Obama/ Spider-Man Team Up Artist Todd Nauck Interview

2009-01-08-spideyobama1Crawl Space’s Jason Marsh Larouche had a chance to chat with Todd Nauck about penciling the Spider-Man/ Obama Team Up. Here’s Jason’s report.

This past presidential election, America and the rest of the world witnessed the realization of a dream, and Marvel Comics has officially acknowledged this historic event the best way they know how: introducing President Barrack Obama into the Marvel Universe. In Amazing Spider-Man #583, the new president meets – and teams up with – his childhood hero. And Todd Nauck is at a loss for words at the groundbreaking honor he has received for penciling this five-page story.

“It’s a complete honor, “ the penciller says. “To be chosen as the artist to draw this story featuring a historic presidential figure… All I can say is I’m honored.”

A longtime comic collector himself, Nauck was enthralled with the Marvel Universe starting with a historic event of its own. “I started with Secret Wars in 1984 when I was with the eighth grade. I began reading X-Men and whatever Marvel comic that caught my eye [such as] Spider-Man, Avengers, Alpha Flight. By 1988 I was collecting several Marvel titles regularly [such as] Amazing Spider-Man, New Mutants, X-Factor… By the time I was in high school I was reading many DC titles as well.”

That passion for comics metamorphosed into a passionate following of visual arts, a journey that went through high school and to his attendance at the Art Institute of Dallas. “[My biggest influences were] Art Adams, Rick Leonardi, Walt Simonson, Alan Davis, and Mike Zeck, “he admits.

His first professional assignment was for Marvel Comics while he was still at the Institute. Since graduation and his discovery, he went on to work for DC Comics, where he and writer Peter David ushered in the teenage superhero group book, Young Justice, all of whom destined years later to become the new Teen Titans.
That was a very fun book to do with writer Peter David. I loved drawing all the DC teens and their adventures. I found YJ has a very loyal fanbase years after the book had ended. A very special highlight in my career.” Such a resume made it a very easy transition to sketching a character like Spider-Man, who began in the early 1960s as a teenager. As to how he approaches the web-slinger, he digresses several things an artist must keep in mind. “The body type [must be] muscular, yet slender. [The suit’s] webs lay in a particular pattern. Especially the face of the mask. And I like to consider how he would move. Spider-like whenever possible.”

The premise of the 5-page backstory is simple: Peter Parker is assigned to attend the inauguration of Obama when a member of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery tries to disrupt the event. In the end, it is the web-slinger and Obama trading blows with this villain, a nod to the fact that Barrack is a Spider-Man comics collector. “I think that was the impetus of the book, “ Todd notes.

Look for Amazing Spider-Man #583 to hit store shelves Wednesday January 14, 2009.

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