Saskatoon's Kaare Andrews dusts off classic Marvel heroes in Amazing Fantasy series
SASKATOON -- When Kaare Andrews was young, he jumped off a roof just like Spider-Man and nearly broke his leg.
“(He) really identified with a lot of the heroes,” said his father, Jacklin . “You can see him and his family in a lot of the comics that he draws.”
Years later, Andrews says he’s been asked to sign autographs in comic book stores because of who his son is — a world famous comic book writer and artist.
“People from Europe know him, people from Asia. I mean it's just, I can't even fathom it to be quite honest,” he said.
“I’m just really proud of him.”
Kaare Andrews has worked with Marvel comics since 1999 and is just weeks away from releasing a reimagination of one of it’s most beloved series, Amazing Fantasy.
“I would call it a dusting off of an important title in the Marvel franchise, and reinvigorating it with core characters that you've never seen before in a new way,” said Andrews, who grew up in Saskatoon and moved to suburban Vancouver when he started with Marvel.
“People know Amazing Fantasy because that was where Spider-Man was first created, Amazing Fantasy Number 15.”
A self-proclaimed troublemaker in the comic industry, Andrews says the new Amazing Fantasy — which comes out in June — will be something Marvel has never done before.
“It's archetypal versions of my favorite characters,” he said. “When I think of Captain America, I think World War Two Captain America. And when I think of Spider-Man, I think of teenage Spider-Man, and when I think of Black Widow, I think of like spy school, Russian spy Black Widow, but those are all different timezones.”
“I've kind of figured out a way to have my favorite versions from the different timelines all into one story, which is the first time Marvel's ever done it.”
Andrews wouldn’t divulge just how all these characters end up together — part of the fun of the book is the mystery of the circumstance, he says.
It’s the latest in a long line of projects with Marvel for the 45-year-old, whose lifelong passion just happened to turn into a career.
“I've always loved comic books so much,” he said. “The very first book I remember reading was a Marvel comic book when I was four years old, and I couldn't read the words I could just follow the storytelling picture by picture.”
Jacklin said he knew his son was artistically inclined when he was just three years old, when Kaare and his brother asked him to draw a picture of the Six Million Dollar Man.
“It was awful,” he said.
“I had rulers and pencils out and I was measuring and erasing and whatnot, and his brother looked at it and broke down in tears. Kaare saw this and and then sort of pushed him out of the way, and pushed me out of the way, because he was trying to make it better for his brother.”
Reading comics growing up — Spider-Man was his favourite — changed the way Kaare looked at things.
“(Spider-Man) taught me how to live,” he said. “He's kind of the kid who gets beat up, he's kind of misunderstood, no one really understands him, he's got some home problems, like that's my life, right? That's me, like I'm Spider-Man. That's how I felt when I was reading those books.
“Despite all of that, he would try to do the right thing. He tried to help people. And he wouldn't always succeed, sometimes he’d fail, sometimes he'd hurt his loved ones, literally, it's part of his origin story, but he still tried and still kept going, and to me, superheroes showed me that's how you do it.”