Letters : Editor : 2002 : To the Editor 01/08/2002

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Date: Aug 1, 2002
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From Tom

Hiya, my name is Tom Baker and I did these pics at home on my PC with MS paint. Can you put them on your site?

Our pleasure, Tom! Check out those pics, and art from two other new contributors over at our Fans : Art section.

From Adam Zoo

Thanks for printing my previous letter asking about attempts to create a real webshooter. There was a thing on British TV a few weeks ago - apparently these guys have chemically recreated spiders web - for use in surgery etc. Thought you might like to know.

Indeed! In fact, I think I saw some of that story over here. Just a quick search of the net turns up a bit of information. For example, the ISTC (International Science and Technology Center) has an open project:

ISTC Project: 1033 / Funding Party: USA

Spider Web Recombinant Proteins and their Synthetic Analogs for the Development of New Materials for Medical Applications

It is widely recognized that spider dragline silk is the strongest fiber known to man. Many attempts have been made to duplicate the material, to reflect its unique high tensile strength, elasticity and other mechanical properties, for applications in fields as diverse as cosmetics and body armor. Scientists aim to mimic spider silk protein, to transfer its production from a spider and into a bacterial agent that can successfully reproduce it in quantity.


Hence, the fact that Peter never managed to make money out of his invention is a bit unrealistic. Clearly there is plenty of funding available for this sort of research!

From kv

dear editor

can u help me on how to draw spider man and some of his different costumes i wil be very greatful

Sure! Hold the pencil firmly, but comfortably. Sketch the outlines, paying close attention to proportions. Use perspective to add a dynamic appearance to your drawings. Now, use a softer pencil for shading, to add depth. Thicken the key outlines, and then finally add touches of detail--but avoid over-detailing, since this will give an unbalanced appearance to the rest of the picture if used to excess.

I can't draw a damn thing myself, but I'm sure it can't be that difficult!

From CandyGirl

I mailed in the things from the Kelloggs cerial, to get a Spider-Man game, and waited two months for it, and they send me a demo. I thought they said it was THE game, not a demo, with only five levels. I'm not going to pay fifty dollars to play on a one hundred dollar X-box. They said it was going to be the real Spider-Man game on computer, not a demo.

You sent coupons from five whole cereal packets, and they didn't send you a measly fifty-buck computer game? How outrageous! I say, write your congressman. In fact, with all this interest in corporate responsibility that has just started to happen, I say you should sue the CEO of Kellogg's. Try their web-site--www.kelloggs.com.

If you really want insight into the workings of the Kellogg's corporation, may I strongly recommend a movi-- The Road to Wellville, with a very clever Alan Parker (Evita, The Commitments, Pink Floyd's The Wall) screenplay--and a superb cast (Anthony Hopkins as Doctor Kellogg).

At this point, we are officially off-topic! Let's open another letter.

From Alex

Hi there. I wanted to ask you. Where is Spiderman? i am in Manhattan looking for him. Could you help find spidreman. I would like to see him. My daddy and mommy say Spiderman is not real, but its not true. Could you help me find him?

Look up! That's the secret. He's often seen near the Daily Bugle building, and down by Empire State University. Just keep your eyes peeled!

From Luke

Been viewing you site for the past 6 months or so. I'm overly impressed by it's content and dedication to it (the fact that you started this site in '95 the middle of the great debacle, is even more impressive.) However, I have found one thing missing: I have found only one mention of the Spider-Man Newspaper strip.

The one article I found was dissmissive of the strip for it's slow pacing and lack of action (which I agree with)But you have to look at for what's it worth, now in it's 25th year the strip was drawn by John Romita for the first 3 years, and it still (suppossedly written) by Stan Lee. Just wondering why the lack of content of this 3rd Spider-Man Universe (counting the original and Ultimates as the first and second)on your site.

If you could drop me a line expalining this I'd appreciate it.

Well, the strip certainly is a little slow--but it does have a great deal of charm about it. In the last month or so, I have begun reading it online each day, and I must admit it is rather addictive.

