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Todd McFarlane Shares His First Printed Batman Art to Hype the Spawn Crossover

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Ahead of the release of his latest work on Batman, Todd McFarlane digs back into his archives to find an early sketch of the Dark Knight.


Ahead of the release of Batman/Spawn, the latest crossover between DC and Image Comics to star the brooding vigilantes, Todd McFarlane took to Twitter to share a black and white sketch of the Dark Knight from four decades ago.


“My FIRST EVER printed art from 1981!” McFarlane tweeted. “41 years later and I’m STILL working with Batman….” The drawing — which a number of Twitter users compared to the work of comic artist Marshall Rogers — was originally published in the letters page of The Comics Journal, an esteemed magazine that offered up the latest interviews, comic industry news and reviews until 2013, when it ended regular print publication. McFarlane previously shared the image on his website in 2016 and explained the details behind it.

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“In their letter column, they would print artwork from fans that read the comic book (I was one of those fans),” McFarlane wrote at the time. “Anyways, I had sent a piece of art into the journal and when I went to buy my copy one week, sure enough, my art was THERE! AND even though it was ONLY about 2 inches by 3 inches big, it was a pretty exciting thing to see my FIRST piece of printed art! Because when you’re a layman trying to break into the business, seeing your FIRST piece of printed art makes you PROUD…no matter WHAT or WHERE it is!”


Todd McFarlane’s Batman Work

Six years after his fan art was published in The Comics Journal, McFarlane would go on to illustrate Batman professionally, penciling nearly the entirety of the now-classic storyline “Year Two,” which followed Frank Miller’s “Year One” and was printed in Issues #575-578 of Detective Comics. After founding Image Comics and creating Spawn, McFarlane penciled the first Spawn/Batman crossover, which Miller wrote and Image published in 1994. Batman and Spawn crossed paths again that same year in a separate crossover published by DC called Batman/Spawn: War Devil, which McFarlane did not contribute to.

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The upcoming Batman/Spawn, which releases Dec. 13, puts McFarlane in the writer’s seat with Greg Capullo providing artwork. The one-shot, unconnected with the previous crossovers, features Bruce Wayne and Al Simmons battling the Court of Owls.

Source: Twitter, McFarlane.com

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