Todd McFarlane is well-known for his co-creation of the character Venom, but one of his biggest, though most subtle contributions to the Spider-Verse may be the way he draws Spider-Man’s webs, with his style having become known over time as “spaghetti webbing.” Yet, ever since McFarlane’s 1988-1990 run on The Amazing Spider-Man, the origin of this term has more or less remained a mystery.
However, in order to celebrate the newly-coined “Spider-Man Day,” McFarlane revealed that the phrase “spaghetti webbing” was, in fact, coined by Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief at the time (who McFarlane doesn’t name in his post, but would have been Tom DeFalco) who coined the phrase while telling McFarlane to stop drawing Spidey’s webs that way — advice that McFarlane obviously did not take to heart.
“I began that look right from the start of my run as the artist on the book and, over time, the webs got longer and longer,”said McFarlane in a Facebook post. “During one of my visits to Marvel, I was called into the Editor-in-Chief’s office. This wasn’t the first time I had been in his office to discuss Spider-Man‘s new art direction, but because I was messing with their icon character, some thought my style wasn’t appropriate.
“On this day, the conversation was going well, but I could sense some frustration in the chief’s voice. Finally, he couldn’t contain himself and he said, ‘Todd… I need you to stop doing those… those… those damn spaghetti webbings!'”
McFarlane recalls being ecstatic following this meeting, as he had not previously given a name to his design of Spidey’s webs and now had one practically thrown at him. “It was perfect!” he said. “I ended the conversation by telling him that I would stop doing them that way, then immediately went out and began drawing the next issue with the ‘spaghetti webbings’ twice as long as before!”
Given the fact that designs for Spider-Man’s webs continue to be patterned after McFarlane’s “spaghetti webbing” to this very day, this story of how the term was coined is certainly rather ironic.
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