Framing Spider-Man’s 50th birthday

Everyone’s favorite web-head celebrates his 50th anniversary this year. Creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced the world to Spider-Man in 1962 with his origin in Amazing Fantasy #15, a comic book that gave us teen science nerd Peter Parker who gained his fantastic powers via the bite of a radioactive spider. Marvel Comics celebrated the occasion with the release this month of an oversized issue, Amazing Spider-Man #692. There were 5 different covers of the issue, each one depicting landmark events in the superhero’s history. When a customer brought us all 5 to work our framer’s magic on, we tried not to geek out too much. It took all our super powers to construct a mat that would safely display, as well as securely hold, them all in one frame.

A proper frame design should be completely reversible, without any damage to the art or item being framed. So we began by laying the 5 comics on an acid-free board. Next, we built layers of conservation, black mat board around them. Then we chose a white mat that would lay over them and be seen on top. When we cut the openings in the white mat, each window is a tiny bit smaller than the covers so that they can’t fall forward. This way there was no adhesive involved – the comic books would be trapped by the board behind them, the black mat around them, and the white mat that was in front of them. This required some particularly precise measuring and cutting so that we didn’t cover too much detail around the edges of the covers.
We added a final black mat around the white one because we thought it was a smoother transition visually into the frame. The customer had requested a black frame to maintain the stark, graphic style of the art. It made for quite an impressive result! Soak it up, comic book fans – this is the glory of how good a framed comic book can look.

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