Another dose of early Ditko.
BLACK MAGIC was a horror anthology published by Prize and begun in 1950 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, still the editors at the time BLACK MAGIC #27 [v4n3] was published, dated November-December 1953. It's the first of three consecutive issues with a story by Steve Ditko early in his career, probably drawn after the three previous entries in this series, though this one was probably (with the usual caveats about cover dates) published before some of them. In addition to his solo stories, Ditko also assisted Mort Meskin on inking the background of the Jack Kirby pencils for CAPTAIN 3-D #1 around this time, and likely some other unpublished 3-D comics.
The 6-page "A Hole in His Head" is a good example of early Ditko, already getting to a distinctive style, but a bit rough around the edges. Compare the not-very-convincing rain effect on several pages, something Ditko would excel at soon enough. And is that a real gun there on the last panel of page 3? Still a lot worth looking at, the neanderthal man is really good, and some of the faces are very evocative.
The last page of the story has a rather unsightly ad where there could have been another panel of story. Since it's long out of date, I've replaced it below with an ad which might be of more interest.
Most scans in this series adapted to my personal tastes from those found, and available for free download with registration, at the Golden Age Comics Download site. To buy Ditko comics and things on paper, go over here for ordering info on his available creator-owned works to see the opposite end of his career and over here for info on recent and upcoming publications that cover everything in between.
Comments welcome, and if you have a site of your own I wouldn't mind a link to these posts if you think your readers will enjoy them. I'm more likely to continue them if there's some evidence that people are reading them.
Don't squint trying to read these thumbnails, click and enjoy the embiggened versions.