60 Years of Spider-Man: Spider Up Close – Cartoons – Culture

The publisher was against it. He said people hate spiders, teens can’t be heroes, and superheroes shouldn’t have personal issues. Then he gave the character named Spider-Man another chance – the rest is history.

The opening image of the first Spider-Man comic strip.Photo: bags

The rise of what is now one of the world’s most successful entertainment brands began with eleven comic pages published 60 years ago in June in Issue 17 of the Amazing Fantasy series, written by Stan Lee, who had just invented the Fantastic Four and the Hulk, and illustrated by Steve Ditko .

Taschen-Verlag recently published this first story of Spider-Man and the next twenty books in the series in a deluxe new edition as a coffee table book that weighs nearly five kilograms in a 30 x 40 cm format, almost twice the original size. Equivalent manuals for: “Marvel Comics Library, Spider-Man, Vol. 1, 1962-1964” (Taschen-Verlag, 698 pages, 150 euros).

Thanks to this dimension and excellent reproduction quality, graphic details become visible here that one can often only guess in previous versions. This was aided by the fact that editors had reproduced the classic half-dot coloring on rough paper in such a way that it approximated the look of 1960s printing technology.

In contrast, earlier, paperback-format anthology of these classic comics, 2D glossy coloring was often chosen, which looks more modern, but the graphic details were less effective.

It’s like looking at Steve Ditko’s shoulder drawing

More vividly than ever, we can now consider here that the series about the reluctant young hero not only sets new standards in terms of narrative, but also in terms of graphics in the comic book department, which wasn’t even 25 years old at the time.

Close-up: Original graphics for the first pages of the series.Photo: bags

It can be followed in detail how Ditko’s drawing style, which makes the hero look a little stiff at first, especially in action scenes, becomes more confident, intense and, above all, more expansive in action scenes.

The most impressive works in terms of comic history can be found at the end of the anthology: all eleven original pages of the first Spider-Man story are reproduced here just as the tray once laid them out on paper in black ink, including all pencil lines, redaction and notes Technical on additional processing.

You can now see every character’s hair, every action line, and every cobweb line on the main character’s iconic outfit up close, as if you were looking over Steve Ditko’s shoulder painting.

Stan Lee made his fans feel like he was talking to them directly

Another advantage of this anthology is that, unlike many other full editions of the first volumes, the editorial pages of the original editions are also reproduced. Here, you’ll find letters to the editor containing Stan Lee’s answers and other texts he wrote for his audience, which show how seriously he took the matter and his needs.

Broad: A double page spread from one of the later Spider-Man books.Photo: bags

Young readers gave me the feeling that someone was talking to them directly. This, combined with Lee’s natural dialogue and ability to bring remarkably complex characters to life with few words and scenes – combined with his appearance in the theatrical adaptations of his stories – likely played a large role in the fact that the charismatic author lived until his death in In 2018, he enjoyed a reputation among his fans that rivaled that of the superheroes he invented.

This is also an interesting find for those who may be dealing with the beginnings of Spider-Man and his illustrious opponents for the first time on the 60th anniversary. A large part of the blockbuster movie plot ideas, which have shaped the concept of the character in recent years, are brought up here to the last detail.

Cover of Marvel Comics Library, Spider-Man, Volume One, 1962-1964.Photo: bags

This ranges from characterizing Peter Parker, alias Spider-Man, as an eccentric, extraordinarily realistic figurehead for a superhero, to his opponents with bizarre traits, from Green Goblin to Sandman and Doc Ock, who also portrayed Spider-Man in the latest movie, “No Way Home” from 2021.

An informed introduction from Marvel editor Ralph Macchio, detailing the character’s background and success story, sums up this issue. A fitting birthday present for a pop culture icon and her fan – albeit only in English, unfortunately, and at a hefty price that the chronically cash-strapped Peter Parker couldn’t afford.

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