Saturday, 13 January 2018

Spawn in Matt's Life part the th...WAIT A MINUTE!!!

Hi, Everybody!

HOLY CRAP! Are we STILL talking about Spawn?

Yes, Matt, yes we are...

So, I faxed to Dave, and asked if he still had the Spawn #10 script in the Archive.

And he responded:
I'll see what I have in the Archive on SPAWN #10. Not much. The original script was auctioned to benefit the CBLDF -- and went for a few hundred dollars, as I recall -- so It's out there somewhere. WHERE is another question. 
I then asked if he put in the script whose arms were whose, and explained that we couldn't figure it out. He said:
Oh, I see what you're driving at. I did a sketch of Spawn with the prison bars in the foreground and super-hero arms sticking through. I think I would have done Batman's scalloped gloves and maybe Thor, the Thing? and then just generic gloves and gauntlets as a shorthand for Todd: "These are or can be actual characters' arms". What's Todd's level of interest in what I'm saying in the story? The more they're actual characters' arms, the sharper the political point that's being made. The less they're actual characters' arms, the less sharp the political point that's being made. 

An interesting question would be "How much of a point did Todd make of it with Steve Oliff as his colourist?" Drawing the arms is one thing but, unless you have the right colours on there, the point is going to be lost. Was Todd engaged enough to say "Steve, let me know if you need me to identify colours for you on any of these"? Try looking at the arms both ways: who they could be in black and white and who they could be in colour. 
So, checking what Margaret has said about it.  There weren't any sketches there.

But in Spawn #9, there is a sketch:
Copyright...Todd McFarlane? Neal can't claim to own this, can he?
It looks like a Todd sketch, not a Dave sketch, but I'm no expert. Anybody know better?

So here's the guesses as they stand:

#6: Electro in colour, Human Torch (flamed on Jeff...F.F.S.) in black and white
This whole Spawn thing is turning into a dangerous rabbit-hole for me. Each new answer raises more questions: Erebus, the level of Hell Spawn goes to in #10 gets mentioned in #8. That sketch appears in #9. Did Dave get his script in before Moore and Gaiman? Did he get copies of their scripts? Did Tom Orzechowski (the letterer and editor of Spawn) put Erebus in #8? Were all four guest scripts written and turned in before Todd started drawing? When will this ever end?

Next time: Great Googley-moogely there's GONNA be a next time isn't there?


Tony Dunlop said...

And here I thought "Just wait until Saturday" meant the return of "Dave Sim and Me."

Kid. Ding.

Jeff said...

Coulda, been, Tony; coulda been.


Sean R said...

Definitely a Todd sketch.

As for the mystery hand... Electro would be a good bet seeing his prominence in the last pre-image Spider Man comics drawn by Todd's Spider Man replacement Erik Larsen... He doesn't really have the prominence of the other hands there, but it fits time wise.

Jeff said...

Yeah. Following Matt's lead, I pulled out my copy of SPAWN #10 and checked it out. Earlier in the evening, I was just about to reverse course on that yellow glove, though, as I thought (from the image [no pun intended] that Matt posted) that the wrist end of the yellow glove looked like the top of a rook from chess. But, in the actual comic, the wrist sort of looks jagged, like Electro's lightning bolts suit design.

But, I suppose the debate will go on. Anybody got contact info for the Todd-meister, or Steve Oliff, or Reuben Rude (who also got credit for the colors), or their studio, OlyOptics?

It seems to me that, based on what Dave wrote to Matt, Todd may have/did take Dave's notes pretty literally and not so much Dave's script. The script, as printed on the two pages, makes no mention of villains. Yet, based on the shapes and colors of the 19 arms and one tentacle, we see four outright, never-reformed super-villains (Doc Ock, Doctor Doom, the Joker, and Electro [if that is meant to be him]), two original super-villains who sometimes were good guys (Juggernaut and Venom), the Hulk and Wolverine. Of course, Wolvie was the villain only in his first couple of appearances and the Hulk was just...misunderstood.

