Sunday, February 04, 2007

100 Spider-Man custom covers for charity

The Hero Initiative, a charitable foundation created to provide financial assitance to veteran comic book creators in need, has created a wonderful idea for a fundraiser. Teaming with Marvel Comics, they've commissioned 100 custom covers for Ultimate Spider-Man #100. Almost 100 artists (some created more than one cover) contributed, many of them top artists working in comics today (even director Guillermo Del Toro contributed a sketch!) But also included in the collection are some of Marvel's past creators, like classic 1960s legend John Romita!

Saturday evening, Secret Headquarters, an LA-area comic book shop, held a viewing of all 100 covers. Apparently the only time and place all 100 are going to be shown at once, before they move to auctioning them off at comic conventions and online. Here are some of my personal favorites, but do yourself a favor and check out this link, because you really have to see all 100 of these. Some really terrific looking pieces, and it's great that a good some of money will be raised for The Hero Initiative.

Frank Springer broke into comics with DC back in 1962. Then he went on to work for Marvel in the 60s and 70s on such titles as Nick Fury, Spider-Woman and the Dazzler, as well as one of our favorites here at Javzilla, The Human Fly!! Very cool to see Springer contribure a Spidey!
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Another classic Marvel artist who drew one of the covers is Marie Severin, the long-time Marvel artist with stints on Sub-Mariner, Dr. Strange and a very fondly remembered run on The Hulk. Marie is a colorist as well as artist, and in fact one of the very few female pencillers of superhero comics back in the day. I would love to own this piece!
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Mike Vosburg has worked for many comics over his career, as well as storyboarding for film and music video (he worked on Eminem's STAN THE FAN!!). I remember his run on She-Hulk back in the early 80s. Go Voz. Check out his Ditko-esque Spidey!
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Among modern artists in the collection is Mike Allred, creator of Madman and one of the nicest creators I've met in the comcis world. His Spidey is clean and pitch perfect.
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This piece by Al Milgrom really struck me as another standout, and made me realize how much I loved his great SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN covers back in the 80s. Really juicy, bold inking on those!
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Sal Buscema. The first comic I bought of the rack was a Marvel Team-Up, with Spidey and the Man-Wolf. The artist was Sal. That was back in the mid 70s, and ever since then Sal has left a huge impact on Marvel Comics by drawing tons and tons of superheroes. Captain America, the Hulk, to name to memorable runs and even ROM, SpaceKnight! But it's his work on Marvel Team-Up and two tours on Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man that makes me acknowledge him as on of the premiere Spider-Man artists of all time! (Steve Ditko, John Romita and Ross Andru the other three...). So, here it is, some 30+ years since I first discovered his Spidey!
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These Ultimate Spider-Man covers were blank on the back, so some of the artists would draw on the back, also. My favorite 'back' drawing is done by Herb Trimpe, another one of the classic Marvel Bullpenners. Mr. Trimpe has a well-regarded long time run on The Incredible Hulk, as well as G.I. Joe, Godzilla and Transformers. I fondly remember his 1980 Marvel Treasury, SPIDER-MAN AND THE HULK AT THE WINTER OLYMPICS! In the 1990s, when Marvel was imploding editorially and financially, after corporate raider Ron Pearlman came in and nearly ruined the company. Herb Trimpe was fired via a FedEx letter.
He wrote a very sobering article for the New York Times
about his final years at Marvel. But Herb moved on and became a teacher. Later, after 9/11 hit, he served as a Red Cross chaplain at Ground Zero. A real hero. So, here's his back cover Spidey image.Pretty dang funny, all things considered!
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A great collection of art, and for a great charity. Me? I had a real fun time that evening, both enjoying some fine Spider-Man art (such as this great John Romita piece) and my own real-life Mary Jane, Bernyce!
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Jason Martin said...

Wow, how cool! You got to go!!

I think this is a great idea/charity event too!

Hopefully the success of this will be repeated...

Very informative, you are quite the comic book/Marvel scholar sir!

and, aw shucks, your blog's gettin all personal with your lovely lady friend :D

Anonymous said...

think you coud draw him as a tattoo jumping off a web on someones back

Javier Hernandez said...

Anonymous, yes, if you're interested in hiring me to draw you a Spidey for a tattoo, please email me at azteczombie (at)