Marvel Team-Up No. 4 Cover by Kane & Giacoia

I was a wee lad in the summer of 1972. I liked Spider-Man a lot. His cartoon (the 1967 series) was on TV (and still rules today). But it wasn’t until Mom gave me 20¢ in the drugstore that I bought a copy of this, my first comic.

Marvel Team-Up 4

A nice-looking copy of the published comic. I still have the copy I bought, though it’s pretty ratty and I wrote my name on the cover.

Written by Gerry Conway and drawn by Gil Kane & Steve Mitchell (the cover was inked by Frank Giacoia), it was a sequel to the greatest Spider-Man storyline ever told (personal opinion there).

Amazing Spider-Man 100

In a story arc running from Amazing Spider-Man 100 through 102, Peter grew four extra arms, teams up with the Lizard and fights new villain Morbius, the Living Vampire. Coolness personified.

This story followed a few months later. I’m using its cover as a way to show people my process for cover reconstruction and colouring.

Marvel Team-Up 4

A raw scan of the line art from The Essential Marvel Team-Up Volume One.

Marvel Team-Up 4

Contrast- and density-corrected scan. The art is looking pretty good, but there’s a wonky warp and woof to the logos, most likely due to a stat of the masthead being glued down wrinkly on the page and then reproduced that way. The published comic shows the same effect.

Marvel Team-Up 4

With the logos reversed on black – and looking pretty rough even on the cleaned-up scan – I went looking for better elements to work with. I found them on a scan of issue 5 available on Heritage Auctions.

Marvel Team-Up 4

When I re-create type that was originally hand drawn, the goal – as I see it – is not to perfectly duplicate the original, warts and all. I try to respect the feel while at the same time bringing consistency and the quality of construction we can achieve with modern tools.

Marvel Team-Up 4

These elements were replaced with vector art. The red items were re-typeset with digital type. The black items were hand drawn. The Comics Code seal I had re-created previously.

Marvel Team-Up 4

Colour applied to the vector elements.

Marvel Team-Up 4

The cleaned-up art. The frame border was as rough as the logos, so it was replaced. Putting the black background on a separate layer made it easy to composite the different pieces together.

Marvel Team-Up 4

All the pieces put together with the cover’s original colour re-created.

Marvel Team-Up 4

A colour version of my own. I pulled much of the colour saturation out of the background to pop Spider-Man forward with his primary colours.

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Marvel Team-Up 4

From 2002, the first time I coloured this cover, without the logo reconstructions. I was just beginning to explore computer-aided colouring.

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Scott Dutton

Scott Dutton is a graphic designer and illustrator with experience in marketing, publishing and information design

  1. Javier Hernandez left a comment on December 8, 2013 at 9:33 pm


    I’ve seen your cover recreations on Facebook before. Looking at your process here gives me a whole new level of appreciation for the work you do on these.

    And I downloaded a copy of Three Vol. 1. Will give it a proper reading, but skimming through it I see a lot of very captivating illustrations going on in there. Great stuff, Scott.


    • Scott Dutton left a comment on December 8, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      Hi Javier –

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Those comics are going on 20 years old at this point. Still, they were fun to do.

      – Scott

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