Letters : Editor : 2009 : To the Editor 02/04/2009

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Date: Apr 2, 2009
Next: To the Editor 22/05/2009
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From Kevin Cushing

Hi, my name is Kevin Cushing and I'm an administrator over at the spidermancrawlspace.com message board. I want to make you aware of a project I'm doing on the website that's been pretty well received so far and I think you guys might enjoy it. I'll admit right off that technically it would be defined as fan fiction, and let me assure you I'm not asking you to review it for your site or anything. I just want to share it with some fellow spider-fans like yourselves.

Basically, I'm one of the many people totally dissatisfied with Brand New Day and I've decided to offer a fun alternative. I'm writing an original, monthly Spider-Man comic in script format with the standard 22 page count (though the first two issues were oversized specials). Issue 1 continued from after the "Kraven's First Hunt" arc in Amazing Spider-Man and reversed the deal with Mephisto right off the bat. It also touched off a mystery of who hired Killshot to assassinate Aunt May that has become the basis for the first arc, "Spider-Man Black," which began this month in #3.

Issue 2 covered the funeral of Aunt May, Spider-Man dealing with his status as a fugitive, Peter and Mary Jane renewing their wedding vows, and most importantly Harry Osborn's return to confront his father, and the explanation of how he's alive. Besides the script form and monthly schedule (a new issue goes online on the 18th of every month), another way I'm attempting to elevate it above the level of normal fan fiction is the inclusion of covers for every issue. I have two artists each doing a full color original cover for every issue (except issue 1, which only had one cover) and they're coming out with some really great work. Fan response has been great, mostly very positive across a couple of message boards I've advertised it on. So it would be my honor if you guys wanted to take a look at it and hopefully get some entertainment out of it as fellow fans, and if you chose to feature it on your website in some way I'd very much appreciate it.

Thanks for your time, and urls for the first three issues are provided below. - Kevin Cushing

Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3.

We don't normally get involved with Fan Fiction, but this looks substantial enough to merit a mention.

From Ber.Wie

I really enjoy your site. You put a lot of effort and heart into it, anyone who frequently surfs the web can tell.

I check your site almost daily in search for new reviews and raves.

I was wondering if it is possible to set up an RSS feed with the recently added reviews? I know that this would be some time consuming work with little benefit to you, but it would benefit a small group of internet users where I belong to.

I could use my news feeder to manage and maintain which reviews I have read and which I haven't.

All new raves and reviews do get posted on the front page. However, I agree that an RSS feed would be an excellent thing to add. I'm currently working on a new back end database for the entire site, and part of that will involve tracking when articles are added, so that I can produce a consistent RSS feed.

It's probably still a few months away, but this will happen eventually. Thanks for your patience.

From WestonSouza

I noticed that on the characters list Charlie Weiderman is misspelled as "Wiederman".

Hey, I know my spelling rules. "I before E except after C", right?

Then again... if Einstein was so clever, how come he spelled his own name wrong? Twice!

Yeah, OK. We bad. We'll fix that.

From WestonSouza

In the credits for ASM 549 Salvador Larroca is misspelled next to "Pencils" so that it does not connect to the rest of his credits.

To be honest, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's probably a hundred spelling errors in our credits listings. Currently the system thinks "Defalco" and "DeFalco" are two separate names, so they get separate entries. There's a couple of things we can do here. Firstly, I'm working on improving the underlying database so that these things become easier to identify. Then once we have a new system in place, we'll do a check through the entire credits listing and fix up the glitches.

You seem to have an eye for detail. If you'd like to help do some clean-up work beforehand, then let me know!

From Sonicx7

At the following link there is the most hardcore spider-man tat ever and needs to be in your Fans : Tattoos section.


Hey, thanks for pointing us at this one. Unfortunately we only list tattoos in our Fans when the person wearing them actually asks us to do so. We'd love to have that one listed on SpiderFan, but the guy on the geekologie website doesn't actually say who owns the tattoo, so we can't even track them down and ask them.

Shame, 'cos that's awesome ink. If anybody out there knows who is carrying this, maybe they could ask them to drop us a line.

From lord_epyhon_dragon

i have a spider-man marvel comic card that has the twin towers in the back ground. is this card unqinic. and how many others are out there.