So, Todd could have drawn, and Steve and Reuben could have colored, them all to be "Heroes, Champions, Watchmen, Avengers, Defenders, Men of Steel, Women of Tomorrow, Gods Of Thunder, and Crusaders; just and noble", as Dave scripted them to be. But, Todd didn't. And, he only drew one female arm. Another example of how pen and ink don't always work together.

Jeff said...

Oh, and Matt, wasn't the Human Torch (either variation) usually colored orange or red when he was flamed on?

Jeff said...

Also, Matt, I'm not seeing the connection between Moore's mention of Erebus in #8 and Sim's use of Cerebus in #10. Erebus comes from the Greek word Erebos, meeaning deep darkness, shadow. I can see that as a level of Hell. Stretching, you could link Erebos and Cerberus, but that's quite a stretch.

Having said that, I suppose that it's quite possible that McFarlane contacted Moore, Gaiman, and Sim (and, I think, a couple of others) all around the same time with the idea of this run of guest writers. Maybe even suggested that they try to link their stories (which I don't think happened, not really, the linking). But I think, Matt, that you're looking for deeper connections than exist. The truth is not *always* out there. Sometimes, comics is just comics, with no attending metaphysics. IMHO.

Questions? Comments, guys?

Eddie said...

I can't find the quote, but somewhere IIRC (Usenet interview? A Note from the President?) Dave talked about Alan finding out about Eerebus while working on his Spawn issue and telling Dave and Dave sending Alan some information about his idea for Spawn #10 so Alan could foreshadow it (really bothering me I can't find where it is).

Issue #165 NFTP Dave talks about visiting Todd while he was on tour: "..I went back to the hotel and read Spawn #1 through 5 as well as the photocopies of Alan's story in script/thumbnail form and whiled away a wonderful afternoon, writing the dialogue for my issue of Spawn."

Issue #167 NFTP: I finally have all the dialogue written for issue #10 (it needs a little trimming here and there). I even did a thumb-nail sketch of a two-page spread, faxed it to Todd as a teaser and faxed it to Neil Gaiman to see if he had room for it in issue #9; which he did. It'll be part of a dream sequence. Todd phoned me today to tell me he's sending up a copy of Neil's script for me to look at."

My vote for the "Owner of the Yellow Glove" is Cyclops. But that's just a random guess.

Travis Pelkie said...

Erebus is the name of the level of hell that Spawn and Cerebus visit in 10, right? It's been a while since I read those issues, but I thought that's what it was. In 8, as I recall, Alan listed off the levels of hell and made mention of level 7/Erebus being mysterious and off-limits, if I remember right.

Spawn 8 was my first Spawn issue. Not sure if I got 10 when it came out or not, but I missed 9, I know that for sure. I got 11, the Frank Miller issue, if not when it came out then not long after, and I remember being viscerally annoyed with how bad it was. Re-reading Spawn a few years back, it didn't seem as bad.

I do remember, and I'll have to dig those issues out, in Shadowhawk letters pages, I think, there was some debate because people were disappointed in the Spawn/Cerebus meeting being a "diatribe about creator's rights" rather than the "punch'em up" that the fans wanted. Which seems to doubly miss the point. And since I literally just remembered that as I was typing, I can't remember much more than that.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


You're a Prince. I really need to get all the Notes From The President... An original X-Men never crossed my mind. Good guess.

Jeff, and Jeff, and Jeff, and (good god man you don't have to comment and comment and comment and...),

I got Dave's contact for Todd, and contacted her, she forwarded the message to Todd's assistant, so I wait, and wait, and wait...
Re: villains, technically, Doc Ock's claws have three fingers, Doom isn't ALWAYS a bad guy, The Joker was Batman's partner in The Brave & the Bold once (Or that's a miscolored Rorschach.), and if Eddie is right, it's an X-man. Juggernaut was a villain thru and thru at this point in time (93), and Venom was still a villain/anti-hero then too. (And though Dave may not have called out villains in the script, the Joker and Doom are infinitely more recognizable than a large swath of Marvel and DC's heroes.)
Yes Jeff, the Torch is usually red, but the Beast was only grey in one issue before he became blue. And here he's pretty much grey. They could have miscolored the Torches hand is all I'm saying.

