Does whatever a spider can….

On my first run on a SPIDER-MAN book– called SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN– I tended to draw the character in a much different way than the way I draw him now. Previously, I gave him a pretty big head, long skinny neck, gangly limbs, REALLY big eyes on his mask– and most of all, enormous feet. I guess I was trying to put my own ‘personal stamp’ on the visual history of the character. I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t more than a few long-time SPIDER-MAN fans who were pretty unhappy with the way I drew him at the time. Maybe it was residual backlash left over from the McFarlane days, or maybe it was just the cartoony aspect of my work– but some of the criticism rubbed off on me. In my last couple of issues, I really bulked my SPIDER-MAN up, gave him a bigger neck, wider shoulders and narrow hips. This caused several folks to ask why I’d done THAT. It was just in an attempt to please everyone. I’ve since come to realize that pleasing everyone is pretty much impossible.

The two issue SPIDER SENSE story in FANTASTIC FOUR Mark and I did last year gave me the chance to re-visit the character. And I was a little surprised to find that my take on him had become quite a bit more… traditional…. than my previous take. Maybe it’s that I’m getting older and more nostalgic for the old Silver Age stuff– I don’t know. But the way I draw him now is much more John Romita and Steve Ditko than Todd McFarlane and Mark Bagley. It’s funny that I did this sketch this morning — because just by coincidence, my buddy Jeff Parker has a post about (and a sneak peek at the art for) an upcoming issue of SPIDER-MAN ADVENTURES he wrote that was drawn by a fellow named Patrick Sherberger. It looks like a winning combo!



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