TODD McFARLANE Was A Boss On Spider-Man…

mcfarlane spiderman

I have featured my favorite comic book artist JOHN BYRNE almost exclusively on this site. I also gave some burn to the great BILL SIENKIEWICZ and I had to give shine to the graphic storytelling skills of FRANK MILLER. All these dudes I can trace back to an artist named NEAL ADAMS, who was an influential artist and comic storyteller from the 60’s and early 70’s. NEAL ADAMS did some killer Batman shit, X-Men and most notably, Green Arrow/Green Lantern. NEAL ADAMS was the first cat to illustrate the faces of heroes in lifelike detailed distress that let the reader know that being a superhero was hard fucking work.

JOHN BYRNE bit hard off some of ADAMS’ style techniques while FRANK MILLER made social themes central to his stories like ADAMS’ did. BILL SIENKIEWICZ was just a trippy hippy artist. When TODD McFARLANE burst on the scene in the late 80’s he took Marvel Comics flagship hero to new heights. McFARLANE was definitely influenced by the BYRNE-MILLER-SIENKIEWICZ holy trinity of comicbook illustration.


TODD McFARLANE illustrated Spider-Man with verve and action. The covers described the web slinging wall crawler as almost ready to jump from up the book. He gave the two dimensional format of comics a third dimension. This was a storytelling technique that FRANK MILLER stole from NEAL ADAMS. When you see a character break out of the panes of the storyboard and jump across the page of the book it makes your sightline move in an other than normal fashion. TODD McFARLANE also filled the panels with a wild amount of details. I would pore over the comic for hours to see who he drew in the background of a scene.


McFARLANE also had the good fortune of creating one of Spider-Man’s most feared and loved villains in the past twenty five years. The villain character called Venom was a fearsome and ruthless creature. The by-product of an alien parasite and a person that hated Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s guts to the nth. Venom was determined to end Spider-Man’s career and break his bones. Spidey barely lived to tell the tale after tangling with Venom. That’s why I admit that I am a little nervous about this new Spider-Man movie coming out this spring. With all the villains that have been created already it might be hard to make a fourth movie. This third installment is gona be the shizzz.


11 Responses to “TODD McFARLANE Was A Boss On Spider-Man…”

  1. Sangano says:

    all those guys are the truth and kudos to you for making these posts…all i’m scared of is the film being too-candy (kinda like Daredevil in my opinion) so far the spidermans haven’t been bad, but asides from the visuals they haven’t been all too Great either…i think Sandman was a great villian to focus on, it just threw me off a little that they didn’t do a Venom FEATURE…maybe this will lead up to a Venom feature…and then to the OG of all OG features in my opinion a CARNAGE feature…can’t wait to see rhino rip thru a building….i guess nothing can ever compare to the intimate knowledge, imagination and veracity of a preteen reader spinning visions in thier minds….so its never JUST rite. good nontheless.

  2. esbee says:

    I never really paid attention to the artists who did the panels but that name McFarlane stands out as one I recall seeing each time I read a comic back in the day…props on putting more light on the guys before him and his work of course..

    I feel you @ the third spidey instalment. The way they’re building it up, it’s like they may never be able to top that. Personally, I’d want them to just end it after that..

  3. omega SB says:

    wow i remember that cover , yea spidey was McFarlene’s shit , once spawn came along and once Spawn started on a long line of comics , he got way to over detailed at some points …i dont know a little overworked , but I cant hate on him im goin to college for this shit …somethin to look up to

  4. Dude had his solo Spiderman book and then ditched Marvel for Spawn.

    He’s supposed to be drawing that Batman/Spawn meetup.

    Maybe he still has it?

  5. Combat Jack says:

    I met Neal Adams earleir this year at the comic con at the Javitz. Damn, sound like a stan.

  6. S Dot says:

    McFarlane is a beast, and Venom is one of the illest villains of all time. I actually re-read the Green Arrow/Green Lantern books from back in the ’70s that Neal Adams did. They were really cheesy but I could definitely see how my man Frank Miller took Adams’ approached and just HGH’d it for Sin City and The Batman Dark Knight series.

    You need to do a post on Alan Moore next.

  7. omega SB says:

    yea yo the Watchmen was the ill shit …man was that a fucked up graphic novel or what

  8. EL A IN THE d says:

    DAMM now you touching on something else I gotta gotta gotttsta comment on…… MY MAN JOHN B. His vision of Storm and Phoenix got me open:: like 20 years ago. Halle is tight but Ororo in ink by John B is legendary.

  9. Begs No Friends says:

    Yes, Mcfarlane is ILL…his work on the Incredible Hulk comics was sick too…Bill S. took shit to another level as well…his work on the Elektra and Shadow series was crazy…but you can’t forget about Mike Mignola either!
    McFarlane has gotta be paid…he must’ve made a ton of his toy co…

  10. Amadeo says:

    McFarlane was my favorite Spidey artist. He really made him look as agile as he was written to be. Sounds corny…but he brought a lot of “spider” to the look.

  11. c says:

    this is a slight aside, but i was wondering if dp you ever got into stray bullets or any of the more straight-laced comix (chris ware, sammy harkham etc.)… it’s exciting how much great art being made right now.

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