By Christina Pham
“Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man” thwipped its way to shelves earlier this week, so join your favorite Wallcrawler and his friends in 12 episodes of Marvel Animation’s hit series! To celebrate this exciting occasion, we reminisce designing Spidey’s first season with Eric Radomski, series Co-Executive Producer and Marvel Animation’s Senior Vice President and Creative Director of Animation!
|"Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man" on DVD now|
As Co-Executive Producer of “Ultimate Spider-Man,” which also happens to signify his first production with Marvel Animation, Radomski wears an endless array of hats, working with all members of the creative team to smoothly bring the show together.
Read onto learn some secrets about the show, and swing into stores for your copy of “Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man” today!
Marvel.com: Can you tell our readers a little about what your role on “Ultimate Spider-Man” entails?
Eric Radomski: In short, I’m the “Soups to Nuts Guy” at the studio. I’m involved in all aspects of the animated series we produce at Marvel Animation, from concept to delivery. My most important duty was to conceive the Art Direction-Production Design for the series. The same approach and design are being used as the inspiration and direction for “Hulks and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” and “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” our two new series debuting sometime this year.
I [also] work with the producers, writers, artists and designers from pre-production through delivery of the final episodes to help define and maintain the design, direction and production of each episode with respect to the schedules and budgets we are given to work with.
Marvel.com: While bringing the “Ultimate Spider-Man” universe to life, were there past Spidey comics that heavily influenced the design?
|Spider-Man wtih teammates White Tiger and Power Man|
Eric Radomski: The overall show can be thought of as the “animated cousin” of the ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN comic book series, which was the first of the Ultimate Marvel books launched in 2000.
Aesthetically speaking, and specific to the character designs of this series, three comic artists were my principle influences: Stuart Immonen, Ed McGuinness and Joe Quesada. The balance of the production design was an amalgam of mostly graphic novel influences, [while] stories were inspired and loosely based on Brian Michael Bendis’ comic book series.
Marvel.com: How would you describe the overall aesthetic you were going for with the series on a visual level?
Eric Radomski: My desire was to bring classic pen and ink comic design to life with an effort to illustrate and animate realistic proportions and details of all aspects of the production within the parameters of our budgets and schedules.
Marvel.com: What would you say was your favorite part about bringing the “Ultimate Spider-Man” world to life?
|Spider-Man swings through the skies of New York|
Eric Radomski: Animation production is like giving birth…lots of fun conceiving it, lots of worry [to watch] it formulate, then relief and celebration when it delivers. My favorite part was the satisfaction of seeing the seamless integration of 3D design into the 2D world of television animation. Season Two has solidified the original art direction I had in mind, and I’m very happy with our progress so far.
Marvel.com: And what about each of the characters themselves--which comics were used as a basis for their appearances?
Eric Radomski: No specific comics are used when creating any of the designs for the series. Our main characters are recreations from a variety of influences throughout their individual Marvel evolutions: Power Man’s tiara, White Tiger’s amulet [and] Nova’s star mask as well as his Kirby Krackle energy glow, to name a few. We work closely with [Marvel CCO] Joe Quesada, and our publishing division makes an effort to pay homage to the origins of all inspiration of the characters that appear in the series.
|Nova rockets forward in "Ultimate Spider-Man"|
Marvel.com: Did you have a hand in designing any of the characters yourself?
Eric Radomski: Yes, in Season One, I doodled and noodled on all the main characters as we were designing the series. That said, the true credit for all aspects of the design on our series are written in the end credits of every episode. I encourage our fans to take time to review those credits whenever possible as most of the artists deserving of credit are often overlooked. We cannot create our series without them.
Marvel.com: Which of the heroes was your favorite to create, and why? How about the villains?
Eric Radomski: I’d have to say Agent/Assistant Principal Coulson. It was exciting to contribute our 2D incarnation of the character to the ever-evolving Marvel Universe. As far as our villains, the reinvention of Doctor Octopus was a lot of fun. We had complete support and inspiration to reinvent the character into the “Mecha-Niacal” monster he became.
Pick up “Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man” on DVD today!