Missed Todd McFarlane's New York Comic Con 2015 panel or simply couldn't go to the con? Truthful Comics' got your back!!! This video is almost an hour long and is the entire panel (except for a couple of minutes at the start that Todd was talking with fans in the front row). Enjoy!
Welcome one and all to this latest blog post! This and next week I will be showing something near and dear to my geeky heart, Spider-Man artists and writers! In the same vein as the Batman blogs from the beginning of the year, I want to share my favorite artists and writers. As I mentioned before in the Batman blogs, this is not a definitive all-time best kind of list, it's just a list of my own personal favorites. And as well as with the Batman lists, i am listing creators that I am familiar with their run on the Spidey titles and that have had lengthy runs on the comics. With that out of th way, let's get this started! Here are my Top 5 Favorite Spider-Man artists!
5- (Tie) John Romita Jr/Mark Bagley
The Spider-Man artists I grew up with were John Romita Jr and Mark bagley. they are the quintessential Spider-Man artists. Two of the classics, modern day legends not just inSpider-Man but in the comic book industry. I simply could not pick one over the other, so I decided to bend the rules a bit and just call it a tie between these two master craftsmen.
Both these artists had significant runs on Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker: Spider-Man, and of course, Bagley's marathonic 100 issue run on Ultimate Spider-Man, a run almost unheard of in modern comics. Both artists have very distinct styles and yet there is one thing in common that I enjoy about both, their story-telling. Their panel-to-panel flow is something every artist should study. I know sometimes I hear the same argument that John Romita Jr's art is too dark or too blocky for Spider-,Man, but I will defend his Spider-Man 'till the end! Romita Jr has always had an ability to create great mood and atmosphere with his art, and his attention to the little details I feel is sometimes a bit underrated.
Mark Bagley's art just has "classic" and "timeless" written all over it, even as early as when he took over Amazing Spider-man from Eric Larsen, just in time for Spidey's anniversary. His smooth story-telling and great facial expressions and body language made him a natural for Spider-Man. And what impresses me about both is how they evolved as artists in the time they've had their runs in Spider-Man.
Both artists managed to evolve and update their art to keep up with the times and somehow became even better artists. And this is why I can't really pick one over the other, but hey, lists like these are just relative and different from person to person, in the end, they are two veteran artists that have cemented their legacies in the comic book industry, and i'm just happy to have witnessed most of their artistic evolution.
4- Mike Wieringo
There really isn't much I can write about Mike Wieringo that I already didn't cover in my tribute blog about him which you can read about right here: hhttp://www.truthfulcomics.com/blog/remembering-mike-wieringo
All I can add is just how fun and wonderful his energetic, fluid, almost animated art was on Spider_man and just about every title he ever touched.
3- Steve Skroce
Steve Skroce started to raise to fame on the alternate universe title X-Man, coming from the Age of Apocalypse storyline that altered the reality of the X-Men books. And X-Man was a younger Cable in this new reality, and the book was an instant hit, so much so that X-Man made the jump into the 616 universe. A huge part of that success was thanks in part to then up and coming artist Steve Skroce. After cutting his teeth on X-Man, he would make the jump to the revamped series of Amazing Spider-Man, at a time where Marvel was desperately trying to save the character after the mess of the Spider-Clone saga nearly drove all Spider-fans away.
Skroce was introduced at a time there was a big boom in the Spider-Man creative teams (that saw Wieringo and Romita jr on board, and even John Byrne at one point). His art was just perfect for Spider-Man. His art is very stylized and seemed like an implosion of all of my favorite artists and a flair of even anime/manga all in one. His attention to details in the background, his action scenes, it all screamed frenetic energy, and yet he also knew how to do the more subtle, quiet moments, he is definitely a well rounded artist. It's a shame he does not make comics anymore after he started doing storyboarding work for major Hollywood movies (like The Matrix trilogy and V For Vendetta), but I encourage you to find not only his Spidey run, find his runs on X-Man, Gambit, Wolverine (which he also wrote), and Youngblood (those two issues written by Alan Moore!), and of course his creator owned Frankenstein comic.
