Over the last several years I’ve tried to piece together any information I could about the never produced “Web of Fortune: A Spider-Man Create Your Own Adventure.” I did an article here in 2014 and here in 2015. I’ve always been interested in it because it was a collaboration between three of my favorite Spider-Man creators. Peter David wrote it, Ron Frenz penciled it and John Romita senior inked it. How such a book could never be released it just a tragedy for long-time Spider-Fans. Franz recently put out a Facebook post giving some information on this long lost story.
Regrets,I’ve Had A Few!
Back while I was pencilling my face off on THE MIGHTY THOR
I was fool-hardy enough to take on an extra project,one of those “work on it when you have an extra moment” things!
It was titled WEB OF FORTUNE: A SPIDER-MAN CREATE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!
Written by Mr.Peter David this was a graphic novel featuring an ambitious tale of Spidey battling the villainous Arcade and his robots ultimately leading to a showdown in Arcade’s deadly holographic Murderworld!
The twist was that each scene would reach a point where the reader would then decide what happens next by turning to the page option of their choice requiring alternate scenes for each option! Mr.David put in a LOT of work on this project!
The big draw of this job for me was the double-barreled pleasure of working on a Spider-Man project with Mr.John Romita,Sr. as inker!
Mr.Romita was,at the time,the art director of Marvel Comics,a more than full-time endeavor in itself and I,as mentioned,was pencilling the monthly(sometimes bi-weekly)Thor title.
I would work on the project in fits and starts,sending pages in when I could and occasionally seeing glorious inks from Mr.Romita.
The period between sending pages would sometimes get long. A few times I was notified that the project had been handed to a different editorial team and once I was told that the project had NO editorial team.The project would get picked up by a new editor and I would pencil a new spurt of pages and so on and so forth until…
The project went away.
It was never re-assigned to another penciller. It just went away.I had pencilled around thirty pages. Mr.Romita inked almost a dozen or so that I saw.The pages were never returned to me. Some of the inked pages have apparently made it into the original art market. My sincere apologies to Mr.Peter David.
Gregory Wright was the Marvel editor in charge of the project. He replied in the comment section about the project.
Let me add my two cents here. I was the original editor of this. Getting pages out of Ron was way easier than getting pages out of John Romita Sr. John was full time art director at Marvel and retired from being a freelance artist, so it took lots of begging to get him to do the project. Once he started he realized just how much work it was, no matter how long of a deadline he had. He tried to get out of the project, ( he really wanted to be able to spend time with family) but my begging kept him doing it. And you can see from the work he did it was nothing less than perfect. John’s that kind of pro. It HAS to be done right. And that takes time. Now getting pages from Ron…this was a problem because he was already pencilling THOR, and since that was a monthly book it had to be done first. So Ron was generally told NOT to pencil this project in favor of his regular assignment. Which is entirely the correct thing to do. And if you see Ron’s pencils, again you will note that he wasn’t about to put anything down on the page that wasn’t perfect…especially since John Romita sr. was inking it. The main reason this didn’t get done was because Marvel never decided it was a priority. They never said…Okay…Ron’s done with Thor now…FINISH WEB OF FORTUNE…they just gave him the next assignment. It’s a shame because the pages were really awesome. And the idea that Ron and John didn’t get their pages BACK is upsetting. So Ron need not apologize. Marvel should have prioritized the project at some point before it fell off the earth. I’m just glad to be one of the folks who got to hold these pages in my very hands and look at them whenever I wanted to for as long as I wanted to.
Wright also commented that the book was going to be 64 pages and a hardcover. What a shame it was never produced!