The Transition To Todd – The Amazing Spider-Man

by Luke Smith

121522C-1-1024x536 The Transition To Todd - The Amazing Spider-ManThere 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!)

DitkoSpidey-300x200 The Transition To Todd - The Amazing Spider-Manclean-copy-1-300x164 The Transition To Todd - The Amazing Spider-Man
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.

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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.

Screenshot-2022-12-19-100935 The Transition To Todd - The Amazing Spider-Man

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.

Screenshot-2022-12-19-101112 The Transition To Todd - The Amazing Spider-ManSo, Before Todd: – Here we have THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #285 by Mike Zeck. A nice illustration of Black Suit Spidey with no Spegetti Webbing.

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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.

02619dc243e60f77cc3acb52c8822ce0 The Transition To Todd - The Amazing Spider-ManAgain, 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.

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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?

012822A The Transition To Todd - The Amazing Spider-Man*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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4 comments

Harry packer December 20, 2022 - 12:30 pm

Actually Arthur Adams created the webbing Style that you refer to ,that first appeared in Web Spider-Man Annual 2, 3 months before issue 287 of Amazing Spider-Man so give credit where credit’s due, Arthur Adams created the spaghetti webbing

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Luke Smith December 21, 2022 - 7:34 am

Thank you for the heads up. I didn’t realise this. Unfortunately I don’t have the annuals, so when I researched this via my own books I didn’t spot that. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

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The Toy Box December 20, 2022 - 4:23 pm

This article starts off great, and had me hooked with the first paragraph. So it’s disappointing that it then deviated to nothing more than a rant about who created spaghetti webbing. The hook line and sinker would have been to stay focused on what transitions McFarlane brought to the table, such as the title leads one to believe it will be about. Spaghetti webbing being summarized as made popular by McFarlane, but first drawn by Larsen, and expanded upon by McFarlane’s contributions, such as the evolution of Mary Jane and Peter’s relationship, the creation of Venom, etc. I mean, he was essentially to Spider-Man artistically what John Byrne was to X-Men as a writer.

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pencilfart December 22, 2022 - 9:52 am

Todd McFarlane has been known for pinching off of other peoples art.

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