As many Chasing Amazing readers and Superior Spider-Talk podcast listeners should hopefully note, I attended New York Comic Con earlier this month. In addition to carrying the numerous Marvel panels, I also collected interviews with various creators who are working on current Spider-Man titles, or have contributed to the character’s universe in the past. We’ve combined these interviews in three separate podcasts, and Episode 19 is the first one to drop. For our “Superior Spider Art” edition, I spoke with Ryan Stegman (pencils, Superior Spider-Man), Michael Dialynas (pencils, Superior Spider-Man “Arms of the Octopus” Special), Edgar Delgado (colorist, Amazing/Superior Spider-Man), Stephen Segovia (pencils, Superior Carnage) and John Livesay (inker, Superior Spider-Man).
I also spoke with long-time Spider-Man artist Humberto Ramos. Unfortunately, between the crowds and the poor acoustics of the Jacob Javits Center, I thought it’d be better to transcribe the conversation than to expect you all to listen to that. Our apologies to Humberto, but hopefully, the transcription helps capture his passion and excitement to be working on Spider-Man comics.
Download the episode from iTunes or our Podomatic web site. Meanwhile, be sure to like our Facebook page for updates about the podcast, our writing and how you might be able to meet up with Dan and I at upcoming events and conventions. If you have any questions for Dan and I to read on air, send them to SuperiorSpiderTalk at gmail dot com. And as always, please rate and review our podcast on iTunes. We will read your feedback on the air.
Here’s the Humberto Ramos Transcript:
To start, you have such a signature, defined style in the way you draw Spider-Man and his universe. How have you refined that style over the years and what exactly are you going for when you’re drawing Spider-Man?
I respect the character, a lot. He’s the most important person in the comic book universe, not only Marvel but in all of comic books. So, the way I draw Spider-Man is with respect. I always try to make the best of it. I know sometimes, a couple of people aren’t happy with (my style). I know how it feels (when you’re a kid) when you open your first comic book and it’s not drawn the way you expect it. So I always have that in mind … though you can’t always make everyone happy.
In terms of the dynamic nature of your illustrations – there’s always a lot of movement – explain your process, like in Superior Spider-Man #14 with a lot of the battle sequences. How do you capture so much motion in a still image?
It’s hard. My writer, Dan Slott, the first time I had to draw a crowd in one of the books I was doing it with him, and I was cursed. Now every single book I do, he wants me to draw crowds of people and battles. It’s a lot of work. It’s hard to make everything in every single panel, because they want me as well to tell a lot of things in one image. So I think about how everything should look as if I was watching it on a TV screen or as a movie.
When we were in Baltimore Comic Con last month, we spoke with a former collaborator of yours in Paul Jenkins and Paul has obviously has a very different approach to Spider-Man than Dan (Slott) has. As an artist, what is that like for you to be working with writers who have such different approaches to the character?
I like to work with writers who have this love for this character. Both Paul and Dan, they have it. They respect the character. And that’s maybe the most important thing. Whenever we talk about this superhero, this character and the pages, still we think of him like a real guy. Paul approaches him a different way. He tries to bring out the inner self of the character and the stories were amazing and touching. Dan on the other hand wants to blow up the world of Spider-Man. But with both, it’s all about Peter. Even now, that he’s Doctor Octopus …
I was about to say, as someone who’s clearly a huge fan of Spider-Man, what was it like for you to work on Amazing Spider-Man #700?
Here’s a story about behind the scenes. (Last year) I was asked some of the big issues were going to be #692, the 50th anniversary of Parker, a storyline of the Lizard for the movie, and then we were going have Peter be killed – I knew about a year ago – and I was told I get to pick two, I couldn’t do all of them. But I got to pick two!
That’s still good!
Yeah, so I picked #692 and #700 and I was asked why I didn’t pick the Lizard story, because I’ve been on the book the longest time and I’ve never drawn a story with the Lizard up to this point. But eventually I might be able to, but I will never ever be involved with the 50th anniversary of Parker, or kill him. What it meant … well, it meant the world to me. I grew up reading the book, I grew up with Peter Parker, so to be a part of this story, to be a part of history, it means a lot to me. I feel like a fan who happens to draw, who happens in this privileged place, hanging around with people that I admire. So now I’m on this side of the table and a part of history.
Before we let you go, you have any sites to plug, or where we can buy more of your artwork?
You can find me every month on Spider-Man. Superior Spider-Man is a great book to read, and big things are coming. So stay tuned to the book, and buy the book at the comic book store, because it will help us all out if you buy the book.
I think that’s something we can all agree on, thanks so much Humberto for joining us on Superior Spider-Talk.