Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 216

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Amazing Spider-Man #665. 2011.
Gouache and acrylic on bristol board, 11 × 17″.

This is one of my personal favorites — a cover for an issue of Amazing Spider-Man that I almost did the interiors for, #665. I didn't use any of my own photo reference for this one, but I did need to know what a theater marquee looked like. After a tiny bit of digging, I found a particular one in Colorado California that fit the bill: The Grand Lake Theater. The pic below is where I gathered the most inspiration, gleaning structure and lighting effects as best I could.

Not my pics... please forgive me, internet.

I also used a typography site that allowed customers to try out custom phrases in various fonts (can't remember the URL, but there are plenty out there). Since I was hand-lettering, I didn't download the font, but used a suitable substitute. This was composited in Photoshop with a perspective grid and light-boxed onto the final board (these days I would just print it out).

Digital Composite

As things turned out, I ended up not penciling the issue (I had a good excuse), but I moved on to Daredevil, for which I needed all the time I could get. And though I'd like to think that I had some kind of sly commentary in mind, this had absolutely nothing to do with the foibles of the Spider-Man Musical which was the butt of so many jokes at the time. It hadn't even occurred to me until the image became public and everyone thought it was some kind of editorial illustration — seems obvious in retrospect.

Digital Color Study

Pencil Layout


  1. Damn! Such a great painting, the grand lake theater is right around the corner from my house here in good ol' Oakland CA though. fyi...

    1. Whoops!!! Thanks for the info, Ryan. Just goes to show you can't trust the internet (especially the alleys ruled by comic book artists).


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