Todd McFarlane and a team of collaborators received a Guinness World Record Saturday at New York Comic Con because this week’s Spawn #301 will make that title the longest-running creator-owned superhero comic of all time.
For McFarlane – and, indeed, in many ways for Image Comics as well – the entire summer had built to this moment, with scores of press releases, events, and special covers leading up to the 27-year-old comic hitting issue #301. Throughout the award proceedings, McFarlane repeatedly stressed this was not his award, but rather an award for a book that was created by many people.
“This isn’t an award for Todd McFarlane,” said Todd McFarlane. “This is an award for a book. The book has been going for 27 years and its gone on the backs of many many people.”
And he had many of them who were at the show on stage with him.
The assembled Spawn creators included artist Greg Capullo, Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson, inker Jonathan Glapion, artist J. Scott Campbell, artist Bill Sienkiewicz, artist Clayton Crain, artist Jason Shawn Alexander, artist Jerome Opena, and artist Image/co-founder Marc Silvestri. In addition, McFarlane had a long list to thank in absentia, and that group included writer Scott Snyder, inker Danny Miki, colorist Brian Haberlin, artist Szymon Kudranski, and letterer Tom Orzechowski, who has lettered every issue of Spawn save for one that was lettered by his wife.
On hand to deliver the award was Claire Stevens of the Guinness Book of World Records, who apparently read all of Spawn in the service of bestowing the award.
“As I reviewed hundreds of issues of Spawn, the passion from Todd McFarlane and his team was very evident as I did so,” she said.
McFarlane gifted all of his collaborators covers they had (mostly) worked on for Spawn #301, starting with Capullo, whom he described as the definitive Spawn artist. A rowdy crowd chanted “You deserve it” and gave the group a standing ovation as they posed for pictures with the framed award from the Guinness Book.
Also within the panel, McFarlane said Spawn would be continuing on, with the next 100 issues dealing with “the quote-unquote Spawn-verse.” He then segued into his usual fiery motivational speaker panel.