But why don't we feature it more? The reason is more to do with practical matters than anything else. Obtaining back-issues of the strip is rather difficult, and I have not really met anybody who is much of an expert in the strip. The strip deserves much more attention that anybody here is capable of giving it. We do what we can, but there's a limit to what the team here can take on.

I have thought that it would be great to produce a proper, complete anthology of the script, annotated, with artist/writer credits and interviews with the various people involved. I have contacted King Features, who distribute the strip--but they say that the Spider-Man strip is an exception, and Marvel holds the copyright.

I really don't have the energy to approach Marvel's dysfunctional US-centric product licencing group for this project, so I guess I'll just have to wait until somebody else gets around to it! Of course, if anybody reading this reckons that I've misjudged Marvel's promotional and legal guys, then please contact me and prove me wrong!

From Harley

Dear Mr Al:

I agree with you, we are seeing I think, a little too much of Spider-man in every aspect imaginable in a short while, besides his monthly titles (4), we are seeing spidey with Jay Leno in a absolutely pointless story, retro with "Blue", in Hollywood with (not Mysterio) Kraven? (are the Sinister Six realy a group bent in movie domination?), in digital with Quality of Life, in romance with the Black Cat, and soon with more new titles to boot.

We don't need besides all of that, new continuity messes: Tarantula (I or II?) back alive, Kraven's beef with everybody (from Tombstone to Mr. Hyde), no mention of Spidey and Torch battle with Kraven in Peter Parker #4 making another one up in Tangled Web #13, no mention of the Sinister Six that had this new Kraven in it or his feud with Black Panther (he's an established VILLAIN for God's sake) leading to his aparently erased criminal record, and a letdown of one dozen of hard to beat spidey villains defeated easily by Spider-man and the all powerful Kraven (who stll couldn't take on the Punisher but bested with ease the Thor foe Mr Hyde).

I hope you people can help put Zimmerman back on track, he's an excellent writer, full of good, original and funny ideas, writer of a good dialoge and, besides his continuity misshaps, has a good take on the caracters. It would be a shame that his Spider-man version has to be the most unrecognizable of all.

(By Al Sjoerdsma) Ah yes! I forgot about the battle with Mr. Hyde. This is the kind of stuff that bothers me. These are not continuity glitches that serve to make the story better. This is simply carelessness. If the Tarantula is dead, then don't include the Tarantula. If Mr. Hyde is too powerful, then use someone else who Kraven can beat. It's not as if these scenes HAD to have Tarantula or Hyde in them. It looks more like Zimmerman couldn't be bothered to spend the extra five minutes to think of a character who better fit the situation.

From Andrew

I was surfing the net for info on the new Spider-Man movie, and I ran across the following in a post to _Ain't It Cool News_, regarding the Lee/Ditko credit in the film:

"Why would Ditko be credited? Sure, he was the first to draw regular Spidey stories, but it was Jack Kirby who actually designed the Spider-Man suit. Rumor had it that was why Marvel went with the black Spidey suit for a while, because they were afraid if Kirby won a lawsuit against them, they'd have to pay him for the right to use the red-and-blue design... So if we define 'created' in comic-book land as 'the person who thought of the idea for the character' and 'the person who came up with the look for the character,' technically Spider-Man was created by Lee and Kirby... I'm just pointing it out because it seems like one more way for Marvel to ignore Kirby's considerable contribution to the Marvel mythos as we know it today, and frankly, it annoys me."

Now I would never call myself an expert on the historical development of Spider-Man, but I'm not ignorant on the subject either... and I've never heard anything along these lines --neither Kirby's design of the Spider-suit nor the switch to the black costume being prompted by litigiousness. So I turn to you and the rest of the experts at Spiderfan.org... how much truth is there in these claims?

Your question prompted Al to do some research on the subject. The answer he came up with was so well assembled that we decided to add it to the FAQ List. You can find it there, under the heading... Who Created Spider-Man?.

From James

What do you think of the new art work in Peter Parker Spider Man? I think it looks like three year old drawn garbage. Why did marvel switch art? What do you think of it?

(By Peter Kroon) I do not like the new artwork, but I don't hate it either. In a way, it's kinda cool, but sometimes Spider-Man looks like a frog... or a camel.. or an elephant.... or a... well, you get the picture, right?