2- Humberto Ramos
I think it's safe to say that Humberto Ramos is now in the upper echelon of legendary Spider-Man artists. He is pretty much the modern day Romita Sr or Todd McFarlane of this century, it's become the character he is perhaps most associated with now. And the fantastic thing about this is that this was in fact his childhood dream as he grew up in mexico idolizing Spider-Man.
As most know he had his USA debut in comics with Milestone Media/DC Comics in Hardware and made his way to become the regular artist on Impulse. He would do on and of again things with Marvel like X-Nation and a gust spot on Uncanny X-Men, or a Gen 13 oneshot for Jim lee's Wildstorm, but it was his creator owned Crimson that brought him much attention as part of the joint venture that was Cliffhanger! along with Joe Madureira and J Scott Campbell. After Crimson wrapped up he would develop another series named Out There at Cliffhanger! as well and the Revelations mini-series through Dark Horse after he left Cliffhanger/DC Comics. He did Revelations with writer Paul Jenkins, who of course, started their collaboration on Sensational Spider-Man.
Jenkins and Ramos had a spectacular run including the return of the Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus. He would eventually leave Spidey to do other works in Marvel like wolverine, but soon enough he would go back to Spidey, this time Amazing Spider-Man, along with writer Dan Slott, in yet another attempt by Marvel to save the character after the even bigger mess they had made with the One More day storyline.
Ramos' art is expressive, energetic, fluid, just the right amount of perfect for the friendly neighborhood aspect of Spider-Man. When a brand new issue #1 of Amazing Spider-Man came out, it was Humberto Ramos doing the art, which speaks volumes about him and cements his status as one of the biggest Spider-Man artists in the history of the franchise.
And now, without further ado, my all-time favorite Spider-artist is.....
1- Todd McFarlane
To those who are close to me, the top two is no surprise whatsoever. But contrary to the other artists on this list, I actually didn't read Spider-Man during the original David Michelinie and McFarlane run of the 80's nor his solo run on the knew at that time Spider-Man of the 90s. My introduction to McFarlane was Spawn. Through Wizard magazine and through friends I was familiar with his Spider-Man but I was not buying the more teen stuff at that time since i was still in elementary school when his run on Amazing Spider-Man was going on and I got into Spawn when I was in junior high school.
It wasn't until back issues, reprints, and trades that i was finally able to see most of his run, and after reading and watching interviews, I appreciated all the artistic risks he took on the title. How he dared to modernize the comic and give it a fresh, unique look that still stands to this day. Arguably one of the most influential comic book artists of all time, he took Spider-Man to a whole other level, to the point he still holds the record for the most sold single issue by a writer/artist with Spider-Man #1.
His art was in your face, overflowing with energy to the point where even the quiet more mundane scenes seemed to leap right off the page. And yes, the poses seemed, well, really impossible for for any human being to pull of, yes, but at least concede this: damn if it didn't look cool!!! It looked even cooler in some of the small nods to his poses in the Sam Reimi Spider-Man films. Of course, he swore off doing any work for Marvel or DC ever again due to his responsibilities at Image Comics, but I'm still hoping somehow, someday, maybe there will be a Spawn/Spider-Man crossover and we'll all get to see the master work on Spider-Man once more.
As always, thank you all for reading and if you have an artist you loved on Spidey, don't be shy and sound off on the comments section below. Next week, my top 5 favorite Spider-Man writers. Until then have a good one!
-Alvaro Cortes Jr
Hello, everybody, and welcome to yet another instalment of "Let's Talk About....". Marvel Comics recently made a big reveal as part of their next major crossover, Original Sin. The text reads "Hell Hath no Fury like a Sister Scorned." Well, can hell have no fury like a creator scorned? Complicated is the life this girl of the moment has gone through, let's take a look.
In 1993, comic book giant Todd McFarlane, hot off a successful run at Marvel and selling millions of copies of his creator owned Spawn, decided to contract four big name writers to write an issue of Spawn each. The creators were Alan Moore, Dave Sim, Frank Miller, and Neil Gaiman. The latter wrote issue number nine of Spawn, that included three characters he co-created with McFarlane. Cogliostro, Medieval Spawn, and of course, Angela.
