-talented guy and that’s not necessarily true. You can get to a lot of places by having one skill in one area that will carry you for a long way.

GH: Comics, movies, toys, games, cartoons; is there anything Todd McFarlane Productions hasn’t gotten into that you’re dying to try?

Todd McFarlane: I don’t know. Maybe someday do my own video game, but short of that my interest is taking all of those things and seeing if you can do them better than you did the last time. We’ve got our artistic fingers in a lot of pies and so right now there’s nothing there that I have a hankering for.

GH: Spawn is one of comic's most recognizable characters, Image is celebrating its 20th anniversary, your run on Spider-Man is unmatched, your contributions to the industry run the gamut; what is the one thing you’re most proud of?

Todd McFarlane: Two things. Number one, just breaking into the business. It’s really your highest bar. That first job sets up all the potential of the future and all of that, for the most part, falls on your own shoulders. So, if you don’t get in the game, you can’t succeed. Number two would be starting this business called Image Comics which not only has made its mark on the industry but it’s still thriving. It’s not thriving because of myself or any of the original founders; it’s thriving because we’re putting out quality books. I think we’re paying attention to that.

GH: Do you see yourself eventually stepping away from comics and retiring, or are you going to keep going forever like Stan Lee?

Todd McFarlane: I’ll probably be a bit of a pistol in my advanced years. I can’t see me being overly passive. As I get older my kids will grow up, they’ll get married, have grandkids, I’ll want to spend time with them; so all that comes into play. Will I have at least have a tremendous interest in being able to help foster the next wave of talent coming through? Absolutely, that’s why Image is there. I’m never going to retire from Image.

Available just in time for Black Friday, The Art of Todd McFarlane: The Devil's in the Details will be available nationwide Wednesday, November 21st. The oversized hard cover book (9x12) is limited to 5000 copies, with 700 signed and numbered editions available. Each book retails at $64.99 and $100.00, respectively, and would make the perfect gift for any art fan!

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