Why would anyone be willing to pay $250,000 for Todd McFarlane's original cover art for Spider-Man #300? Because only it's the only cover appearance of the web-slinger sporting the black Venom symbiote suit, silly!
Todd McFarlane’s Amazing Spider-Man #300 Original Cover Art (Marvel, 1988), one of the most important and memorable comic images of the 1980s, is expected to bring $250,000+ when it crosses the auction block on Friday, Nov. 21, in Heritage’s Comic and Comic Art auction.
“No artist of the Modern Age has had a bigger impact on Spider-Man than Todd McFarlane,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “He defined the character for an entire generation. We've sold some of his great Spidey covers in the last several years – including one that is still tied for the record of most expensive piece of American comic art of all time – but none more iconic than this cover, an absolute classic.”
The piece features Spider-Man in one of the very last times he would ever wear the black costume, as it turned out to be an evil alien symbiote, which would go on to create many different kinds of havoc for Spider-Man over the years.
This is the art that graced the cover of the 25th anniversary issue of Spider-Man that marked the first full appearance of Venom, a combination of Eddy Brock and the black costume symbiote.
“Covers just don't get any more memorable,” said Hignite. “Reproduced and paid tribute to endlessly, this one is burned into the collective imagination of all comic fans from that period and it’s one of the most impressive covers to come to market from any period in recent memory.”
(Video link) Before signing off tonight, I strongly urge you to set aside whatever bad news you may have seen today and watch this adorable video of a three-year-old boy named Kieran asking Santa Claus for Spider-Man and then having his Christmas wish immediately granted. The video was created by Sean Ward, a long-time friend of Kieran's family and the filmmaker behind the extremely popular (and hilarious) series of Toronto Batman videos. Way to end a great year on a heartwarming note! (Thanks, Sean!)
Scientific advising for science-fiction films is a really fascinating topic for me. It's a weird, weird world, where the goal is not necessarily extreme accuracy, but extreme believability. That can be a stress point for science, a field that is, generally, all about striving for accuracy. The scientists that help directors create believable worlds have to balance the goal of educating the public with the goal of entertaining same. That can be tough, and it leads some creative solutions—and little educational Easter Eggs buried in the background of blockbusters.
Take the work University of Minnesota physicist Jim Kakalios recently did for the new Spider-Man reboot. The film's creators asked him to invent a complicated-looking equation that, in the context of the story, would relate to cell regeneration and human mortality.
How do you invent a fictional equation? Start with a real one.
In this video, Kakalios explains where his imaginary equation came from, starting with the Gompertz Equation, a very real function that describes mortality rates and can be used to model tumor growth.