Todd McFarlane returns to draw landmark SPAWN #301

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Spawn #301 is slated to hit this September. When it does, Image Comics reports that the series will become the longest-running creator-owned comic in the world. To commemorate this occasion, series creator Todd McFarlane will return to the drawing board to illustrate the landmark book.
McFarlane had this to say in the official PR:

I could think of no better reason to return to the drawing board than to celebrate the record-breaking 301st issue of the SPAWN comic. Twenty-seven years ago, I began this journey on the SPAWN title. That start, along with helping to co-found Image Comics, (today the third largest comic publisher in the nation) was with the goal of allowing creative people to own and control their ideas. It is with great pride that I can say that after nearly three decades of producing the SPAWN title, that I am still 100% in the creative driver’s seat of the character I brought to life back in 1992. I wrote and drew that first issue and will do the same for this historic issue as well.

There’s certainly a cool circularity there. But more about the past! Spawn first launched back in 1992, selling 1.7 million copies in what was a vastly different landscape, not only for comics but for media in general. The book was pivotal, helping to establish Image Comics and really push forward the very notion of creator-owned comic book characters. McFarlane founded Image along with a group of other creators whose resumes were largely made up of Big 2 work, citing a desire to own the work they were producing.
Along with the aforementioned media and comics landscape, Image has certainly changed today, moving away from its early roots as a publisher of primarily superhero stories, to a purveyor of wide-ranging and diverse ideas. These days, there is scarcely a genre out there that Image does not publisher. What remains the same is that the books are creator-owned. In the 27 years since McFarlane created Spawn, Image has ushered in industry-changing comics like The Walking Dead and, more recently, Saga.
The 72-page Spawn #300 is due in August with Spawn #301 to follow the next month. McFarlane will pencil and ink interior story pages in the comic, joined by a host of other artists, including Greg Capullo, Jason Shawn Alexander, Clayton Crain, Jerome Opeña, and Francesco Mattina. Image also notes that there will be surprises, “including more top-tier comic book talent.”
The book will hit on Sept. 25 at a price point of $4.99.

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