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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #65

STATUS: True

I thought this one would work pretty well here, what with Tuesday's "Top Five DC/Marvel crossovers," and all.

Daniel Best of Adelaide's Comics and Books did an interview with Dick Giordano, the inker of Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, so Best asked him about the project, and the claim that Neal Adams redrew the Superman figures inside the issue. Giordano replies,

Yes. That's true.

No one asked Neal to re-draw the Superman figures but the pages were sent to me at Continuity and were mostly left on my desk or thereabouts when I went home at night or on weekends and Neal took it upon himself to re-draw the Superman figures without telling me that he was going to do it. I didn't complain but I also never mentioned it to anyone at the time and really never spoke of it until now...mostly out of respect for Ross and his work.

Ross was one of the very best storytellers in the business as well as great at composition, layouts and design. But his drawing was a bit quirky and somewhat distorted as a result of an eye problem that affected his perception. He often drew on one side of the paper, then, on a lightbox, turned it over and re-drew it on the other side, correcting the distortion, then reversed the page again and traced the corrected version from the back side of the art board onto the copy side. This took a great deal of time and slowed him down greatly toward the end of his career. But...

I loved the distortions! It gave his work a charm and distinction that I always believed was appealing. I learned how to ink his work to minimize the distortion without losing the charm! That became moot, as Neal changed/corrected all the Superman figures to his own frame of reference. I tried in the inking not to lose too much of the Ross Andru look ( and to his credit, Neal tried, as well, to retain the "look" mostly correcting anatomy errors in his re-drawing ) . You really couldn't lose his storytelling or compositions, so in my mind, the result was still Ross Andru at his best!!

Pretty interesting, eh? According to Best (not in the interview), John Romita did similar (although not as extensive) work on the Marvel characters.

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