Monday, March 21, 2011

Original Art Stories: Kraven's Last Hunt Part III

Last time we looked at the original art for the Amazing Spider-Man #293, which was actually Part II of Kraven’s Last Hunt.  You can see that art here.  Today I want to focus on Part II: Descent (Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #131), which is another complete issue, sans cover art, in original art form.  But before we hit the art, I have another special treat in the form of exclusive comments from the artist of the series, Michael Zeck!

Kraven's Last Hunt: full script or Marvel Method?
Marvel method. I was strictly a 'plot style' guy at both Marvel and DC. Made all the sense in the world to me to let the penciler tell the story visually first. I would think that a writer should have an easier time with dialogue having the art in front of them as opposed to a blank page, and I think it would allow them to limit their captions or balloons in areas where the art conveys the story just fine by itself? That's a penciler saying that though. For all I know, many writers may have found the plot method a harder row to hoe?

A long time since I've read it, but Marc's plot was much more than a simple story outline. The journey those characters were taking, the emotional turmoil, the importance of the stormy nights as a story element, and much more were all conveyed in those pages. All that was left for me to do was attempt to render some art worthy of one of the best plots/stories to ever come my way.

Kraven’s Suicide
I wasn't receiving input while penciling the series. I would normally take the plot and create thumbnail layouts to make sure I would fit the panel art within the story page limit. I had the option to modify the thumbnails as I proceeded to final pencils, but I typically went with those initial layouts. I guess the suicide scene and the rest of the scenes were pretty much 'first takes'.

I already knew I didn't want anything overly graphic for the suicide scene so I didn't run through a number of approaches. Before I take credit though, I'll mention again that I haven't see that plot in ages. For all I know, Marc may have described that scene in great detail? If that's the case then I hereby bestow full credit upon him!

Kraven Reflections
Working on the Kraven saga was like eating creamy peanut butter. It couldn't have gone more smoothly. I truly enjoyed working on what I already recognized as a potential classic story. Editor Jim Salicrup always had a smile as art and script arrived at his office. He was aware it was special. And fan reaction fairly well backed up our feelings. I can only guess how many Spider-Man stories have been told in his near 50 year history. The fact that so many long time readers list the Kraven saga among their all-time favorites says a lot.

NEXT: Web of Spider-Man #32 and J.M. DeMatties Speaks!

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