Comic-Con Museum's 'Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing – The Exhibition' Explores the Web-Slinger's Enduring Popularity
Marvel Entertainment Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski and editor Nick Lowe reflect on Spider-Man's legacy as they tour 'Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing – The Exhibition' at the Comic-Con Museum.
To celebrate Spider-Man's sensational 60th anniversary, Marvel Entertainment partnered with Semmel Exhibitions and the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego, California to launch "Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing – The Exhibition," which chronicles the Wall-Crawler's epic history. Recently, Marvel Entertainment Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski and editor Nick Lowe stopped by for a tour, where they also offered some insight into the character's long-lasting popularity as well as the process behind bringing his stories to life.
As they explored the exhibit, Cebulski and Lowe got a first-hand look at some incredible original artwork from such legendary creators as John Romita Sr. and John Buscema. "Getting to see how production has changed over the years, how people who did our jobs thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years ago is pretty humbling and mind-blowing," Lowe shared.
In fact, they soon stumbled across a piece that Lowe himself commissioned. "With the image we were just looking at there, I commissioned that cover," he revealed. "We were crossing over a Miles Spider-Man book and Spider-Gwen. They came together and, between those two books, we had a story that spanned universes. Seeing that up here and seeing Sara [Pichelli]'s art is just incredible, and then alongside John Romita Sr. and Gil Kane – it's just incredible."
Cebulski also weighed in on the subject of Spider-Man's enduring popularity, saying, "Spider-Man is about relatability. That's what it is. You think you can be him. Everyone has been a teenager at some point in their life. They relate to some aspect of Peter Parker, whether it's problems with family, problems with money, problems with your boss, problems with love – you know, that's what it is. But it's also that dream of imagination. Peter, when he puts on that mask, he becomes someone different. He leaves that life behind and becomes Spider-Man, and he's got problems all of his own, but still, with what he's dealing with, there's connections to his real life that he has to overcome as a hero and as his alter ego as Peter Parker. So I think it's that relatability. I think that's what has led to the longevity and the popularity that Spider-Man has achieved."
Asked how the inclusion of diverse characters like Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy will impact the industry for years to come, Lowe said, "We're already seeing it. Miles has been around for over ten years now; Gwen, for a good five or six years now. I mean, the more people see themselves in the characters, the more they've got their in, and you don't need that, per se, but it helps. I'm meeting new writers who grew up on Miles Morales, who it hit them when they were teenagers, and that is mind-blowing and humbling and so cool."
"You could throw a rock and find a story about a kid that says, 'Miles Morales, he looks like me. I want to know more about that guy,' and that it beautiful," he added. "That is why we do this. I get it, because we have all seen ourselves in these characters. Luckily, Spider-Man has a mask, so anyone can see themselves in that, but the more we do this sort of thing, these characters will resonate with people."
Finally, Cebulski reflected on his position as an editor and how the Wall-Crawler's motto inspires him to inspire others. "We're here in the Spider-Man exhibit, and as we all know, with great power, there must also come great responsibility, and I think the best power that I have – that any of us have, as editors – is the power to inspire," he explained. "It's not only the staff we train and mentor and the younger generation that we're bringing up to continue making these comics, but inspire generations of kids, anyone, readers of all ages around the world. That, I think, is the true power of what we do in the comic book industry."
The Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing Exhibition at the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego, California celebrates the Web-Slinger's 60 years at Marvel and runs from July 1 through January 1, 2023. Tickets are now available.
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