There is no denying that creator Todd McFarlane is clearly one of the most influential Spider-Man artists of all time.Before Todd, there were basically only two ways for an artist to draw Spider-Man: The character could either be drawn the original Steve Ditko way or the way of follow-up artist John Romita Sr. (Both of which, in my opinion, are great!)
Ditko’s Spider-man was very reminiscent of an insect. Giving the character a more “creature-like” appearance and choosing to focus on the qualities of the Spider rather than the man. Romita’s drawings and style brought the character back to the world of man.
Todd, however, put his own spin on the character. A spin that many artists thereafter would follow.
Todd would bend and manipulate Spider-Man’s body into all sorts of contortions whilst in the air or when crouching, almost blending the two original art styles into one new form.Todd brought large emotive eyes, more dynamic poses, and of course the now classic “spaghetti” webbing! – Or did he?
Did Todd McFarlane really invent Spider-Man’s Spaghetti Webbing?
Well… The short answer is no. No, he did not. Todd gets a lot of credit for reinventing Spider-Man’s look but really I think the credit belongs to another.Over the years, we have heard many stories from Todd McFarlane about his time working on Spider-man. And in those stories we have heard several times that supposedly based this so-called “spaghetti webbing” on the webbing from a popular Michael Golden poster.
Now, before I continue, please let me stress, this is in no way an attack on Todd. I love Todd’s work and adore his art style. And let us not forget, Todd gave us Spidey fans Venom! And finally made Mary Jane Sexy! (LOVE that 80s BIG Hair!)
If Todd Mcfarlane didn’t give us the “spaghetti webbing” first, who did? Let’s take a look at some of the Books from The Amazing Spider-man, surrounding Todd’s work.
So, Before Todd: – Here we have THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #285 by Mike Zeck. A nice illustration of Black Suit Spidey with no Spegetti Webbing.
But then there is THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #287 (Todd’s first issue being 298.) (Erik Larsen – Pencils, Art Nichols – Ink.) This issue contains the iconic “spaghetti” webbing (By Larsen! NOT Todd!) TEN to ELEVEN months prior to Todd drawing Spider-Man at all.
Again, please don’t think this is an attack on Todd. It really isn’t. But credit where it is due. It was actually Erik Larson who first gave us this iconic look.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300 (Where the spaghetti webbing features most prominently) is and will likely always be deemed a Todd McFarlane classic. Personally, I don’t like it. But I see why others do.Todd brought us some of the best Spider-man art and stories of the late ’80s / early ’90s and will always be a favourite of mine and many others worldwide. His art was scratchy and raw but, most importantly, dynamic and stylised. What I find strange about all this though, is that artists Larsen and McFarlane seem to be very active and vocal online these days. Yet, nothing ever seems to get mentioned about who created the iconic spaghetti webbing… strange, no?