February 15, 2006

Imagine #4 [1978]

IMAGINE was a fantasy anthology published by Mike Friedrich's Star*Reach Productions in the 1970s. This issue includes Ditko's only contribution to the title, an 8-page story printed as a colour section on glossy paper, I think the first time a Ditko story would have seen better than standard newsprint.

Paul Levitz, who Ditko had worked with before on Stalker and would work with again on Starman, writes the story "The Summoning", a sort of odd fantasy/sci-fi story about the last survivors of a race and how they attempt to persuade some metaphysical being to follow their own visions of the future of their race. The scripting has kind of a strange air of pretentiousness that I don't really associate with Levitz, but then he was a college student at the time, so who knows what sort of substances he was ingesting. Very oblique dialogue which can be tough slogging at times, although I thought it picked up a bit on the last page and is pretty effective there. Ditko's art suits the odd atmosphere of the story, using similar visual motifs as what he used in Doctor Strange and Shade, and I don't know if it's the superior reproduction or what but this does seem to be a bit better than most of the DC/Charlton short stories he was doing around the same time.

Ditko also draws the cover of the issue.

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