Spawn Creator Todd McFarlane Reveals Why He's Selling Parts Of His Comic Con Booth On Whatnot

Todd McFarlane is selling pieces of the Image Comics booth during a live auction on Whatnot tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane will host a livestream where he sells parts of his Comic Con on the collectables social-auction site Whatnot. The sale, which he announced the week of Comic Con International in San Diego, is one of the biggest events that Whatnot has hosted yet, and so it's bigger than just an eBay-type listing and will be accompanied by a live event hosted by McFarlane. The creator currently has a pre-recorded trailer up on Whatnot, giving fans an opportunity to register ahead of tomorrow's live event, which starts at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

At the event, fans can tune in to McFarlane's channel on Whatnot where pieces of the Image Comics booth will be auctioned off, giving viewers the opportunity to own a piece of collectible history. Designed to be dismantled into ownable pieces, the booth features visuals of different versions of Spawn,  including Gunslinger Spawn, Medieval Spawn, and Angel Spawn – each one personally signed by McFarlane. 

"At most of these conventions, so many publishers are creating magnificent booth wraps and then essentially throw it in the garbage, right?" McFarlane told in a conversation about the auction. "It's frustrating, and part of it is because the images that we put up on our booth...we sort of take whatever's hot at that current time. We put it up there and it's sort of like, 'Oh, cool.' But every six months, whatever is the current hot thing sort of shifts. I mean, it's like headlines that people are talking about. So you're making something that basically has a time span on it. I guess the smart way [would be like], 'Well, why don't you just create something that's generic that has just corporate logos on it?' That would be the smart way you could keep reusing those. I just don't think visually they're quite as interesting to look at for the fan."

"So as we were talking about the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con and that frustration come up like, 'Man, we're going to make another, but we're just going to throw it away,' also off in sort of the side of my head is as a curious creator, businessman, I just like to look around and see how the world's interacting and what they're doing," McFarlane added. "I don't have to get it. I don't have to endorse it. I don't even have to be part of it. I just have to acknowledge that a portion of a population is in that corner. So I mean, we did NASCAR toys. I never watched a NASCAR race in my life, but I've made NASCAR toys. Why? Because I knew millions and millions of people did, and so I am beyond that it has to make sense, or Todd has to like it. It's not build it and they will come. It's build it, find out where the people are and go get in their way, so they have to run you over. That to me is the modicum. Now with that said, I kept hearing just like years prior, it was Kickstarter this, Kickstarter this, and then so I tried it. And now I just sort of put in that same experiment onto Whatnot."

Whatnot has a growing comic book and collectible community on the platform. Notable creators such as Deadpool creator and Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld; DC President Jim Lee; Image co-founder Marc Silvestri; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman; and Skottie Young livestream on the platform to auction off select work from their portfolios and engage with fans. 

McFarlane said that while he could have sold the booth in a number of different way, he found that the community Whatnot is trying to build to be a really interesting component of their site. He launched his Whatnot channel during Comic Con and debuted it during his "Buy the Booth" announcement.

"What else is valuable on your website?" McFarlane said. "The big piece for me is being able to interact with their community on days in which we're not extracting one single penny from them. Can I just come to your site and interact and have more of a social moment with some of these people and who cares whether we're buying or selling anything? I can give stuff away that day, but I don't want anything. But you can do, as you know, auctions, buy it now. We're hoping to raise money for some philanthropic reasons, a bunch of giveaways. And then the big one for me is the social. So we're starting by going, 'Hey, we got this booth. Why don't we design a booth that looks cool at the show?' It was a nice booth to look at the moment at the show. And then what if we cut it up? Because nobody going to buy a big 40 foot run. I'm like, 'No, that's not going to work.' So let's make it so we can chop it up and then just see if people want a piece of this sort of one-off item that we made. And oh, by the way, I'll probably throw a bunch of goodies in with the stuff that's in there. Somebody was asking me, 'Well, what do you plan on giving and selling?' I don't know. I'm going to do my first live auction. I don't know how it works, Jim. And then I'm just going to scoop stuff off the floor and just say, 'Oh, by the way, this item comes with,' and I'm probably randomly going to scoop stuff up and say, 'And these three items come with it. Here, I'll sign two of them.'...Let's just have fun and let's experiment and let's just see how any of this goes and what the benefit of any of this is. And I'll be way smarter with all those answers four to six months from now."

So, Todd...about that New York Comic Con booth...!