Letters : Editor : 2001 : To the Editor 01/06/2001

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Date: Jun 1, 2001
Next: To the Editor 01/07/2001
Prev: To the Editor 01/05/2001

Well, let's start off the month's letters with an intense analytical response to a prior erudite exposition of interpretation, vis-a-vis the Spider-Man Cartoon Maker software. Some Bowdlerisation has been applied, removing any offensive terms.

From A ******* TUBA




Thank you for that piquante post-modernist critical analysis of our humbly expounded proposition. It's a pleasure to be reminded that the application of deconstructionist critique is not dead in the face of what often appears to be intellectually-reductive revisionism in the modern interpretive arts.

From Jemini

Really impressive page. Particularly the Comics link, wherein you have all(?) of Spider-man's appearances cataloged and sorted by a database. I was just curious how you found all of his various guest-appearances and other issues that don't obviously feature Spider-man. Just a lot of helping hands or is there a resource for that kind of thing?

Also, I've been delving into databases myself lately and I was curious which one you used to implement on your site. MySQL?

Certainly there is a resource for that kind of thing... you're surfing it right now! Personally, I wouldn't bother just reproducing some other site's research, I would just direct people to the other site!

For there to be a resource, somebody must have done some research at the end of the chain, and in this case it's the team here at SpiderFan.Org. Helping, and Skillful hands indeed.

The site doesn't feature all of the appearances, there are still several hundred sitting in the To-Be-Done pile, waiting for time to make itself available. Nobody is paid a cent for contributing the site, so it's always a matter of juggling spare time.

As for the database... the information is all stored in formatted text files, which are processed by Perl scripts - the main reason being that it makes the database totally platform independant.

From SKey09

When I collected comic books I thought the spider-Ham was cool. Do you know if they are still making spider ham comic books.

Hey, I loved Spider-Ham too. You can find the Spider-Ham listed under "Peter Porker" over in our Spider-Man Spin-Offs section of the comics database. There were some backup stories in "Marvel Tales" which also need to be added, but unfortunately nothing recent, i.e. in the last ten years.

From Ghostman

hi al, I think your website is really cool....but just 1 question, on issue 102 of amaz. spiderman why is 'morbius' spelt 'moribus?

Errr... he just drained the life force out of a Crossword Setter?

3 Across: Sucks the Blood from a Sumo Rib? Wacky! (7)

From Nuno

Hi, I'm Nuno from Portugal and Spiderman is one of my favourites super heros. I have most of the comics that really matter (like the death of Gwen Stacy, Capt. Stacy, aunt May, first appearance of Venom, etc.). I recently purchased a big book called "invasion of the spider-slayers" and I saw there the parents of spiderman. Could you tell me what happen to them and in wich issue is their final appearance?

Peter and MJ started organising a home for their parents in issue #203. It's important to plan ahead for this sort of thing, and make responsible fiscal decisions. An independant planning advisor can be helpful at this stage. Various government agencies can assist too. Contact your local branch of Age Concern if you don't know where to start.

By taking a fixed-sum policy on the equity in their house in Forest Hills, Peter managed to invest at an agressive rate during the bull market of the late 90's. A locked-in investment can be the safe option, however you must be certain that the ongoing return will give you the revenue to support the lifestyle you expect in your old age.

With the assistance of two doctors (Doc Connors, and Dr. Reed Richars), Peter was able to have his parents declared incapable by the district court. The assets were re-registered in his and MJ's name. They visit once every six months or so, although following his mothers agressive course of shock therapy, she no longer recognises any of her family.

From RLJavi

Soon after the "Gathering of Five" and the restart of the Spidey titles, I stopped reading Spiderman for a lot of reasons. I did buy the first issue of "Tangled Webs" in case it might be worth something some day but was unimpressed with the artwork and the small size of the book.

In any case, I remain curious about the fate of Peter and Mary Jane's baby. The last I read the infant had been spirited away at birth by lackeys of Norman Osburn. What has happened since?

I guess I could investigate by obtaining back issues, but I'm too cheap for that.

I guess I could tell you, but I'm too lazy for that.

From Ben Grimm

I have to agree with you on Fabian Niceza's lousy story (in Lifelines)... but I loved Steve Rude's art. Mr. Rude was kind enough to show me the uninked pencils to #1 last summer and they were mindblowing. Even though I wasn't very fond of the finished inks, even muted Rude is better than %90 of the stuff out there.

Ahh... sadly I can only judge by the finished (or un-finished) product, and I found the art rather uninspiring by the time it hit the page. It's very hard for art to recover a poor storyline, and to my mind, Steve didn't managed to recover anything worth owning.

Just my opinion, of course!

From Robert (Germany)

Usually I read the Spidey books first and then compare what I thought with your thoughts. Of course sometimes you don't like a book I love and vice versa but even then your reviews are funny and in most of these cases I can understand why our opinions differ so much. For the first time now I am so unhappy with one of your reviews that I have to write.

It concerns the Lifeline story. First, I have to say I loved the art. It is great once again to see an artist copying the old style of Spidey books. It fitted in the area of Amazing Spiderman 70-150. OK. This is 2001. But I like this style.

