McFarlane Explains Image United Delay


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Todd McFarlane is back with an update on Image United and discusses why the book is so late. Well, he outright admits he’s the one to blame and hints at when we might see the book again.

This edition of McFarlane’s Mark was produced by Sam Moyerman and Frederik Hautain.

BROKEN FRONTIER:  Something that you will probably get asked about a lot at conventions this season is Image United.  There have been some delays and some questions about dedication to the project.  What is your opinion on how the project has gone?
TODD MCFARLANE:  It’s going pretty good actually.  If I have any criticism for anyone it would be aimed at me.  Right now I’m the biggest barnacle on the book because all the other guys keep handing in their pages.  Then the pages get to my desk and they start to pile up because I’m trying to get something done with Spawn or Haunt or any of my other business or family distractions.
I haven’t seen any indication from anyone else that they haven’t made it priority #1.
BF:  Is there time set aside for you to get back to work on it and get it back on schedule?

  Oh yeah.  We’ll have discussions about the book and how to make it all work.  A lot of it is me trying to find some help on the other books.  If I can get that help elsewhere it’ll free me up to work on Image United.
Everything just sort of piled up scheduling-wise.  With Spawn I have a new artist coming on and he’ll be doing the penciling and inking on it.  So all of a sudden, all the time I spent working on the artwork on Spawn, both penciling and inking in some cases, that obligation goes away, but it won’t go away until Spawn #200.  The bulk of the artwork there is me.  But once I get past that big hurdle, then I’ll have a new creative team on Spawn and that time I spent there can be dedicated to Image United.
BF:  Will this delay cause you guys to wait until the majority of the books are done so they can be released on a set schedule or will you just release them as they are complete?
My guess is that we’ll put them out as they get done.  The hope there is that once we get that next issue out it’ll create some momentum and keep the project running from there.
BF:  Are you worried about losing any of the momentum and readers since the first two issues came out on time and it seemed like everything was going to run smoothly?
  Yeah.  It’s a constant conversation.  They’re always asking me where the pages are and I have to keep telling them that I’m busy with my other work.  At some point it gets to where the only thing left to do is come beat me up, but that won’t help me get the work done any faster.  In that sense we are in a holding pattern and it’s my fault, but what else can we all do but keep doing our own work?
BF:  At one time you did tell me you were talking about putting in a punishment for people being late with their parts, have they brought that up to you?
  Oh yeah.  And that’s why we put those in place.

BF:  Well, you do have two of the members of the art team helping you out with Spawn right?
Correct.  Rob helped with out with issue #196 and I am actually inking Erik’s pages from #199 right now.  So he’s doing some fun layout stuff with the book.
BF:  It’s interesting that you mention that because you told me before that anytime you end up inking Erik he always notices every little change and addition you make to the work.

  Oh yeah, he’s crazy like that. [laughs]

BF:  Has that been fun for you with this?  Have you been showing him the pages as you finish them?
  Well, I’ve just recently begun getting into it, so I want to get some stuff done and find my groove in the inking process.  Then once I’m in a rhythm, I will.  When I start inking pages I’ll always work first on the “non-sexy” stuff, if you will.  That way I can start with backgrounds or the simpler parts to get a feel for how I have to ink the pages, but once I’ve got that then I’ll move onto the cooler stuff that’s going on and nail that.  Then I’ll show him to see what he thinks.  And I’ll probably put it up online to show people a before and after of Larsen pencils plus McFarlane inks.
BF:  That must be a lot of fun to go ahead and ink those guys.
Absolutely, because you just don’t get a chance to do it that often.  Even though we’re all partners in Image we don’t get to interact with each other’s artwork as much as you might imagine.  We’re just so busy putting out our own books all the time.

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