Okay Jeff, let me walk you through this:
Spawn #8: The Vindicator takes Billy Kincaid on a tour of Hell. He mentions level 7 "Erebus" Quote: "As for the SEVENTH sphere, don't ask. It's this place called EREBUS, but nobody's ever seen inside. We figure it's some SPECIAL HELL for the most DAMNABLE creatures of all."
Spawn #9: Spawn awakes from a dream of the hands and hooded figures (as seen in my post.)
Spawn #10: Spawn/Not Spawn "knows the tower in Hell where the violator dwells". "Every level of the tower and all who live there...screaming." "Every Level. Except" "...except one." "...except level seven." "...except EREBUS." Goes and sees the hands, encounters Cerebus (/Not Cerebus)
Spawn #11: Spawn wakes up from a dream where there was, "A TALKING Aardvark".

Do I really need to spell out how Cerebus/Erebus is the thru-line of all four guest written issues?


Travis Pelkie said...

It's not the Human Torch, it's a glove, not flame, regardless of the coloring!

Jeff said...

Well, shit, Matt. Now you're gonna make me pull out *all* of my old Spawn issues and/or buy the ones I'm missing.

As the lovely Margaret would say, "Sheesh!"

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Travis, I'm pretty sure it's not the Torch, that was just a thought.

Jeff, well if you don't reread the issues, it's pretty hard to know what's going on...


Jeff said...

Oh, snap! Yes, I was relying on memory. But I still think you're going deeper down a rabbithole than is warrened (see what I did there?). Sure, the writers referenced each other's stories, but that shouldn't imply something magical or more meaningful than that they all had access to fax machines. It's a neat trick but just that. And there's a lot more going on in the individual issues than your supposed thru-line. IMHO.

But, hey, let's not fight, my friend.

Travis Pelkie said...

No, no, I think you two should totally fight this out. Do it! Do it!



Jeff said...

*O-kay!* Marquis of Queensbury rules, which means that I get to: 1) pull your hair, 2) scratch your eyes out, 3) kick your shins, and 4) make rude (but possibly true; who knows?) remarks about how you dress and how you do your hair.

Oh. Wait. Those are the Marquess of Queensbury rules.



Puncha 'im inna face! Fight, fight fight!! Might makes right!!!

Travis Pelkie said...

No, Jeff, that's foreplay.


Jeff said...

Heh. 《:>)

Michael Hoskin said...

Has anyone mentioned Dr. Fate as a possibility? Toddy Mac drew him for DC in his early days.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


They have not. Good guess.


Jeff said...

On the cover of More Fun Comics #55, Dr. Fate appears gloveless. Ergo, "Yellow Glove" is not Dr. Fate.

But he could be Cyclops.

Matt, any word back from Todd's assistant's assistant?

Travis Pelkie said...

These all appear to say otherwise, Jeff, and make me think that that is a very good guess.

Also, considering that it's the Spectre on the cover of More Fun 55, I would say you're not quite right there, Jeff.

Checking other issue 55's, I find that Doctor Fate does have yellow gloves on the cover of Showcase 55, which is the Silver Age revival of the character.

(I will concede that on More Fun 56, he's got no gloves.)

ChrisW said...

I've always assumed it was Electro. I'm pretty sure Todd drew him multiple times in "Spider-Man" (wasn't there a Sinister Six reunion?) and Steve Ditko tried to make sure all his costumes made the character identifiable even if you only saw a bit of him. It obviously didn't work here, but I assume that's just Todd's drawing style.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


The Sinister Six reunion was Erik Larsen.

Unless Todd drew Electro in his Spider-Man series (during the Wolverine arc), or on a Marvel Tales cover, then I don't believe he ever drew Electro.


Michael Hoskin said...

Well, Travis, more to the point, here's Dr. Fate as drawn by the Toddster: