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‘It’s just home’: Comic book icon Todd McFarlane returns; appearing at Calgary Expo all weekend

Comic book icon Todd McFarlane feels it whenever he’s north of the border.

He says it feels just like “a robe and slippers.”

“At this point in my life, I’ve probably spent way more time in the States than I have in Canada but every time I cross the border, it’s just home,” McFarlane told CTV News on Thursday, the opening day of the Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo.

“This is where I’m the most comfortable.”

McFarlane, who hails from Calgary, rose to comic book fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the artist and later writer on “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man” titles for Marvel Comics.

He then left the character, and the company along with several other creators, to form a new business, Image Comics.

At Image, McFarlane launched his own character and title, “Spawn”, which also led to toys, a feature film and an animated series, as well as other multimedia endeavours.

But Spawn was born right here, long before that.

“In the basement of a house on the corner of Crowchild and 24th, right across from McMahon Stadium. That’s where Spawn was born,” McFarlane said.

McFarlane celebrated 300 issues of the “Spawn” comic book series, a few years back.

Around the same time, the Spider-Man character McFarlane had a hand in creating, Venom, made the leap from the comic book page to the movie screen.

“Venom” has since had one sequel, and another is in the works.

While comic book icon Todd McFarlane is at Calgary Expo, appearing Friday, Saturday and Sunday yet, he’s signing autographs and snapping photos for fans, as well as taking part in multiple panels.

McFarlane’s a rock star of popular culture, even though he’ll tell you “it depends on the room.”

In Calgary, though, he spends most of his time with family, helping with “shopping and folding laundry.”

He also made it to Peters’ Drive-In. That’s important, you understand.

“I had Peters’ yesterday!” he said.

“I took my dad up to Edmonton. … This is just how it works. We stop at Tim Hortons on the way up, get the gas, the exact same order every time. Go up, visit, come back and then we stop at the Peters’ in Red Deer. … We order the same thing, we have a good time and then we leave.”

While McFarlane is at Calgary Expo, appearing Friday, Saturday and Sunday yet, he’s signing autographs and snapping photos for fans, as well as taking part in multiple panels.

And carrying on with the motif of coming home and being close to family, he will be joined by his dad – Bob – on the stage for one of those panels.

“In 40 years, I’ve done hundreds of panels. Never once with a family member. On Friday, I get to do a panel with my dad,” McFarlane said.

“My wife and daughter are flying in from the States (to see it). They don’t really come to my panels, but they go, ‘I gotta come see Grandpa!'”

You can, too – The McFarlanes panel is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, on the Comics Stage at the Big Four.

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