December 25, 2008

Ditko in 2008 wrapup


2008 was a pretty major year for Ditko related publications, including new illustrated Ditko material for the first time in a while, some publications full of rarities and some interesting reprints.

The big news, of course, are the new publications from Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko, three of them, with some fascinating essays and commentary and some new fiction, including new characters and the return of Mr. A, with a promise of more in 2009.

The fanzine DITKOMANIA also made a return under new publisher/editor Rob Imes, getting out six issues (plus reprints of several of the original issues), including lots of obscure Ditko art, articles about Ditko's work and some great fan art, including original work by Michael T. Gilbert and Dave Sim. Also more to come, with another issue due next month.

DC only had one small Ditko publication this year, but it was notable for being previously unpublished, a New Gods back-up he pencilled for the ORION series circa 2000 wrapping up a collection of post-Kirby New Gods material.

Dark Horse began reprinting some of the old Warren material, and Ditko first shows up in CREEPY ARCHIVES v2, which has "The Spirit Of The Thing" and "Collector's Edition".

And in an out-of-left-field reprint, Valiant emerged from the ashes and we saw a reprint of the early issues of X-O Manowar, including one issue Ditko drew. I haven't been keeping up, have they announced any other books which would include Ditko? I think Shadowman is the only likely one, as it didn't sound like they had the rights to the old Gold Key characters like Solar and Magnus.

Fantagraphics published STRANGE AND STRANGER, which included three complete early Ditko stories, plus lots of Ditko art from throughout his career, likely including at least a few things you probably haven't seen before no matter how extensive your collection.

Marvel had a variety of 1960s Ditko reprints in their hardcover MASTERWORKS and OMNIBUS lines, including some previously unreprinted fantasy stories and a rare inks-only job over Dick Ayers.

2009 is going to have a lot to live up to, but looks to be a contender. In addition to whatever Snyder/Ditko stuff comes out, and more issues of DITKOMANIA, we'll have some reprints of Ditko's CREEPER in black and white (though looking like it won't include his late-1970s return to the character). The Dark Horse line of Warren reprints should have all 16 Ditko stories scattered through five books by the end of the year. Marvel will have softcover editions of their MASTERWORKS line, which at the current publication rate should include three Spider-Man volumes, one Hulk (inks on one story, full art on another) and one FF (inks only) in 2009. And it looks like we'll get some early public domain Ditko from various sources.

3 comments:

  1. What a merry Christmas indeed!

    This post comes as a true gift for Ditko fans, knowing that so much of his stuff--old and new--is on the horizon.

    I'm particularly looking forward to his new stuff, albeit it will be quite handy to have a Showcase reprinting his "Beware the Creeper" work, even if I already have the original issues.

    Of course, the greatest news of all is that Steve Ditko will continue to create new work -- The Outline, Mr. A, Hero, GN, etc. -- into 2009. As much as we Ditko fans appreciate his work of yore (and with good reason!), we must all crack out our checkbooks and support whatever comics he's creating TODAY, as this is what is most important to Steve, and this should be the priority of the true Ditko fan as well.

    A true artist is not satisfied milking his past glories, no matter how big they are (and, in Steve's case --BIG! Scratch that--THE BIGGEST!). He/she is not content to play that same old riff again and again. A true artist yearns to be constantly creating new characters, new works, expressing what he/she is feeling today, not yesterday, not a decade or four decades ago. And from his/her fans, not be beholden to repeat themselves for nostalgia's sake.

    Steve Ditko, my friends, is a true artist.

    -- Michael Aushenker
    Los Angeles, California

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  2. Merry Christmas, Mr. Ditko. You are the greatest of all time.

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  3. Just read a note on the Ditkomania list that "Oh, No! Not Again, Ditko" is out.

    The next Ditko comic coming is entitled "Ditko Once More".

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