In a time when you sometimes hardly can distinguish if you see Peter Parker or some bypasser on a picture and where you have to get used to the fact that in one comic the wife of JJJ is a beautiful young woman and in the next she is nearly looking as old as Aunt May, in such a time I have fun, seeing comics that draw the characters as they were originally developed.

The story. OK this is not a five star story and some things are really stolen from the old tablet story which was brilliant. I go confirm with you that one needn't to write a sequel to each and every good old Spidey story. But the outcome might have been much worse. Spidey is as funny as he never has been during the Mackie Area. His funny talking during the fight scenes reminds me of days long gone, when he was joking even when his world was falling apart.

Think again about giving Lifeline story only one and half a web. Would this story have appeared during the Mackie-era you would have loved it, wouldn't you? Before I read your review I would have given it four webs.

You are right. There are gaps in the story. The cosmic power thing is ridiculous. But nevertheless. I enjoyed reading it. The art is wonderful. So lets come to the compromise of three and a half webs.

You have some good points, but let me argue a couple. First, I don't believe that the art in Lifeline was as good as John Romita's work, even when placed on the same scale. The paper was glossier, the colours brighter, but the finished product does not compare well in my eyes to its predecessor by some thirty years.

On top of this, I believe that the standards have been raised, and I expect modern comics to have matured and moved on from the earlier generation. If I want to read a comic which reflects the maturity of the art in the 60's, then I will read a comic from the 60's.

Personally, I judge a story first and formost on the story. The art is worth a at most a single web plus or minus - and in this case I didn't see any reason to improve the poor base rating after examining the artistic merits of the mini-series.

What galled me most was the beautiful cover art, the glossy paper, the modern colouring techniques, all being let down by the artistic team. I personally hold the inker mostly to blame in this case - but that is just my interpretation.

Yes, it probably would have rated an extra half-web or even a whole web in the Mackie-years, but they were dark times, which I hope are forever behind us!

From Schriel

How do you put a website on line?

How do you put a phone on hold? How do you put an angel on earth? How a life on the line? How a hook on the line? How a fly on the hook? How a fly on a web? How a web on a site, a site on a web?

Try a book, a library, a Dummies, a search engine, a how-to, a FAQ, a tome or a plaque. Choose life, not a site... choose a wife, not up all night. Choose time not a drain, choose pleasure not pain. Choose reality, not upload, finality, not an endless road. Choose skin, not avatar, choose kin, not zip and tar. Choose life!

From Scott

I need your help. We have a 6 year old and a five year old. One declared himself Spiderman and said his brother is superman. He said he has kryptonite and his brother can't beat him. We wanted to be good parents and even things up by telling (the younger one) superman what Spiderman's weakness is so he can beat superman.

But for the life of me I can't remember or find it. I want to say radiation and I remember him saying "spidey senses weakening" but can't remember why. Help!

Nope! Radiation gave him his powers, and the quote you recall is "Spider Sense Tingling", which means that it is working properly!

Spider-Man has many, many weaknesses - but most of them are more subtle than something like Kryptonite! He has poor time management skills, and relates poorly to most of his peers. His financial planning is almost non-existent, and he has a disfunctional relationship with his (now-estranged) wife.

He manages the media very poory, and has a combatative relationship with the official law enforcement agencies. All of these are almost crippling to his long-term personal development and short to medium term heroical and social goals. However, I don't think they're really what you're looking for!

How about "he runs out of webbing". Unless you think that "He can't to effectively leverage his scientific skills for any finanical or career gain" is something you can explain to a six year old?

From Vampyre553

I have a question about the comic/cartoon version of spiderman. I want to know if it was ever mentioned what spiderman's webbing was made out of. what chemicals were used anything would help. Could u please email this info or direct me to where i can find this info please thanx.

In the comic version, the webbing is made out of coloured dyes, or inks, layered on a wood pulp mix commonly known as "paper". On the TV version, the webbing is originally created as presumably some sort of coloured pencil, layered on a thin sheet of transparant plastic, known as a "Cel". Modern digitical techniques may have replaced the pencils, depending on which cartoon series you are referring to.

The final TV webbing is traditionally rendered as a pattern of Red/Green/Blue phosphorous dots, which are activated into a controlled pattern of light and dark mixtures of colours by a modulated sweep pattern of an electron beam. Some lucky people have a gas plasma 42" flat panel wide-screen implementation with 5.1 home theatre sound. But sadly, not I.

From Anonymous

who is spider-man?

A 15th Century Romanian agriculturalist, famous for promoting the use of crop-rotation techniques, and his revolutionary methods for specialised labour allocation which permitted the development of sophisticated planting and processing methods which were far beyond the traditional skills of the time.

He is honoured by three major memorials; The complex wooden architectural construct which still marks his birthplace along side the river Irtunsk; The parade which is held in his honour along the length of the Boulediras Spid-Manis in the Rumanian capital, culminating in a the sacrifice in his name (now symbolic only, of course) of three virgins, traditionally fed into a corn-separator, but now merely mock-crucified as a tourist spectacle; And finally of course, by this web-site.