A few days ago, I saw a comic convention on Kraven’s Last Hunt, and wrote it up for the Spider-Man Crawlspace.
DeMatteis believes that he has written better stories; better Spider-Man stories even, However when he’s at conventions, a third to a half of the requests for signatures are from people who want him to sign a copy of this story. His guess for why it’s so popular is that the chemistry was right; everything clicked: the art, the inking (McLeod was an accomplished artist in his own right) and the lettering (if that’s not done right, readers will just think that the story failed.)
All the panelists recall encountering fans who read the story when they were very young, sometimes as their first Spider-Man comic. DeMatteis remembers asking those readers “Are you okay?” worried he might have warped them. Fortunately, some of the content went over the heads of younger readers who just enjoyed a creepy story about a superhero fighting a monster.
DeMatteis credited Zeck for nailing the emotion of the story. He wrote Marvel style scripts in which the artist gets a detailed plot, and the narration and dialogue comes after the artist has sent in the pencils. Often, he’ll need to add some exposition because of something the artist failed to convey, be it emotion or a detail essential to understanding what’s going on. That wasn’t the case here, which meant that his narration could be more complex and psychological rather than surface-level.
More at the link.