6.20.2015

Making the "Leaked" SDCC Ultimate Spider-Man 'Shanzhai' Teaser Poster & EW Magazine Cover


Between you and me...and a bunch of other people who'll read this, I'd also planned to do a Spider-Man-related mini movie poster back at the time that the Marvel Blaxploitation mini movie poster series was produced (blogged about here). I toyed around with a few difference designs, but I just couldn't make it happen. Maybe I had completely run out of creative juice after making the other four pieces in the series. 

Actor/rapper Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) has been thought by many to be a promising prospect for the Spider-Man role in film ever since he sprang out of bed rocking Spidey costume pajamas in the opening credits of the Community TV show. The audacious notion of a black Spider-Man even prompted Marvel writer Brian Bendis to actually create "Miles Morales", an all-new web-slinging hero for the 21st century inspired by Glover. 

Despite a few years of DG buzz, Marvel Studios recently made known the plans that are being hatched to do another Spider-Man movie relaunch, including the character's introduction into the Avengers movie universe. But right off the bat they made it clear that they intend to use some other as yet unnamed actor, instead of Mr. Glover as Spider-Man. I'd bet my comic book money that I was far from alone in feeling annoyed with that news. 

Fortunately for me, though, thanks to the Photoshop™ gods and perseverance on my part, I've had an opportunity to visualize a tiny bit of what has been pinging around inside my brain ever since the idea of Glover playing Spider-Man on screen began to waft through the ether. But first, how about a little bit more backstory.

A week ago, during the early part of a phone chat with my friend Gigi, I was gently scolded for my not yet having put together a zine & art show that I had talked about doing; a ten year retrospective on my underground publications and art. She finally cut me some slack, though, since I am still working on essays for the book that I'm writing and designing.

After that call ended,  I felt inspired to go through old folders on the Mac, and to look over the pieces that I'd planned to showcase in the exhibit. In one of the folders were the previously failed attempts at a Spider-Man mini movie poster. The creative juices promptly began flowin', and somewhere around 2 hours later, it all came together. But I continued to tweek and twerk (no, I didn't really twerk) the design for several more hours.

It's funny how that works, kiddies. Something that didn't at all gel creatively before––no matter how hard you tried to make it happen––finally comes together. Admittedly, though, part of the problem is that you kept (or keep) approaching the subject from the same direction. Yet, by taking the idea back to the proverbial drawing board, and starting from scratch, you achieve the creative breakthrough that you'd hoped for when your project was started.  

Beginning this blog entry, I had planned to share some of the disparate visual elements that went into to making the full mini poster image (there's 30 layers to this thing). But now I don't wanna ruin the illusion. I also thought that I'd detail the story ideas that I have for my "Ultimate Spider-Man" movie, which I've set in Chicago, Tokyo and Hong Kong (NYC settings have become a bit cliché in movies today), but I think that I'll hold onto 'em.

If you liked last year's Marvel Blaxploitation mini movie poster series, then I hope that you'll dig this new addition––and bonus. It was a lot of fun bringing these new pieces to life. Especially when considering the major difficulty that I'd had with making a Spidey piece the first time around. As they say: perseverance pays off. Or is it persistence? [Shrug] Meh. Same thing.  

Shout outs to Donald Glover, Jamie Chung, Jamie Foxx, Brian Bendis, Marvel Comics, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures, Entertainment Weekly, Complex, San Diego Comic-Con––and anyone who temporarily fell for the illusion in this digital hatchet job and believed for a moment that an Ultimate Spider-Man movie was on the horizon. Uh, and shout out to Samuel L. Jackson, well...just because. 

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