I was at the Chicago Wizard World 2002 convention last month and they kinda told the crowd that Humberto Ramos will be the new regular artist on Peter Parker. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he won't keep up with the pace and will get replaced for being late all the time.

About the switch, Marvel thinks they have a great artist (which is correct) and want to exploit that on their flagship title. It's as simple as that. Ramos is a fan favorite, after all.

From Chris

What did Peter call the Scarlet Spider when they were in costume?

Err... Oh, I'm sure I've heard this one! Err... "Hey You!" No, that wasn't it. "The Red Rip-Off!". Nah, bit close to the bone. Nope, I give in, you'll have to tell me.

From Muny

Where can I find pictures of the Green Goblin villian

My son wants picture of the villian to play with spiderman. It's no fun playing alone.

Well, before you teach your children about the benefits of playing violent games, you might start with the benefits of saying "please" when asking favours from total strangers. The basic rules about human interaction don't just suddenly vanish when using the internet ya know.

From SportsPlayah

i have a "ultimate spiderman" comic.... it was from free comic book day on may 4th.... i think its the same comic as the regular 1.. but i want to know if it is more unique or less than the older 1?

(By Peter Kroon) I do not know the exact print run for the original #1, but the number of pre-orders through Diamond for the original was 60,540 (according to The Standard Catalog Of Comic Books). I do not know the number for the FCBD version, but it is almost certainly significantly greater. Hence, there are more copies of the free version than the original.

Currently, the original is much more valuable (approximately US$100 in Near Mint), compared with maybe $2 for the freebie version. However in 10 years or so, since the free version is a giveaway, lots of copies will probably have been read and thrown away, leaving probably similar numbers of each in top grade condition. Hence the giveaway will become more rare with time. But it will never reach the same value as the original, which has become a modern classic.

Anyway, you buy comics to read and collect them, right? Not to speculate, right? Because speculating with comics is a really dumb way of trying to make money!

(BTW: There's no such thing was "more unique" or "less unique", either there is only one of a thing, in which case it is unique, or there's more than one and it isn't unique. But this ain't English Lit, so we'll let you off with it this time.)

From Hobbes

With all the Spider-Man movie craze I was wondering if you (or staff) had come across: "Spider-Man, the Ultimate villain showdown". It comes in video or DVD. It seems like it is available practically everywhere. My real question is whether it's worth my time (and money).

(By Bradley Bradley) Well, Hobbes, it's of course all up to personal preference. I know many of the folks at PPP will get it just cause we're huge Spidey freaks. It has some animated episodes on it, and they're fairly good ones. But if you really need the money, save it for the SPIDER-MAN movie coming to DVD on November 1.

From Doug

I have an extensive comic book collection, with many issues of different Spider-Man comics. I recently aquired several more Amazing Spider-Man Comics, and something caught my eye that I have never seen, and maybe you (or someone there) can shed some light on what it stands for or means (or possibly an error??)

The Amazing Spider-Man (issues # 94, 96, & 97). In the upper left hand corner in a white box, I assume they are all supposed to have the words SPIDER-MAN, the price (15 CENTS, or whatever) and the issue number and month. Issue numbers 94 and 97 have this, but issue number 96 has the following, where the price of .15 would normally be... " 1 / - "

Any ideas of what this means and have you ever seen it before? More curious than anything else, as all my other issues inbetween #96 have the format I described with a price...except this one.

Well, this might come as a shock to you - but there are actually many other countries outside of America. In fact, only 4% of the world's population lives within the U.S. Yes, I know you have 40% of the world's wealth, no need to rub it in!

Anyhow, many of those countries have their own language. Some of them also have their own form of currency. The notation you indicate is part of the notation used for a currency called "pounds, shillings and pence" which was popular a short while ago in a nation called "Britain".

From ATS

Where can I find "The Amazing Spider-Man #1"?

Your little brother has it in his room next door to yours. He's currently cutting out all the pictures of Spidey with his little plastic-ended scissors. If you're quick, you might just be able to save the cover. So...Run!!!