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Capullo, Greg (McFarlane Toys artist)

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mcfarlanecapullo - Capullo, Greg (McFarlane Toys artist)During the grand opening of McFarlane Toys’ Showroom and Store, our man Tindalos was on hand to check out the cool stuff on hand and got a chance to sit down with one of McFarlane Toys artists, Mr. Greg Capullo. Formerly an artist on Spawn, Capullo now fulfills requests for toy designs for some of the best of McFarlane’s output. Enjoy!


Dread Central: When did you start doing the bulk of what you’re doing with Spawn?

Greg Capullo: Well now I no longer draw Spawn, other than the covers. When Todd drafted me from Marvel Comics, it was kind of done secretly. He was running under time constraints. So what he would do is have me ghost pencil it. I would dupe layouts and get him to shrink down some of his drawings. So it would be, “Special thanks to Greg Capullo”. As time went on he started to give me inker credit. Then eventually he flipped the names and spelled it out for the world what was going on. The true transition took place, probably, ten or so issues into it. It became a very loose, off the cuff working relationship where he would phone me up and give me directions. He used to use micro tapes, which I still have, with instructions on what he wanted. But he would give me carte blanche other than that to illustrate how I wanted.

DC: Now are you involved at all with the toy conceptions?

GC: Absolutely. Sometimes, as you can see, some are taken from classic cover drawings or interior art. But sometimes he calls me up and says, “We’re doing a toy line based on this premise. I need some designs.” Then I go to work. The other way I work, as far as the toys, is sometimes they’ll have a toy in development and I’ll get some faxes that were done by Ed (Frank). They’ll go, “OK. We need you to take it to this level and show us these different turns, so that the sculptors have something to work with.” So sometimes I work from the raw starting point and sometimes it’s aiding and abetting.

DC: But do you ever have the chance to come in and say, “Here. I have this idea?”

GC: One of the things I have done is just thrown him some sketches and say, “Here. File ‘em,” but that’s the extent. It’s not like I say that I have a vision for a toy line. I’ll just come up with a creepy drawing. Like, Dog-Boy was just a sketch that I threw him.

mcfarlanescarecrow - Capullo, Greg (McFarlane Toys artist)DC: Most of the horror fans have an interest in the darker side of McFarlane Toys like the Twisted Land of Oz line, and I think they’d like to see more of it. More stuff like that that was developed from literature, Lovecraft for instance. Do you see more of that coming?

GC: Personally I don’t look for what to do until I’m told what to do, until the order comes from on high. When the order came to do the “Oz” thing that was exciting. Especially when I saw the kind of slant he wanted to take with it. Having the ability to draw all of those cool Dorothy poses alone…It didn’t hurt!

DC: What I liked with Spawn from the beginning was that it was continually pretty dark. Todd got away from that four-color world he started in. That was what set him apart, for me. Do you expect to see that continue?

GC: You know, Todd LOVES monsters! He loves horror. The thing that trips me out about my career is when I first got my break in comics it was with a small independent called Gore Street which was a small horror comic. I had always wanted to be a super-hero guy. So when I finally got into super-hero comics a horror guy drafted me! I mean when you take it out, it was only a couple years that I drew super-heroes. It’s just been a horror career. Now, I’m in love with it as well.

mcfarlaneevent8 - Capullo, Greg (McFarlane Toys artist)DC: I would consider you to be incredibly lucky to be “stuck” where you’re at.

GC: And I’m with you on that!

DC: Is there anything you want to bring to this table? Your own creations that haven’t happened yet?

GC: I published my own creation under him, “The Creetch”. I have a third part of that story arc that I’d like to introduce at some time. I’ve been thinking of different ways of doing it than the previous two that I’ve done. I’ve been thinking combining drawings with Photoshop. Not a traditional look. Something darker and more artsy.

DC: Are you reading other horror titles now?

GC: You know, to tell you the truth…and this is so insulting to so many people who read comic books…I don’t. I’m doing them. The only stuff I’ve ever read along the way has been Frank Miller’s detective stuff. It’s pretty dark. “Sin City” line has been pretty dark.

DC: So then you’re looking forward to the Sin City film that’s in production?

GC: I’m not even aware of it! That’s how out of the loop I am! You can tell me about it. I’ll definitely being seeing that! The only other comic franchise I’ve seen was Hellboy. Which was good tongue-in-cheek humor.

DC: Have you met Mignola?

GC: No. But I’m sure he’d wring my neck if he had the chance. When Todd, (Rob) Liefield, (Jim) Lee and all of those cats left Marvel to form Image Comics that left a lot of slots open. Liefield had been on X-Force. At the time I was on mcfarlaneevent7 - Capullo, Greg (McFarlane Toys artist)Quasar. So they called me to take the X-Force gig. I sucked! Mignola was a god! He had done some fill in issues. For some reasons the fans didn’t react well so they put me in instead of Mignola. So if I ever see the guy I’m going to apologize to avoid a bloody nose! He deserved that slot.

DC: Other than you’re peers where do you draw inspiration for your stories?

GC: I’d have to say, even though you probably can’t see the influence, there isn’t an artist who works in this kind of genre who isn’t affected by Frank Frazetta. He is a god. Also Simon Bisley. Granted, Frazetta influence, they were super gory, super over the top. Everything was on steroids.

DC: Is there anything else coming down the pike? Animated series? Movies?

GC: Well, actually Todd has ideas of having the Twisted Land of Oz line done into a motion picture (!). But that’s a big budget thing and you’ve got to get Hollywood to drop a whole load of cash to produce it. He wants to do it. And you can imagine, if he does it he wants it to be Lord of the Rings in magnitude. I know some of the ideas for scenes. I did some storyboards for him. Scary, creepy, wild stuff. The flying monkey scene alone would be worth the price of admission! (Todd confirmed this later. It has been pitched as a live-action epic in the $110M range!)

DC: Wow!

GC: I don’t know if I’ve said too much!


Many thanks to everyone at McFarlane Toys for letting us take part in the event, and especially to Greg Capullo for sitting down with us!

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