OMIT Is Done!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Steve Ditko. Amazing Spider-Man #33, Page 5 Splash. 1966.

I did it! I'm free! After months of monastic dedication, I have finished... 4 books. Whenever I think of the amount of effort required (by me) to produce a single comic book (let alone 4), I am filled with admiration for the creators, past and present, who do it on a monthly basis.

The image above comes from Amazing Spider-Man #33, 1 of 2 Spider-Man comics that happened to be in my household while growing up (thanks, Dad). Of course, it happened to be one of the greatest Spidey stories ever told, but how was I supposed to know? I couldn't drive, and I spent what allowance I had on toys.

Looking back on the issue now, it's hard not to draw parallels between Spidey's dedication and my own work ethic. My adolescent mind was in awe of Spidey's resolve: he "rested" while being pummeled by Doc Ock's henchmen in order to gather strength for the final fight. What? Mind: blown.

People ask me how I can sit in my room for months on end (the "Bat Cave" and "Fortress of Solitude" comments are incessant). The answer is very simple: I love my job. It's extremely challenging, but that's the point. It makes finishing a project feel just like lifting tons of steel machinery off your back to reach the serum that will save your dying Aunt May. Love can give you power you didn't know you had.

Sorry, folks, I get mushy and delirious (and nearly euphoric) when I finish these things. But what I do need to say is thank you to my "pit crew." As the driver, I get all the glory, but I would never have crossed the finish line without my friends.

First and foremost, Orpheus Collar, who alone logged over 140 hours of flatting and coloring to ensure that we hit the deadlines. I was reluctant to accept him as an intern back in the summer of 2007, but I'm glad I took Jose Villarubia's advice.

As things got down to the wire, I called in my emergency crew, Allison Maletz, David Pettibone, and R. Kikuo Johnson, who ruled panel borders, filled in blacks, erased pencils, scanned, cropped, uploaded, and even inked webbing and windows. All dear friends from RISD, they were a joy to work with (and next to) in my Brooklyn home. And although he didn't log any official hours, Stephen Oh, my longtime roommate, has been a source of constant support, levity, and home-cooked meals throughout this and many other projects. Did I mention Kikuo and his girlfriend, Danielle, are gourmet cooks as well?

A huge thanks goes out to my editors and collaborators, Steve Wacker, Tom Brennan, Joe Caramagna, and Joe Quesada. These guys make me feel like Michelangelo every time I turn in work (even layouts) and their enthusiasm continues to spur me on. I couldn't ask for better teammates (but I always ask for more time).

I gotta thank my 'rents, who have made many a Halloween costume to support the characters that live in my mind. It was a pleasure seeing them over the last couple weeks... some of you may have even met my Dad out in California. Both artists in their own right, it's easy to see where my sense of craftsmanship comes from.

And finally, thank you to April for bearing with me for the duration of this (unusually long) Moment in Time. I may work for Marvel, but dating me is like dating Batman... only without the house, or the money, or the car, plane, boat, or butler. Basically, all you get are missed dates. Actually, that sounds like another superhero I know of...

Amazing Spider-Man #639, Page 9, Panel 3. 2010.
Ink with digital color on Marvel board, 11 x 17.25".


  1. You've done a masterful job, Paolo. One of the best looking Spider-Man stories ever. (and those present day pages where you draw like Quesada are amazing as well).

    We should run your little essay here in the lettercolumn.


  2. Please know that your talent, dedication to craft, and positive attitude are all traits I greatly admire. And, it all shows up on the page. You and Joe and the Spidey crew have produced an emotionally raw comic work that takes full advantage of the qualities of the medium and character.

    I'm a novice creator myself and have discovered how humbling and awesome it is to produce a book on a regular schedule. Drives me nuts that very few realize what it takes and that's why I appreciate your blog for peeling back the curtain and your "thanks" for recognizing all of the hands that support your endeavor.


  3. Never would have suspected that someone working on "Spider-Man" would feel the same way about that issue as I do!

    Quite seriously, if it weren't for "The Amazing Spider-Man" #33 I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning.

    Nothing more inspirational exists.

    P.S. ~ Paolo, I am tinkering in my head with what I'm going to do about reviewing the OMIT issues for our blog. Something is going to pop up there eventually I swear.

  4. Congrats Paolo! I definitely second what Michael said, your blog really shows people exactly what goes into making comic books, and how hard (and rewarding) it can be. Making comics is real work and a real job, and I think your blog definitely brings that to light.

    Thanks for the inspiration Paolo! You're a real role model to everyone who's pursuing the comics field!

    If you ever need another intern, let me know ;)

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  6. Me: proud. You put a lot of work into the art and storytelling that I've seen so far.

    I can't wait 'til I can just stay home and draw all day.

  7. Francis BoncalesTuesday, August 10, 2010

    Bravo Paolo, Bravo! Keep it up! I love your work! You keep on inspiring me!

  8. Congrats on being done, and extra kuddos for the Steve Ditko reference, Paolo!
    Couldn't have described that special exaltation of finally completing a project better than you just did. You really nailed it.
    Thanks again for the pirate "Black beard" Thing & Galactus pieces, and it was cool meeting your dad, although briefly, in San Diego. See you at the NYCC!

  9. Steve: Thanks for the constant encouragement. I think the toughest part was making Peter Parker look like Quesada.

    And thanks, everybody, for checking in on me and providing feedback throughout the process. It means a lot to have such devoted readers.

    And Maw, thanks for that Spider-Man costume. I wear it whenever I draw him.


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