The characters were featured prominently in future McFalane projects. Cogliostro had a prominent role in the Spawn live action movie and Medieval Spawn was a big seller for his toy line, McFarlane Toys. But the breakout star from that trio was without a doubt Angela. She even spawned (no pun intended. OK, yeah, the pun was intended) a mini-series written by co-creator Neil Gaiman and pencilled by Greg Capullo, who had recently left Marvel and was recruited by McFarlane himself, having him as guest artist on a few issues of Spawn. It was all in the middle of the infamous "bad girl craze" of the nineties that saw characters as Lady Death become huge sellers.
What set Angela apart from other characters from the trend, however, was the fact of how unique and central she did become in the Spawn universe. She was not just fan service and eye-candy (though she had plenty of that as well), she was an angel that was a Spawn hunter, her task being killing any Spawn in an organization that sprawled over centuries doing that task. During the Gaiman penned mini-series, Spawn saves her and the begin a somewhat on and off again relationship until she was eventually killed of from the Spawn universe by one of the main villains, Malebogia. But the battle behind the scenes for this peculiar creation was bigger.
Allegedly upon creation, McFarlane had agreed that Gaiman had the rights to all three characters. But after the author's involvement, the artist continually used the characters in spin-offs, merchandise, and in other medias such as the aforementioned live-action movie and the hit HBO animated series. Trouble began when reprints containing Angela came out and no royalties were being paid to Gaiman. Later McFarlane claimed he was the 100% owner of Angela and the other two characters as well. So in 2002 Gaiman sued McFarlane for royalties owed and for the rights of the characters. It was a gruelling 10 year battle, that included a victory for Gaiman in terms of royalties earned, and finally ended in January of 2012. The two iconic creators resolved the dispute of the ownership of Angela with the terms undisclosed, but the rights of the character now belonged fully to Gaiman.
In 2013 Gaiman was set to return to Marvel Comics as a writer once more, but this time he wasn't alone. In March of 2013 the bombshell was dropped that Angela was now a part of the Marvel Universe at the end the company's crossover Age of Ultron. The surprise sent shock waves throughout the comics community. Fans were excited, fans were angry, and others were, well, confused. Marvel declined to comment at the time about the controversial news, but McFarlane did offer his thoughts.
"Neil Gaiman and I had a resolution in our legal dispute, and as part of that he ended up with the rights of Angela." "Whatever Neil chooses to do with something that he owns is at his complete and utter discretion."
"The health of the industry is based upon having good stories and good characters, and a wide customer base. If bringing some of these characters back to the fold in a meaningful way adds to that, then it just strengthens our industry."
"Good stories that entertain are something that we all should applaud on any level." "Whether we're doing it directly at Image Comics, or at our competition, it helps keep our industry that we love alive. I will sit back and be as interested as anyone else."- Todd McFarlane, source: Newsarama.
After an appearance in the new Guardian of the Galaxy series, now she finds herself in middle of another controversy: Angela has been announced to be Odin's daughter, making her Thor and Loki's sister.
Fan reaction has been more mixed that when Angela was first introduced into Marvel. Many are questioning Gaiman's decision to let Marvel handle the character, or if he did it just to put one over McFarlane, who has had a history of bad blood with his former home. Many wonder what will now become of Angela, a big part of the Spawn universe, and if she will now take a backseat as a mere secondary character to bigger names such as Thor the the popular Loki thanks in part to the live action Thor and Avengers movies.
The quality in the yearly mega-event Marvel has been doing for years now have been questionable at best, causing concern for fans of Angela, who now sports a design by Joe Quesada. How will all this play out? In the grand scheme of things, will it all make sense and make for a better story, or will this just be a money-grab attempt to squeeze money out of readers? At this point, everything is wait and see, but one thing is for certain, Angela sure knows how to still be the talk of the town. Thank you for reading.
-Alvaro "Lance Danger" Cortes Jr
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