Golden Books 3039: Spider-Man - Mark & See

Background

This book is one of the ten or so "Golden Books" produced by Western Publishing Company, Inc. in the 1990's.

While many of the Golden Books are "special" in some way (i.e. include stickers, fold-out panels, etc.) this is the only one to actually include an "extra" component (i.e. the magic pen attached to the front cover).

Story Details

This book is 8" x 11". It has a staple bound cover and 32 pages. The pages are made of 50% recycled material, but are still well-bleached and high quality. The pages are also perforated near the spine for easy removal after colouring.

The interior art work is black and white line art. See the two sample images.

Within each page, several areas are outlined in thick black borders, indicating where the special pen can be used to reveal hidden detail. If you want to see the image but don't want to damage the book, you can shine a bright light on the page at the right angle and if you're careful you can just see the image that is waiting to be revealed.

The first sixteen pages introduce Spider-Man and his powers. Most of the pages in the second half of the book feature Spider-Man foes, mostly taken from the 1990's Spider-Man TV Cartoon Series.

General Comments

The artwork style is also strongly linked to the character designs from the 1990's TV show, although the actual images appear to be entirely new for this book (which is good).

Unfortunately, the actual artistic quality of the illustrations covers the whole spectrum from "disappointing" to "barely adequate". Mary Jane is ugly, Spider-Man is awkward, and Kraven's underpants are hilarious. This is bad.

Overall Rating

The "gimmick" part of this book is perfectly decent — but inferior artwork is very hard to forgive, and I feel obliged to give this book a below average rating.

Two and a half webs.