Analyzing Rarely Seen McFarlane Spider-Man Pencils


Bob McLeod came up in the ranks of inking at a time when inkers were closer to what "finishers" are considered today. His inking skills are top notch, but he's also an experienced artist in his own right, and strong storyteller.

When Todd McFarlane came to "The Amazing Spider-Man," he was also still drawing "The Incredible Hulk." For his first two issues, Marvel paired him off with McLeod to produce the finished artwork. McFarlane would assume the solo inking duties with issue #300, and only give it up on rare occasions when deadline battles loomed, usually due to the summer bi-weekly schedule that Marvel put the title on.

With a fresh, new artist coming on board the title, Marvel sent copies of "The Amazing Spider-Man" #298 to retailers as a preview, so they'd better know what they were ordering. They were un-inked and un-lettered. This was pure McFarlane pencils, complete with margin notes to the inker.

I was lucky enough to grab a copy of that handout from my local retailer a few years back at Dewey's Comic City in Madison, NJ. (Thanks, Dan!) I've been looking for where I had them since I started The McSpidey Chronicles last year (I reviewed this issue on March 11, 2014), and only recently tripped over them.

Let's compare and contrast some panels and pages to see the decisions McLeod was faced with when he saw these original pencil pages. Along the way, you'll see some McFarlane art that you've likely never seen before, as panels were redrawn before the final issue.

We'll cover the first half of the issue this week, and come back for the second half next week.

Page One - In the Beginning


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