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Todd McFarlane's Spawn Cover Contest Was Won By AI User Robot9000

At the beginning of the year, Todd McFarlane's "Spawnuary", challenged artists to submit spec cover artwork for his line of Spawn comics.



Article Summary

  • Todd McFarlane's "Spawnuary" contest for Spawn comic covers ends with an AI twist.
  • Artist Luis Ruiz, aka @robot9000, wins with work that raises AI art questions.
  • Images in question were found in Ruiz's MidJourney gallery, created using prompts.
  • No official response yet from McFarlane or Ruiz on the AI-generated artwork issue.

At the beginning of the year, Bleeding Cool reported on Todd McFarlane's new promotion "Spawnuary", in which he challenged artists to submit speculative cover artwork for his line of Spawn-related comic books. At the end of the month, Todd McFarlane stated he would choose his favourites and feature them as variant covers on the issues of his published comics. Obviously, as it's a Spawn promotion, it was late. But then the results have been announced. And… well, you can guess what's coming.

What Is AI Comic Art And What Is Not?

One of the winners, Luis Ruiz, using the name robot9000 on Instagram, is a regular AI prompt writer and regularly posts pictures created using AI, including Gunslinger Spawn, to which he credits MidJourney as well as art programmes Procreate, Midjourney, Photoshop, and Maya. Despite this, the images that were created for the Spawn cover contest each of which was described as "Look Ma, No AI versions", and states "I'm a fan boy and I've always been one. This is my entry and I hope you all dig it!Luis Ruiz aka @robot9000 So I guess, my 5 years of drawing class did serve me well, huh???!"

What Is AI Comic Art And What Is Not? Todd McFarlane's Spawn Cover Contest - AI Or Not AI? Todd McFarlane's Spawn Cover Contest - AI Or Not AI?

This may have been necessary to say as the rules were quite explicit.

What Is AI Comic Art And What Is Not?

 

However, there appear to be versions of those images on his Midjourney gallery, with prompts for the artist Ashley Wood, who has worked on a lot of Spawn comic books. And literally asking for an award winning design. Well he certainly got them. I signed up to MidJourney for a month to acess Robot9000's Midjourney gallery, withe these entries for late January. The deadline for the Week 4 Villain cover was the 28th of January. These were generated using Ashley Wood artwork on the 23rd of January.

Todd McFarlane's Spawn Cover Contest - AI Or Not AI?

Clicking on individual images gives the following.

Todd McFarlane's Spawn Cover Contest - AI Or Not AI? Todd McFarlane's Spawn Cover Contest - AI Or Not AI? Todd McFarlane's Spawn Cover Contest - AI Or Not AI?

Bleeding Cool contacted Todd McFarlane last week but have received no reply. We have also received no reply from Luis Diaz. We would be happy to represent any involved parties over what went down here,


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from The Union Club on Greek Street, shops at Gosh, Piranha and FP. Father of two daughters. Political cartoonist.
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