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Next month, Image Comics will publish the much-anticipated 301st issue of Spawn, Todd McFarlane's spectral superhero creation that's been hitting comics shop shelves since 1992. With Issue #301, Spawn is not just showing its staying power in the creator-owned marketplace. It's also setting a record, and soon McFarlane will have the certificate from Guinness to prove it.
Image Comics announced via press release Monday that McFarlane and Spawn have entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the "longest-running creator-owned superhero comic book series" thanks to the 301st issue, passing the 300-issue mark set by Dave Sim's Cerebus back in 2004. Though he's often allowed collaborators to take the creative reins in various roles over the course of the character's run, McFarlane has remained close to Spawn, and returned as writer and artist for the 301st issue, which will usher in a new era for the character.
"Any record that is based on longevity, is made on the backs of dozens of people," McFarlane said. "As much as I am proud to be receiving this award, I gratefully accept it on behalf of all those who helped me the past 27 years on this journey."
McFarlane and Spawn have the record already, but the Guinness certificate itself won't be presented until Spawn fans can witness it. Image also announced Monday that McFarlane will receive his official world record certificate Saturday, October 5, during New York Comic Con. The ceremony will take place just before McFarlane's "The Road to Historic Spawn #300 and #301" panel, which is scheduled to start at 5:45 p.m. in Room #1A10. So get there early if you want to bear witness to comics history.
"I'm incredibly honored to be presenting this Guinness World Records title to Todd McFarlane in honor of Spawn 301 at an event that celebrates creators with such enthusiasm," Guinness adjudicator Claire Elise Stephens said. "Todd McFarlane displays immense passion, a key value of our mission and this achievement is a recognition of Todd's nearly three-decade career."
After almost three decades of adventures, an animated series, and one feature film, Spawn is not done evolving and growing yet. McFarlane's also still at work on a new feature film version of the character, starring Jamie Foxx in the title role.
Spawn #301 is on sale October 9.