Spawn #193Artist Greg Capullo came in the public eye from his dynamic runs on Marvel titles such as Quasar and X-Force, and was sought after by comics icon Todd McFarlane to be his artistic successor to the wildly popular series Spawn. He debuted in the title’s sixteenth issue, and took over full time with the 25th – going on to draw the title nearly uninterrupted for a seventy-five issue stint. He also did two miniseries of his own creation, The Creech, but since this has been largely missing from the comic store shelves. In that time he’s continued working with McFarlane, doing cover art, concept designs for toys, and even doing album covers for bands such as Korn and Disturbed.
But last month, Capullo returned to the series’ 193th issue. He returns to the title at a time with the mantle of Spawn has passed from the familiar face of Al Simmons to a new bearer, while the ever-present Clown is on his trail. Joining Capullo on his return is the characters of Sam & Twitch, two of the most popular members of the title’s rotating cast of characters. In addition to returning briefly to the title he called home for so long, Capullo is also providing layouts for the upcoming Todd McFarlane / Robert Kirkman collaboration Haunt< which will be penciled by Invincible artist Ryan Ottley and inked by McFarlane.
With Capullo’s return to comics with Spawn #193, we caught up with him to talk about that and more.
Newsarama: What led to your return to the Spawn title, Greg?
Greg Capullo: I've been providing layouts to some degree since Brian Haberlin was on the book. Recently, Todd asked me to do a fill in to keep the book's schedule on track as Whilce has had some difficulty doing so. It's not really the way I'd thought would be a cool way to come back to the book. You know? It's like, "Hey kids! Thought I'd pop in for a visit.'" Not very dramatic. I mean, I intentionally chose a great exit point – issue 100. I always thought if I did come back it'd be for some special event or something – not a fill in. But, whatever. I had fun.
Nrama: Since you've been gone from the title, Spawn has taken a new host with the reluctant Jim Downing. What do you think of the current set-up for Spawn?
Capullo: Change is good when it comes to most things in life. In this instance, I believe that it will allow for more possibilities to develop and will help further the Spawn mythos.
Nrama: For many years you were a dyed in the wool monthly artist, whether it be over at Marvel or with Spawn.
Nrama: Todd's been very protective about who draws Spawn, having only a very small number of an artists over 190 issues so far. And when people think of Spawn artists, you're second only to Todd himself. With that being said, how do you think the character has held up over the years?
Capullo: No slight to any of the previous artists including Todd, but I am the only one that can truly bring that book and its characters to life. You see, I have an unfair advantage. It takes several issues before you understand the characters you're drawing. How they sit, stand, their expressions, reactions... You need to really know them. Until they become living, breathing, flesh and blood beings to you, you're (as an artist) merely generically moving generic characters through space. There's no magic in that. There's no life there. And that to me, is what's most lacking in the book since I left.
Nrama: You really got into a groove on Spawn, like you did on your runs on Quasar and X-Force. When you left Spawn way back when, you art seemed to be at the top of its game. What led to your departure?
Capullo: You just answered your own question. I felt that I was at the top of my game and I wanted to go out leaving everyone wanting more. I was still blazing, but I was growing tired. I left before inferno was reduced to a sputtering ember. Fans deserve only your best. They're loyally shelling out their cash because they like your work. You should never cheat them by giving less than your best. Seinfeld did it right. All in the Family did it wrong. I wanted to do it right.
Nrama: What have you been doing since you took a break from the daily grind of doing comics?
Capullo: Todd always has me doing something. Whether it's helping out the toy division, doing concept art for projects, doing covers, or layouts... Because my name isn't out there doesn't mean that I've retired. It's just that a lot of what I do is behind the scenes.
Nrama: Besides your company owned work, you've done creator-owned as well with Creech. Do you plan to return to that creation, or possibly do another creator-owned book at some point?
Capullo: I just started thinking about the Creech again. I'd always planned to do a third and final story arc with the Creech. But, my life went through some dramatic upheaval – really sucked the wind out of my sails. I've since regained myself. I don't have any idea when it will come to fruition, but I definitely intend on completing the Creech Trilogy.