May 24, 2007

Haunted #39 [1978]

1 comments
 This issue has a reprint of the 7-page "Along Came a Spider and..." from HAUNTED #7 [1972]. A fairly minor entry in the Ditko catalog, made all the more minor in this version thanks to some spotty reproduction. The story has a dirty American hippie (oddly named Tyler Rand. No relation, I assume) looking for a place to live in London, when he finds a room with a rich older widow who he plans to seduce and swindle. It's kind of confusing to figure it out completely since there are a few scenes where the speech balloons are clearly supposed to be thought balloons. Someone needs a refresher course.

His plan continues well, although he's vexed by the widow's instance that a spider in his room be left undisturbed. He also has to finance his plans with some purse snatching. I get lost after that, but it seems the spider is the lady's husband, who turns the hippie into a spider, and then another victim is drawn into the lair.

As I said, minor Ditko, and not well printed, but with a few interesting visuals. What's the name of the cloaked ghost who hosts these stories? I know Dedd and Graves and Winnie and the Baron, don't think I know the ghost's name.




May 23, 2007

Upcoming Ditko - Two DC strays

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DC has a pair of potpourri style books with a bit of Ditko coming this fall, which may be worth picking up. The 52: THE COMPANION has a bunch of stories featuring characters who were in that crossover, so the classic Question story is there. The GREAT DISASTER thing looks like they're taking any 1960s and 1970s story that had a post-atomic catastrophe future and deciding that they're all the same post-atomic future. As far as I can figure the Ditko is just a pair of two-page shorts, both with Colletta inks. A lot of the other stuff seems interesting, though.


52: THE COMPANION TP
Writers: Steve Ditko, Greg Rucka, Gardner Fox, Grant Morrison, Steve Gerber, Mark Schultz, Jack Miller, Dan Jurgens, David Goyer and Geoff Johns
Artists: Steve Ditko, Kano & Stefano Gaudiano, Chaz Truog & Doug Hazlewood, Carmine Infantino, Walter Simonson, Doug Mahnke & Tom Nguyen, Murphy Anderson, Alex Toth, Dan Jurgens & Tom Dzon and Leonard Kirk & Keith Champagne
Collects: MYSTERIOUS SUSPENSE #1, GOTHAM CENTRAL #40, ANIMAL MAN #16, METAL MEN #45, SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #97, RIP HUNTER: TIME MASTER #6, JSA #43-44, and stories from DETECTIVE COMICS #350, STRANGE ADVENTURES #226, SECRET ORIGINS #35.
$19.99 U.S., 224 pages


SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE GREAT DISASTER FEATURING THE ATOMIC KNIGHTS TP
Writers: John Broome, Jack Kirby, Gerry Conway, David Michelinie, Cary Bates, Sheldon Mayer, David Kraft, Paul Levitz, Steve Skeates, Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, Len Wein, Robin Snyder, Mike Bentley, George Kashdan, Wyatt Gwyon, Paul Kupperberg, Roger McKenzie, Jack Oleck and Elliott S. Maggin
Artists: Murphy Anderson, Jack Kirby, José Luis García-López, Walter Simonson, Pablo Marcos, Mike Nasser, Alex Saviuk, Vicitan, Bill Draut, Alfredo Alcala, Jack Sparling, Rich Buckler, Howard Chaykin, A.B. Magpali, Howard Bender, J.M. Matucenio, Steve Ditko, Buddy Generale, Paul Kirchner, Jeff Aclin, Frank Miller, Alex Niño, Curt Swan, Danny Bulanadi, Wallace Wood, D. Bruce Berry, Andy Mushynsky, Frank McLaughlin, Bob Layton, Bob Smith, Steve Mitchell, Bob Oksner, Terry Austin, Joe Rubinstein, Vince Colletta, Tex Blaisdell, Bob Wiacek, and Danny Bulanadi
Collects: FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL #1, HERCULES UNBOUND #1-10, SUPERMAN #295, DC COMICS PRESENTS #57, and stories from KAMANDI #43-46, STRANGE ADVENTURES #117, 120, 123, 126, 129, 132, 135, 138, 141, 144, 147, 150, 153, 156 and 160, WEIRD WAR TALES #22, 23, 30, 32, 40, 42-44, 46-49, 51-53, 64, 68, 69 and 123, HOUSE OF MYSTERY #318, HOUSE OF SECRETS #86, 95, and 97, TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED #215 and 221, and THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #12.
$16.99 U.S., 576 pages

