Saturday, 5 April 2014

Ultimate Spider-Ham!

MIKE WIERINGO:
(from Mike Wieringo's Blog, 31 January 2007)
ULTIMATE CIVIL WAR SPIDER-HAM CRISIS #1 (that’s a mouthful) hits store shelves today. I have to say that of all the various projects I worked on last year, this one is the one I had the most fun with. I was never a huge SPIDER-HAM fan... but I always thought he was fun character – and he was a lot of fun to draw. There are so many great artists involved with this book – the legendary John Severin, Jim Mahfood, Ariel Olivetti and Skottie Young among them. It's an honor to be in this book with these great folks. I have been privy to seeing a lot of the work done by the other artists ahead of time – and I think folks are going to enjoy this book if they decide to pick it up.

Some one made a comment over on my DEVIANTART gallery that the silhouette of my SPIDER-HAM looked like CEREBUS. It's a great observation. When it came time to sit down and start drawing the cover and pages, I felt like I didn’t want to emulate what artists had done before with the character.. I wanted to go in a slightly different direction with him – and Dave Sim's way of drawing his signature character gave me a bit of inspiration. It’s a trend that I’ve notice over the years that fans want to get sketches from an artist of the books they've worked on in their careers. I was never asked to draw commissions of the THING very often before I began working on FANTASTIC FOUR. The same goes for most of the other books I’ve worked on. And I get the feeling that now that this SPIDER-HAM book is hitting today that in the future, I might be asked quite a few times to draw him. That’ll be just fine... he’s certainly a blast to draw.

7 comments:

Travis Pelkie said...

Man, that's sweet looking. But it bums me out, since I see by looking 'Ringo up, he had passed away before the end of that year. Dang. Such a great talent. Hope someone got a Cerebus-looking Spider-Ham sketch from him before his passing.

Paul Slade said...

I read somewhere that Marvel first published Spider-Ham as a shot across the bows aimed at Dave. They wanted to warn him off after his Wolveroach parody had appeared on three successive Cerebus covers. The message was that Marvel could parody Sim's character too.

The timing certainly supports this theory. Dave's three Wolveroach covers are cover-dated September, October and November 1983, and Wikipedia gives Spider-Ham's first appearance as November 1983.

Jeff Seiler said...

Okay, this is a VERY odd coincidence: Clearly from his blog, the artist was NOT aware that SpiderHam WAS meant to be a parody of Cerebus, and that it resulted from the Wolveroach covers/parody. Certainly, he must not have been aware of Shooter's cease and desist letter to Dave. So, getting to the coincidence, in this artwork, I find it AMAZING that the only character NOT drawn as SpiderHam IS the Wolverine character, which seems to be drawn as a wolverine. I mean, how fucking amazing is that? Of course, Dave, if he saw it, probably just chalked it up to God. Still, when I first saw the art, I chuckled to myself that Wolverine is not drawn as a SpiderHam, thinking, "that's a pretty clever move by this guy" and then my eyes popped out when I read his blog. Still shaking my head over that one. . .

Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

Back up - IS it obvious that Spider-Ham was a Cerebus swipe? Seemed to me the direct swipe at Cerebus was the grey, animal looking demon Sym that appeared in X-MEN at the time during the INFERNO storyline...

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel

Michael Hoskin said...

The character of S'ym actually dates back to Uncanny X-Men#160 (which came out the same month as Cerebus#41, back in the days of the Merely Magnificent Moon Roach).

Jeff Seiler said...

My understanding is that the character of Sym was meant to be an homage to Cerebus by Chris Claremont, out of respect for what Dave was doing. Further, my understanding is that SpiderHam was designed by Jim Shooter as a tongue in cheek slap on the wrist towards Dave for doing WolveRoach. Could be wrong, but I thought Shooter somewhere actually admitted that.

Anonymous said...

Tom DeFalco goes over the creation of the character and it had nothing to do with Cerebus.

The dates would seem to back him up. Marvel comics at that time were dated three months after they were published, so a November 1983 book would have come out in August (if anyone has some early issues of MARVEL AGE they can check that and get the exact date it came out). I believe CEREBUS was dated the month it came out, so the Wolveroach covers were in September, October and November. Even if the Spider-Ham comic came out in November, there's no way Marvel got a comic created and published in that time frame.