work blog about search

Spiderman and The Silver Surfer


High o'er the roof of the world he soars... free and unfettered as the roaring wind itself! Behold the sky-born spanner of a trillion galaxies... the restless, streaking stranger from the farthest reaches of space... this glistening, gleaming seeker of truth, whom man shall call forevermore.. The Silver Surfer!

This summer there are two more blockbuster Marvel Comics adaptations hitting the multiplexes, with Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer and Spiderman 3 both looking likely to pull in the popcorn munchers in their millions.

This sent us foraging in our bookshelves to find the really good stuff, the comics the characters are based on. Both of these are English versions of the US originals, dating from 1975 for the Surfer, and 1973 for Spiderman.



A few things really struck us.

First, those typefaces. They're fantastic. Check 'em out here.

Secondly, in the Spiderman comic, they have a running header at the top of each page, summing up the action. No idea what that's all about - was there ever a reader so time pushed that he thought "I know, I'll just read the headers to get a rough idea of what goes on this issue"? But they're still corking: FROM SPACE IT CAME! SPIDEY ON THE PROWL! and GWEN IS UPSET!

Thirdly, the Silver Surfer is the coolest. An immensely powerful totally silver cosmic being who grooves round the galaxy on a surf board, and yet remains totally angst-ridden about his place in the world. (Check out Jim McBride's under-rated remake of A Bout de Souffle, Breathless, for more Silver Surfer appreciation.)

We'll hold judgement on the movies; they're both franchise sequels, and the previous films of each were fairly patchy; but, Spiderman's new costume looks kinda cool, and the special FX for the surfer do look great.

If you're looking for some better comic book adaptations though, check out Sin City, Hellboy, Constantine, and possibly the upcoming 300.

'Nuff said.

posted: 11 January 2007
categories: Comics | Film
recommended reading

Ace Jet 170
One of the finest individual design blogs (it’s been going as long as we have!) from Irish designer Richard Weston. Covering found type, print and stuff.

Casual Optimist
If you want to know what’s happening in the world of book cover design, keep an eye on this excellent blog by Dan Wagstaff.

Creative Review
Covering design and advertising, CR has been running since 1981, under the editorship of Patrick Burgoyne since 1999. Essential reading.

Daniel Gray
Dan writes a column in Creative Review, and this is his consistently entertaining blog about design and suchlike.

Eye Magazine
The best graphic design magazine out there, from editor John L. Walters and art director Simon Esterson.

Flat File
A fantastic collection of online publications based on pieces from the Herb Lubalin Study Centre.

Grafik is the brilliant online magazine about all things graphic design, from writers Caroline Roberts and Angharad Lewis.

Justin’s Amazing World
Justin Hobson, of Fenner Paper, is a bona fide expert on paper & print, and a charming chap to boot. His blog features in-depth analysis of the projects he’s worked on, including a few of our own.
One of the oldest blogs on the web. And one of the best.

Lecture in Progress
An invaluable collection of wisdom from a range of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers et al. From the team that brought you It’s Nice That.

Spitalfields Life
The anonymous Gentle Author of this wonderful blog has promised to write 10,000 stories about the life & culture of Spitalfields in east London, writing one story each and every day.

St Bride Library
The St Bride Library houses one of the world’s finest collection of books (& related objects) about printing and design. It also hosts unmissable design talks and events.

Styling and Salvage
Rupert Blanchard is a mate of ours, and makes great furniture. This blog covers his projects, interests, and life in Margate.
Brooklyn-based designer Khoi Vinh has been writing insightfully about design, technology and culture since the turn of the millennium.

The Ride Journal
A glorious mix of the very best writing and illustration about all types of cycling. On an indefinite break now, but you can download past issues for free.