May 22, 2007

Upcoming Ditko - AMAZING FANTASY OMNIBUS

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Coming out in August, AMAZING FANTASY OMNIBUS, a collection of 15 issues of fantasy/sci-fi shorts, and one Spider-Man story, from 1961-1962. Single Ditko story in each early issue, going to all Ditko for the AMAZING ADULT FANTASY issues, works out to over 250 pages of Ditko in this collection.



AMAZING FANTASY OMNIBUS HC
Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by STEVE DITKO, JACK KIRBY, DON HECK & PAUL REINMAN
Cover by STEVE DITKO

Across six issues of truly amazing adventures, Lee, Kirby, and Ditko dreamed up a cadre of ten-story tall menaces from Torr to Manoo to the one and only Monsteroso to trash unwitting Earthlings on a month-in and month-out basis. Backed up by weird tales of wax museums, witchcraft, Martians, and the occult master who set the trenchcoat trend in comics, Dr. Druid, it seemed these titanic tales could never be topped.

And then Stan Lee and Steve Ditko did just that by launching "The Magazine That Respects Your Intelligence!" An all-new approach for the young comics sophisticate, Amazing Adult Fantasy presented Twilight Zone-tinged tales of otherworldly aliens, time travel, ghosts, atomic nightmares, and maybe even the secret of the universe itself. With story after lushly-illustrated story, Ditko set a new standard for comic book illustration, and Lee raised the bar ever higher with his scintillating scripts.

And, oh, in the last issue they created some guy named "Spider-Man."
Collecting this lynchpin series of Marvel Comics’ history for the first time ever, the Amazing Fantasy Omnibus puts AMAZING ADVENTURES #1-6, AMAZING ADULT FANTASY #7-14 and AMAZING FANTASY #15 between two hardcovers 45 years in the making.

416 PGS. $74.99

May 21, 2007

New Ditko - Action Heroes Archives v2

4 comments
Out this week, ACTION HEROES ARCHIVES v2, collecting Ditko's Blue Beetle and Question stories, plus some Captain Atom. With the still available v1, this should mean that every page of work for Charlton that DC acquired the rights to will now be in print.

v1 and v2 both also available from Tales of Wonder.



THE ACTION HEROES ARCHIVES VOL. 2

Written by David Kaler, Roger Stern, Michael Uslan and various; Art by Steve Ditko, Alex Toth and various; Cover by Ditko

Collecting classic stories by master artist Steve Ditko from the pages of CAPTAIN ATOM #83-89, BLUE BEETLE #1-5, MYSTERIOUS SUSPENSE #1 and CHARLTON BULLSEYE #1, 2 and 5, plus the title story intended for BLUE BEETLE #6 (published in CHARLTON PORTFOLIO #9-10) as well as an 8-page Question story by Alex Toth and a foreword by Charlton's then-editor Dick Giordano.

384pg. Colour Hardcover $75.00
On Sale May 23, 2007

May 16, 2007

Revolver #3 [1986]

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Ditko writes and draws the 12-page story "The Expert" for this issue of the Robin Snyder edited anthology from Renegade. The story is apparently a revision of the story of the same name that I don't have, published in QUESTAR #3 [1979], which is listed as a 6-page story. The pages are printed sideways, in landscape format, in this story, so I'm assuming that each page of the original was split into two pages here, among other changes.

