When it comes to Spider-Man, I’ve never been a fan of big-time fan fave artists Todd McFarlane and Humberto Ramos for a very simple reason: Expressive, squinty spider-eyes.  If there had been even one “Hey, I made these special mask lenses” scene, perhaps I’d have felt different, but it always seemed like an artistic cheat.  Ever since ‘Captain America: Civil War’, though, it is clear that I’m in a minority,  with multiple people praising the Spider-Man mask and its expressive eyes, leading to today’s bone-chilling query,,,

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) paradoxically likes Deadpool’s digital mask-eyes, and think they made the suit, asking: To squint or not to squint; that is the Spider-Eyes question?

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  1. March 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    It’s an artistic representation of expression in a medium that is static in form. It’s not photography, unless the artist is Greg Land. So no issues here.

  2. March 30, 2017 at 2:40 pm — Reply

    It depends on many things, but I’ve liked McFarlane Spidey since I first saw it. It was so different to what I was used to that it made a permanent impression to me as a kid.

  3. March 30, 2017 at 2:42 pm — Reply

    I don’t mind it, but I do find it a bit lazy when Spidey doesn’t really need to make facial expressions when he could just use witty banter and other body language (even in the comic pages, the right picture, head cocked at an angle or his posture could convey just as much as facial expressions could).

  4. March 31, 2017 at 6:43 am — Reply

    If I had to say emotive spidey-eyes came from anywhere, it’d be all the animated series ever since the original. I think all the modern comic artist interpretations have been as influenced by the cartoons as much as anything else.

  5. Shush
    April 1, 2017 at 11:30 am — Reply

    Body language is pretty complex and not everybody shares the same level of fluency. Most times, people probably don’t even fully grasp what they are seeing, unless they approach it while thinking critically, or otherwise study body language in some depth for whatever reason. (Artists, actors, behaviorists, high-level poker players, and police interrogators to name some examples of people that might study body language. Artists being the most applicable to the conversation.) The brain just makes the connection for them and then moves on to process other things.

    Nuanced expressions are tough. That said, for a lot of people, the eyes are key.

    Depending on the artist, Batman is another character that has emotive eyes. However, because his jaw and mouth are uncovered, (and he’s scowling most of the time anyway. because he’s Batman) it’s a lot less bothersome to think that maybe his mask’s eyes shouldn’t be moving to reflect his body language so closely. Also, having it otherwise would be… a little weird/ disturbing.

    So, since emotive eyes are in service to the visual storytelling I’m personally fine with it, even if they might not make sense without a reason supplied by said story.

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.