Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Todd McFarlane Received 700 Rejection Letters Before Superstardom

Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man Issue #1 — Torment Part 1

Todd McFarlane is widely-considered & world-renowned as the Greatest Comic Artist of All-Times. theKONGBLOG™ labels him the Michael Jordan of Comic Book Artists — he single-handedly revolutionized the comic book industry. 

In fact, his artwork is so respected & revered that a tattoo design has been permanently place on Kong from theKONGBLOG™'s back after the Tragedy of 9/11:

"My back-piece was originally drawn by Todd McFarlane — the Michael Jordan of Comic Book Artists, in 1991. Spider-Man Issue #16 depicts the super-villan: Juggernaut — an unstoppable force & arch-enemy of the X-Men, rising from the ashes & debris after the World Trade Center had collapsed on top of him"

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1961, Todd McFarlane began drawing comic book heroes in high school. Despite his growing love for comics, he dreamed of playing professional baseball — watching baseball games on TV, memorizing statistics and collecting baseball cards.

He attended Eastern Washington University on a baseball scholarship and was recruited by a Seattle Mariners scout to play on a semi-professional summer team in British Columbia. Ironically, Al Simmons –after whom Todd would later name his Spawn character, also played on this team and the two became friends. But his dream of playing professionally came to an abrupt end after suffering a career-ending ankle injury during his junior year. He then reconsidered a career in comic books and began focusing on the next chapter in his life.

As a young, aspiring artist and comic book fan, he dreamed of one day breaking into the comic book industry and began submitting countless art works by mail — the old-fashion way, to numerous comic book editors across the United States and Canada. After more than 700 rejection letters, his dream of being a comic book artist seemed like a daunting task, but he wasn't discouraged by his humbled beginnings.
Iconic image of Batman from the “Year 2” storyline in Detective Comics #577.
Artwork by Todd McFarlane. Published by DC Comics, August 1987.

As fate would have it, McFarlane accepted a penciling assignment from Epic Comics — his first published work was a backup story in a 1984 issue of Epic Comics' Coyote, and before long he was drawing for Marvel and DC Comics. 

His first major work was a two-year run on DC's Infinity, Inc. from 1985-1987, and he also illustrated several issues of "Batman: Year Two" in Detective Comics before moving onto Marvel's The Incredible Hulk. In 1988, McFarlane was partnered with writer David Michelinie on The Amazing Spider-Man, beginning with issue #298 and the rest is pretty much history.


He relentlessly worked his way to the top of Marvel's talent roster, where he eventually wrote, penciled and inked Spider-Man. His first issue sold more than 2.5 million copies the best-selling comic book of all-time.

Todd McFarlane's Wolverine
Following the success of Spider-Man, McFarlane left Marvel in August 1991, which led to the formation of Image Comics, and introduced Spawn. Issue #1 sold 1.7 million copies, an unprecedented and unmatched independent comic book feat. 

In 1994, Todd founded McFarlane Toys eventually become one of the largest and well-renowned toy manufacturers in the world. In addition to Spawn, McFarlane Toys has produced figures from such properties as KISS, Shrek, X-Files, Austin Powers, Metal Gear Solid, Akira, the Beatles, Army of Darkness, Jaws, Rob Zombie, Alien, Predator, AC/DC and countless others. 

He currently has the official rights to produce action figures of professional football, baseball, hockey and basketball players. Today, Todd McFarlane is a multi-faceted businessman w/ a broad range of experience in entertainment, sports and publishing.   McFarlane continues to be a passionate sports enthusiast — owning over 10 historic baseballs from the 1998 Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa historic home run race plus memorabilia from Hall of Fame sports athletes of the 20th century.  

Additionally, he is also part-owner of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers. He's also won an Emmy for the animated Spawn series, two MTV Video Music Awards and a Grammy for Korn's "Freak on a Leash" music video. He received a Grammy nomination for the Pearl Jam animated "Do The Evolution" music video.  
This particular spread depicts Spawn in command of what appears to be
Marvel comic book characters locked-up behind bars

Can you imagine being the person who signed and returned one of seven-hundred rejection letters to the legend of the comic book world? If –at first, you don't succeed...  
...would be an under-statement of epic proportions.

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