Published October 17, 2017

Study in Scarlet – A Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider Sketchbook

André Araújo swings in a webslinging world with exclusive preview art!

Image for Study in Scarlet – A Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider Sketchbook

The 90s continue to make a comeback every month. The previously maligned decade now boasts a mix of respect and nostalgia thanks to the fact that people who were fans at the time now make and buy lots of comics. Portuguese artist André Araújo may have discovered the 90s comics differently thanks to alternate publishing practices, but he still has a love for all things Spider-Man related, which makes him a great artist to work on the “Slingers Return” story in BEN REILLY: SCARLET SPIDER, written by Peter David!

We talked with Araújo about his own 90s comic-reading experience, working with a legend like David, and digging into the Slingers’ different costumes. Between Scarlet Spider and the Slingers, this book seems to really embrace the 90s, while updating the concepts for today’s audience. Was that an era you were familiar with before taking on the job?

André Araújo: I live in Portugal, so the way books were published [there] varied greatly, meaning some stuff was published like it was in the U.S., but we also got stories from all periods. So I got to read most of the stuff from the 90s, including  Onslaught and the Clone Saga, during the late 90s/early 2000s when a new publisher called Devir came [onto the] scene and published all of that in a row. I remember enjoying it quite a lot, because it was the first time things were published in monthly issues in the same format that’s used in the U.S. Scarlet Spider’s costume is interesting because it mixes the more traditional tightness of the body suit with the looser hooded pullover. How is it making sure both of those look right on the page?

André Araújo: That’s actually something I thought about while drawing the issue, even though I only drew Ben in costume for a brief scene. As you say, it is an interesting mix and something that I feel usually works well in a character’s design. It’s also a nice change of what super heroes usually look like, particularly characters derivative from Spider-Man. Making it look right is always a challenge, making sure you represent the idea of a looser fabric on top of tight spandex, but I always welcome a nice challenge. How has it been for you drawing the Slingers costumes and putting your stamp on them?

André Araújo: They’re cool characters, with bold looks. Completely different from one another, with lots of disparate stylistic choices; the challenge here is always to make them look cohesive, which comes, in part, from bringing my style to the way they’re drawn. My approach is always to think how the costumes work in real life, in terms of fabric, material type, how characters move while wearing them. I make my little tweaks with that in mind, while keeping the original look as much as possible. It seems like it’d be a lot of fun pitting Scarlet Spider against these other heroes in various ways. Has that been the case?

André Araújo: Spider-Man is my favorite character to draw, and any derivative character like Scarlet Spider feels pretty much like that to me. So drawing Ben in all the situations is a lot of fun, be it while he is dealing with ordinary stuff or during the action scenes, with all characters in costumes. How has it been working with a legendary writer like Peter David so far?

André Araújo: One thing I like about working with established writers like Peter is how smooth their scripts are. They’re always easy to work with. When I’m doing the layouts everything feels very natural, which is a sign of a well-built narrative, where each moment leads to the other with ease and grace.

Look for André’s collaboration with writer Peter David in BEN REILLY: SCARLET SPIDER #11, available December 13!