No anniversary celebration at Marvel would be complete without a look at Spider-Man and his amazing world. Two veteran creators, writer Tom DeFalco and artist Stan Goldberg join forces in October’s MARVEL 75TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL to provide a very special take on Peter Parker and his circle of friends.
Marvel.com: Tom, let’s start with you—what's the scope of your Spider-Man story?
Tom DeFalco: “That Parker Boy” is sort of a Peter Parker story told in the Archie style. It’s also a whole lot more. My goal was to combine the Archie style with the Marvel style to tell a real Spider-Man story—a story that clearly established Peter Parker and his friends, touched on Peter’s various personal conflicts, exhibited his powers as Spider-Man and also included a real with villain with a credible threat—and do it all within five pages. What can I say? I love a creative challenge.
Marvel.com: What's it like for you to be working on it with the legendary Stan Goldberg?
Tom DeFalco: It was a lot of fun to team up with Stan again. He’s an old friend and we teamed up on many an Archie story back in the day. I wasn’t sure if Stan would prefer to work off a full script or a storyboard like we did in the old days, so I did both—and learned, to my chagrin, that I still can’t sketch a decent storyboard.
Marvel.com: And inker Scott Hanna, to boot?
Tom DeFalco: Scott is a real pro and it is always a pleasure to have him on the team.
Marvel.com: How do Peter and the gang lend themselves to an Archie homage?
Tom DeFalco: Peter Parker always had a great supporting cast. He was surrounded by people with distinctive looks, personalities and personal agendas—just like the Archie characters!
Marvel.com: Stan, how did you come into this project and how did it feel to be invited to be part of it?
Stan Goldberg: Since I’m no longer with Archie, very strange things have popped up. I remember speaking to Tom and he said, “Well, why shouldn’t you be doing [the Spider-Man story], blah blah blah, you worked on the first Spider-Man book and the second book.” For the first five to seven years I did all the Spider-Man books [as colorist]. When I got Tom’s story, the script, I said, “Well, you have to fill me in on something. I can kinda fake it, I’m not sure, but do you want a John Romita look or this look or kinda a Goldberg?” It’s fun; it’s fun [because it’s with a] Goldberg look.
Marvel.com: You and Tom DeFalco go back a while. What it like working with him again, especially on something like this?
Stan Goldberg: He came right out, he said, “How do you want [to do it?] I’m not an artist.” He writes well and he said, “Do you want me to do it like TV breakdowns or just want to get a plain, ordinary script?” I said, “Tom, you’re too nice to me.” He said, “Well, we were gonna let you pick whatever you want.” He showed me why he’s not an artist [Laughs]. But it’s okay.
To me, the best guy that drew and did a script, at least for me, was Stan Lee. He did stick figures. In the late 50’s, Stan and I were together a lot and we were trying to sell things for syndication and he would always give me these funny little stories and he would put his stick figures out with some new characters we would try to come up with for syndication. We had a lot of fun with it but I always said, and second of all, he did the lettering and he did the little stick figures to tell the story so I said I had the letterer, Stan Lee, and the guy putting stick figures down is Stan Lee also. He wasn’t as famous as he is today though. We had a lot of fun on that.
So, Tom, he gave me a choice and I picked one out and we’ve been on the phone a few times after that. It’s hard. I see what he was trying to do. I’d rather see that. I rather would [that] somebody gives me pages and pages, and it takes me half a morning to go through dialogue.
Tom did some really nice scripts up at Archie which I would get from him. In all, Tom and I got along well, very well, and I’m glad he’s out there doing some good stuff and hope and pray that one of these days we’ll bump into each other and reminisce a little bit.
Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more on the MARVEL 75TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL and visit marvel.com/75 today!