Business Insider interviewed veteran Spawn creator Todd McFarlane about how he decided upon his career, which also included co-creating Venom in the pages of Spider-Man, and some of the conversation centers on the following:
What was your creative process like for creating generational characters like Venom and Spawn?
Venom was a complete accident. Marvel wanted me to draw Spider-Man in a black costume, but I didn’t want to because I grew up with him in a red and blue costume.
So we decided to put the black costume on another character. I did some designs, created this big monster, and we went there. I wish I had more happy billion-dollar accidents like that.
I created Spawn when I was in high school. His success — really, I would argue almost all success in any business — is longevity. Longevity can make you part of the conversation for a long time.
When you’re early in your career, what you’re doing actually matters and people will judge you on each project. Over time, however, they’ll judge you on your entire body of work. For me, that means there’s nothing that I could draw now that’s going to make my hardcore fan base like me more or less.
Then I hope he recognizes why the Big Two are no longer relevant, and way past the point they should’ve closed down, if all they’re going to do is churn out endless streams of politicized material to serve far-left agendas. Some of this mess has also come at the expense of Venom’s longevity, and the stories spotlighting him today are just pointless. Why, quite a few of the artists and writers now working for Marvel/DC are doing so because it’s practically become some kind of a safety net for them financially, as well as ideologically. Because they’re owned by conglomerates, they must think there’s no need to worry what anybody in the readership thinks of their work. That’s the problem with nepotism, regrettably enough, and we’ve long seen the results.
And at the end of the interview:
What’s your best piece of career advice?
Here’s what I know: The person who’s going to advocate the most for you is you. But I’ve met so many people who won’t advocate for themselves. So to me it’s simple: If you don’t give a crap about what you’re doing, why should I? You want me to fight harder for you than you’re fighting for yourself? Never going to happen.
Every day I have to advocate for my business, and it’s a bit of a grind. I got 300 no’s before I got my first comic-book job. You have to believe in yourself. Entrepreneurs are fearless.
And corporations are cynical and full of contempt. Does he know a lot of the ideologues at the Big Two these days are part of the crowd who won’t advocate for themselves based on merit? If so, I hope McFarlane realizes why it’s best to stay away from them if they’re that pretentious.
Besides, chances are they wouldn’t thank him for any advocation on their behalf anyway. Exactly why McFarlane’s products may outlast what the Big Two are offering nowadays.
Originally published here.