Good question. I suggest you have a look at the card very closely and recall what you may know of its origins.

Did you purchase it directly from the artist and obtain any form of signature, certification or validation of uniqueness? Does it appear to have been painted, penciled or inked by hand? Is it signed by hand, or does it indicate in any form that this card is unique, created specifically as a one-off and lovingly-inserted in the pack from whence you, one man among billions, received it against the impossible odds?

Alternatively, perhaps it appears to be a printed card, generated by a mass-production system which possibly produced many of these cards at once, in order to benefit from the economies of scale which can be gained by sacrificing individuality for an automated manufacturing process.

If the latter case applies, then I regret to inform you that perhaps your card may not in fact be unique. There may be many such other near-exactly identical cards out there. Given the sad, machine-stamped soulless, cookie-cutter materialistic existence which we all seem to endure, perhaps thousands or more likely hundreds of thousands of these cards have been created, distributed and vendored in convenience stores, super-markets, Wal*Marts and comic book stores across the globe.

But does that fact in any way diminish its value? If we can examine an object, a product, an artwork, a creation in its context and declare it intrinsically "good" in some form - then does it lose that quality of "goodness" merely becomes somebody else may possess a near-identical object in a different context?

Is there any correlation at the artistic level between "quality" and "uniqueness"? Or is it merely envy and covetousness which clouds our judgment and causes us to attribute less "value" to something merely because another person also holds an equal item.

I think my house is good. Should I think it less good if somebody in another country owns a house made from the same plans? I marry a woman and love her greatly. I then discover that she has an identical twin sister from whom she was separated at birth. Do I love my wife less because another man is married to a woman identical in appearance? I visit the Louvre every day to bask in admiration of the "Mona Lisa". Then I discover that the original was stolen years ago and I have been admiring a perfect forgery. Does that negate the artistic appreciation that I have enjoyed in the past?

Each man must find his own answers to these questions...

From Alex

Hi my name is Alex Askew. I am a big spider man fan, above all other comics, even tho I am still a big fan of wolverene, batman and super man. I love the site, I can see that allot of work and care has gone into this site, even down to the character profiles.

I am also a fan of some darker comics as I got older such as Hellboy, Hellblazer, the Crow allot of books by frank miller. But more accurately I like smart arsed anti-heroes. So I decided to create my own, and with this came my own website which I am trying to get out there. I would love any information or advice on getting my site noticed or even a link to this site.

But I am also looking for some opinions on my comic, from some comic fans such as your selves, and any advice as to where I could go with it. Living in the UK I have found it difficult to make any progress.

Hiya Alex. The biggest single piece of advice I could offer you is this.

When emailing to ask people to promote your new character and your web-site there are three critical pieces of information which I recommend that you include in your email:

  1. Your name.
  2. The name of your character you wish to promote.
  3. The address of the website you wish to promote.

You, Alex Askew, have achieved one out of three. Unfortunately in this cut-throat business, that's not really sufficient to make the grade. But good luck anyhow with your un-named character and un-identified website.

Oh, and sorry to hear that you're finding it hard to make progress in the UK. The only thing there I can recommend is a stolen passport and a one-way ticket.

From RetroActive

I'm a big Spidey fan from way back, but even though I've been reading Spidey comics since the 1970s, I haven't been able to keep up with every storyline. It would be really helpful if you had a section of the best (top reviewed) story arcs -- maybe focusing on those that are available in reprint form. I love buying trade paperback and hardcover collections of Spider-Man stories, but I feel like I've been burnt by some of my purchases. (For instance, I really didn't like the "return of the Green Goblin" or "The Other"...) But I would really like some suggestions as to storylines I may have missed that would be worthwhile to pick up. I currently collect Ultimate Spider-Man; I just haven't been onboard with Brand New Day.

Plus gotta say, don't know if you've mentioned it yet or not, but I love the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series -- it's a great adaptation of the Webhead's high school years. It's a fun, guilty pleasure.

A "best of" section? Yeah, that's a good suggestion. We're currently re-vamping the behind-the-scenes site database, but that's an idea that I had been keeping in mind for the future. In fact, I'd like to go one further and allow fans to register and vote for their favorite stories. I was also thinking of letting registered fans vote for stories they'd like to see reviewed, and also notify us of reviews they think need to be re-written.