Todd McFarlane on Complex’s BLUEPRINT posts today
July 26, 2017

Spider-Man to Spawn, How Todd McFarlane Became the Biggest Comic Book Artist Ever on BLUEPRINT


On this week’s episode of BLUEPRINT, Todd McFarlane opens up to host Noah Callahan-Beaver about his career as a comic book artist that includes making Spider-Man cooler and creating the Spawn character. He also shares his blueprint to launching Image Comics and McFarlane Toys.

McFarlane became a comic book superstar due to his work on Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man franchise. With his style and commitment to work, McFarlane eventually worked his way to the top of Marvel’s artist roster. His pencils and covers for Spider-Man ultimately took that title to #1 and launched McFarlane’s career into comic book superstardom. McFarlane and a group of other prominent comic artists went on to form Image Comics, the parent corporation and publisher of each artist’s individual comic book company. Through Image Comics, McFarlane was finally able to publish Spawn, selling 1.7 million copies of the first issue. Spawn’s popularity led to the formation of McFarlane Toys – responsible for the creation of action figures, an animated series, a live action film, – company website and fan community and more.


At the crossroad of inspiration, drive and genius sit the visionaries. In “Blueprint,” Complex Chief Content Officer Noah Callahan-Bever sits down with today’s most impactful Creative Directors, Inventors, Designers, Executives and Artists for a exploration of the key moves they made to realize their career and their impact on the culture

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on,, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post,,,, Boing-Boing,, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.




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