The story is one of those Ditko ones where he seemed to get ahead of himself, probably knowing more of the backstory than he manages to get into a coherent form on the actual page, so it's very high on action and energy, very low on characterization. The story has a despot named Zar who is opposed by two rebels named Cela and Raig, as well as the treachery of one of his own men, Xex. Boy, sometimes you could just type in letters at random and get Ditko names...

The art is much better than the story, really slick and exciting space opera, really detailed classic Ditko art (I'm also struck by how much, in stories like this, you can see Ditko's influence on popular "cosmic" artists of the era like Steve Rude and Jim Starlin. Zar would fit neatly as a villain in NEXUS or DREADSTAR).



May 11, 2007

Info needed, ASTRAL FRONTIER

2 comments
Can anyone confirm that ASTRAL FRONTIER #1 and #2, a sci-fi anthology book scheduled from Whitman / Gold Key in 1982, to include the Harris/Ditko "Star Guider", do not in fact exist. Various searches give mixed messages, but I'm pretty sure neither book exists. Just want to make sure.

May 9, 2007

--Link-- Spidey #29 art

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A shade less than $39K would have gotten you an excellent late-period Ditko SPIDER-MAN page. Not bad...

It's fascinating to see some aspects of the technique on these pages. I'm not sure if more recent reprints are better, but you can't see a fraction of the detail on the webbing or hair on the copies of this story I have compared to what you can see on the large scan.

http://comics.ha.com/common/view_item.php?Sale_No=823&Lot_No=42247&src=pr#Photo

May 8, 2007

--Link-- 1962 5-pager art

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Recently auctioned (for the bargain price of $28K), the full 5-page story "The Face" from TALES OF SUSPENSE #26 [1962]. You'll have to register to see the very large full scans, but it's worth it (and, if any of you are worried, I've been registered at Heritage for years and gotten no junk mail or spam at that e-mail address).

http://comics.ha.com/common/view_item.php?Sale_No=824&Lot_No=44105&src=pr

May 4, 2007

May 2, 2007

--Link-- Polite Dissent on H&D

0 comments
Scott at Polite Dissent likes Hawk and Dove. You can read his thoughts on the three Ditko stories:

Showcase #75
The Hawk and the Dove #1
The Hawk and the Dove #2

And continue on to the post Ditko stuff if you want his views on how the characters have been handled since.

Ghostly Tales #148 [1981]

1 comments
Almost ten years and over 50 issues later, and that guy is still running. And that wolf is still laughing. Digging up this cover from GHOSTLY TALES #94 [1972] in their later years, Charlton flipped it around and reduced the story title to fit the UPC code, and removed the original figure and narration from Mr. Dedd. Still a nice eye-catching cover.


Scary Tales #42 [1984]

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Worst. Architect. Ever.

This cover comes from MANY GHOSTS OF DOCTOR GRAVES #34 [1972], drawn for a Ditko story in that issue that isn't reprinted here (so isn't in this particular series of cover-only posts). There was some text on the original introducing the "Ghostmaster" story, which is replaced on here with the giant spider in his web in the middle of the piece, and the UPC code covers up some nice work on the skeleton. Still, despite everything, a good cover to use as a generic one for this style of book, with a lot of the popular horror elements (ghosts, monsters, witches, shoddy contracting).

Ghost Manor #75 [1984]

0 comments
Figured I might as well finish off the series of Ditko cover-only books from Charlton with a few reprints.

This vertigo inducing cover comes from SHADOWS FROM BEYOND #50 [1966]. I think I like this version of the image better, thanks to the removal of the text labels. I also think the colouring works a bit better. Still a great image capturing the spirit of these kinds of books.

May 1, 2007

Haunted #46 [1979]

0 comments
This cover is a reprint of that from HAUNTED #6 [1972] (posted just minutes ago), flipped to appeal to readers of Japanese comics. Or maybe just to make sure the UPC code doesn't cover anything important. I think it actually looks better here than on the original. The ornate design of the chest really comes across.

Haunted #6 [1972]

0 comments
Not a great scan of this one, unfortunately, but Ditko's skill at shadows and emotion still come across.

See also, HAUNTED #46 [1979]

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