Thursday, September 27, 2012

Superman vs. Spider-Man! The Cover Design! Carmine Infantino At His Best! DC/Marvel!

One of the biggest, most unique events of the swingin' 70s was the oversized tabloid comic one-shot, SUPERMAN VS THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! The DC and Marvel Comics universes were much more defined and different then (imagine a teaming of the Archie comics gang with the cast of the DIE HARD movies), and fans were eager to see how the two superhero firms (and their top characters) would gel! Turned out, when ya got such stellar artistic talents on both sides, you couldn't go wrong! The art on the giant comic was provided by Ross Andru (with some input from none other than Neal Adams) and a host of top inkers, including Dick Giordano! The cover was even designed by DC's top art director and publisher then, Carmine Infantino! Here are many of Carmine's ideas for the never-to-be-forgotten cover art of this cataclysmic clash of the titans! Click images to enlarge!

Funny to hear of all the jockeying for position between the two companies! They fought
over which character got more coverage on the cover, whose logo appeared first, etc.!

How did such an pandemonium-packed project come into being? In the early 70s, author and literary agent David Obst suggested to Marvel head Stan Lee, and DC editorial director Carmine Infantino, that there should be a movie crossover featuring Marvel's Spider-Man and DC's Superman characters! However, there was already a Superman movie in the works (the first Chris Reeve movie in the franchise), and a series of CBS Spider-Man TV movies, so instead, the two firms settled for an oversized comic that teamed the two titular titans! Thanks to BACK ISSUE! magazine for the above clipping of even more cover pencil roughs!

BONUS: Look below to learn the possible real reasons that the above titanic tabloid was conjured into existence!

The above clipping comes courtesy
of a 1976 SMASH magazine!

BONUS BONUS! I was so impressed, that at age 11, I even tried my hand at drawing this terrific scene! Click here to see the results!


Richard said...

I think those pages in the book may have been the first time I saw rejected cover roughs and understood that a cover design could evolve and wasn't simply drawn from scratch in the form it would ultimately be printed. The explanatory text was a big help in understanding the whole process of editorial decisions...and actually having been a writer and editor, I now recognize this as one of the little things that helped me along this path. Thanks for reminding me of that!

Al Bigley said...

I SO focused on those cover roughs then, at age 11, since you NEVER saw pencil art and any real behind-the-scenes stuff from the world of comics then! And, two years later, when HOW TO DRAW COMICS THE MARVEL WAY came out, you could BET I was there!

"Oh, you start with stick figures to place the characters in a drawing?"

Al Bigley