With a striking cover by Hugo Award-winning artist Sara Felix, Drink Tank 453, a free to download fanzine, is available now. Edited by Chuck Serface, Alissa Wales and Christopher J. Garcia, this issue takes a deep look at everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
It includes an interview with writer and artist David Hine, talking about Spider-Man Noir, an alternate version of Spider-Man who emerges in a version of New York during the Great Depression. First published back in 2009, the early stories were written by Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky, drawn by Carmine Di Giandomenico, with costume design by Marko Djurdjevic. The character went on to appear in games, further comics and the Into the Spider-verse film. An ongoing Spider-Man Noir monthly comic book series launched in 2020, written by Margaret Stohl, with art by Juan Ferreyra.
Earlier this year, news broke that a live-action Spider-Man Noir series was in the works, due to screen on Amazon Prime Video, the release date yet to be announced.
Articles in Drink Tank 453 include Juan Sanmiguel considering the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon, Julian West looks at “Spider-Man: The Combination Super-Hero”, and British Fan Historian Rob Hansen talking about how Marvel stories were edited for political content, in an article entitled “Damn Bodavians”.
downthetubes own James Bacon takes a deep dive into the time when Spider-Man went with Joy Mercado to London, encountering an IRA assault, and then onto Belfast where suddenly all political matters were expunged, building on the work of Brian Corcoran some 12 years ago, when it was revealed that Marvel offices received a bomb threat in 1986 and speaking to Len Kaminski.
Helena Nash takes a look at the landmark stories in the 1980s, while Pádraig Ó Méalóid considers the history of Ireland and the source of the troubles as described in Web of Spider-Man #19. Chuck Surface looks at books that talk about the “Psychology, Philosophy and theology of Spider-Man” and, wrapping up the issue, is an interview with comics artist and writer David Hine, about Spider-Man Noir, who says of the character: “Our Peter Parker was very much the personality that Steve Ditko and Stan Lee created, but we gave him a more realistic edge.
“Being a teenager in early 1930s New York gave us the chance to write a highly political story. This was a period where it looked like socialism might become the most powerful force in American politics. It seemed perfectly natural for Aunt May and Uncle Ben to be communist agitators, standing up for workers’ rights, campaigning for the out-of-work homeless, and working in soup kitchens.
“I really wanted our American readers to go back to their history books and fact- check the things we were saying about the exploitation of the workers, racism, and corruption in high places.”
The hard-boiled adventures of the grittiest webslinger in the Spider-Verse! In the dark days of the Great Depression, young reporter Peter Parker finds himself forever changed by a spider’s bite – and resolves to take on crime and corruption as the urban vigilante called Spider-Man! And there are no shortage of foes – from gangland bosses the Goblin and Crime Master, to pulp-era twists on familiar faces like Kraven, Chameleon, Doctor Octopus and more! But will the seductive Felicia Hardy prove friend or foe? Plus, Spider-Man Noir enters the Spider-Verse via an encounter with Mysterio – and shares a spectacular team-up with a six-armed Spidey! And a brand-new video comic adventure, in print for the first time!
Collecting SPIDER-MAN NOIR #1-4, SPIDER-MAN NOIR: EYES WITHOUT A FACE #1-4, EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #1, SPIDER-GEDDON: SPIDER-MAN NOIR VIDEO COMIC and material from SPIDER-VERSE TEAM-UP #1.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.