© (c) 2008 The CW/Kids WB! SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN - Black Costume Spider-man



Swinging with the second half of the creative duo that brought Spidey back to Saturday mornings

By SEAN ELLIOTT, Senior Editor
Published 4/4/2008

THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN is the latest hit incarnation of the web head for Saturday morning television on Kids WB at 10:00am PST. This latest modernized version of Spider-man incorporates choice bits and pieces of forty plus years of comics into Spidey’s very early days.

iF MAGAZINE previously interviewed Greg Weisman who is one half of the producing dynamic duo and now we had the chance to chat with the other half of that team Victor Cook. Cook echoed Weisman’s love the of the character and gave us a different perspective of what he’s hoping fans see in the new Spider-man series.

iF MAGAZINE: I told Greg Weisman that I was a Spider-man fan for the last 25 years. He said he has been for the last 35, is the same true of you?
VICTOR COOK: [Laughs] Yeah I’ve got about ten years on you as well. For me it was the Ralph Bakshi cartoon the one with the theme song everyone remembers. I remember drawing him all the time as a kid. I was in kindergarten and I drew Spider-man and Speed Racer. Those were my touchstones when I was younger. That and JOHNNY QUEST.
iF: So I guess to start off with how did you get involved with the new Spider-man?
COOK: Sony Culver Entertainment decided they wanted to do four animated DVDs. They wanted to do them during Spider-man’s early years. They contacted us to help develop that, and Greg came up with the idea of contemporizing the early Stan Lee and Steve Ditko era of Spider-man. I loved that idea too, because I had never really seen that in an animated or even live action show. The focus was on his young years like those early comics were.
iF: So it didn’t start as an animated series but rather a DVD project?
COOK: It was a DVD project then the idea was to also sell it as a series. Each episode stands alone as its own story, but like the comic book itself it’s a saga. Then each three episodes is a story and those three episodes are what would be on the DVD releases. It just all flows and its all one saga, but every three episodes could be split out into a mini-movie. It’s something you see in Anime and other forms of entertainment and Marvel Comics really created that.

Related Articles

iF: When you sat down to write the stories did you drag all of your long boxes of comics into the room and start going through favorite issues?

COOK: Now they actually reprint all of the issues into Essential Collections. We went through all of those comics and stories and our goal was to really not create new characters and only be true to existing characters and stories and just contemporize them. You’re going to see new twists on characters because this modern day New York, and the original Spider-man cast was pretty much all Caucasian, so now we’ve changed up some of the characters so they are different nationalities. The core of the person is the same, we’ve just changed some of the outer shells are different.
iF: How did you decide to use the illustrator that you did to design the characters?
COOK: I was a director on HELLBOY BLOOD AND IRON a straight to DVD feature, and I wasn’t a producer on that film, so a lot of the look of that film was decided before I came on to direct. Sean Cheeks was the conceptual designer on HELLBOY, but what you saw on screen was not 100% Sean, it was kind of a hybrid between Sean and a really talented production artist Greg Guler. I was looking back at the original concept stuff that Sean did for HELLBOY and it really had a fresh, young, look to it that when I was getting ready for production on SPIDER-MAN it really was something that appealed to me visually. I wanted to make sure that this was an iconic Spider-man for the different generations of fans, but I also wanted to bring in a new generation of fans that had a passing interest in it. I also really wanted this to be a two dimensional Spider-man that moved like we’ve never really seen him move in animation before. I thought Sam Raimi set the bar of how he should move and I haven’t seen that in animation.  
iF: What did you have to do to the character to get that fluidity to work?
COOK: Well, if we had done what a lot of the past shows had done with a lot of the detail on him, we wouldn’t get him to move and he would have really limited movement. If we went the Bakshi rout and eliminated details on his costume, then he wouldn’t really look like Spider-man anymore and that was the only really big problem I had with that show. If you distil him down to what is essential and iconic and classic, it allows the animators at light speed to move him the way he needs to move. It also allows our storyboard artists to work faster as well.  
iF: From my point of view I like to see a new take on Spider-man that is fresh and stylized and new.
COOK: We didn’t stylize just for the sake of stylizing him, we wanted him to move like Sam Raimi’s Spider-man has for the last three movies.
 iF: Yes, and for the first time we see the webbing stick to buildings instead of going up into the sky and Spidey swings off.
COOK: [Laughs] Yeah and he’s flipping and jumping. I wanted also bring a Hong Kong flair or a Hong Kong choreography to the action sequences. I don’t mean martial arts, but I wanted it to be over the top and have that look of wirework even though there really isn’t any wirework. So when Spider-man jumps, he’s not just a strong guy jumping or an Olympic gold medalist jumping, he’s jumping thirty feet in the air, which is what Sam Raimi did. Some of the other past incarnations of Spider-man it looked like he was just a stronger than normal guy, but we really wanted this to look like he had the proportional speed and strength of a spider.


Reader Comments

Gutterhead from Chicago sez....
The story lines are kool,but the animation suks........
4/10/2008 10:34:26 AM

Vern from San Diego sez....
I had been waiting since comic con... This show is great. I don't even hide the fact at work that I'm watching it. It's got something for every body... Nice work
4/7/2008 10:29:37 AM

Bob Batten from Sacramento sez....
This series rocks! This takes Spiderman to the next level!
4/7/2008 8:02:57 AM

Your Comments are always welcomed here
Your name?  Your location?
Tell us what you think?

Enter Security Code:
Code Image - Click on Load New Code if you see this message.
Load New Code


1. Not interested
5. It looks alright
10. HOLY$#@*!!

More Polls...