Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gil Kane's Spider-Man Artist's Edition

Cover for the variant version

Cover for the regular edition

Contents spread

Chapter divider

Bio page

I remember the first time I saw the Spider-Man stories where he grew extra arms...I thought, "brilliant" why hadn't anyone thought of that idea before. Of course, a character named Spider-Man should have eight legs (appendages)! There was something disturbing and creepy about Spider-Man with 4 extra arms, but, it still was cool! I liked how Gil Kane was able to make each arm look like it had a purpose, instead of just dangling off of his body. The imagery haunted me for decades. 

Then I got a chance to re-visit the stories through the artist's edition book. It still creeps me out, but I'm somehow attracted to it. I know that Gil Kane studied the movements and positions of dancers and applied it to his visual language  of Spider-Man. The character does seem to be dancing from panel to panel. It's avery graceful and fluid interpretation. Almost like a built-in soundtrack.

My approach to the design of this book, was to again, be influenced by the time period that the stories originally appeared. It's kind of a balancing act when designing, I want to pay homage, but also give it a contemporary twist. I used red and blue in the design, based on the colors of Spider-Man's costume. But, I tweaked the colors, and made them neutral value to give the appearance of being more sophisticated. I also added a cream color, which mimics the art-board color and adds a melding presence to the other two colors. I hope there is a richness that enhances the whole book through these colors.


  1. Any idea when the variant will be released?

  2. I'm not sure of release dates...perhaps they are on IDW's website.

  3. Is there a third cover of this AE? I am about to buy this and have been searching the Internet and there seems to be a third cover where the Green Goblin is pulling Spiderman unmasked? Which one is this?; also is there a second Cover of John Byrne's Fantastic Four with the Thing smashing something?

  4. El Paquiro,

    I'll help clarify about the covers in question.

    For the sake of solicitations or announcements of new books being published, I'll be asked to put a cover together so there is a representation of that book. Sometimes, a decision is made to use a newly discovered or better image, and the cover will be redesigned. The 2 images you are referring to, were early designs that were never actually published. Sorry for the confusion, thanks for your interest, and for your question!