Header for Todd McFarlane autograph story

Todd McFarlane Is a Nice Guy

Todd McFarlane drew the first comic book I ever bought, “Amazing Spider-Man” #318.  I’ve been a fan of his artwork ever since.

Yes, I know it’s not perfect in many ways, but whose art is perfect? I like his stuff.  It’s cool. That’s enough for me.

Once Upon a Time, I Wrote a Letter to Todd McFarlane

I don’t have a specific date for this story.  It was pre-Image days.  It was probably around McSpidey #1 or that era.  Maybe earlier.

I was relatively new comic reader and a die-hard McFarlane fan, buying everything of his that I could get my hands on.  Besides the Spider-Man comics, there was an almost prolific series of magazine interviews, including The Comics Journal, Comics Interview, Wizard Magazine #1, and a couple of others I’ve likely forgotten.  I even bought a pin set and a poster book.

I wrote Todd McFarlane a fan letter, probably through the comic shop he partly owned in Puyallup, Washingon, at the time.  I must have been about 15 at the time.  It was just a gushing thing telling him how much I loved his art.  I don’t have a copy of that letter anymore, nor do I remember anything more specific I said than that.

I was a nobody.  Just a fan.  Not even a letterhack yet.  There was no social media, and no reason for him to know who I was from a hole in the wall.

He Responded

In the mail one day came an envelope addressed to me.

Folded twice to fit inside was this 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper:

Todd McFarlane signs and sends an autograph

It’s a simple thing: a photocopy of a Spider-Man image he drew for some cover or another, with a hand signed thanks and autograph.

Made my friggin’ year.  And looking at it now, more than 25 years later, it still brings a smile to my face.

It’s been sitting in a folder in hiding for way too long. I’m going to frame this and hang it on the wall.


Lesson Learned

It’s a good reminder for creators that a random act of kindness can make a fan’s day, and might be a memory that lasts a lifetime.

Thanks, Todd!


1 Comment

  • dancondonjones March 31, 2017 at 3:11 am

    Considering some of the things he’s done since, I think it would be safer to say “Todd McFarlane was a nice guy at the time”


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