November 25, 2009
Unusual Tales - Forever And Ever
"Unusual Tales", a series presenting Steve Ditko's comics from 1957 to 1959 that are in the public domain.
There are a lot of hints of an Eisner influence in Ditko's early work, but I don't think I've ever seen it more clearly than in the art for this story. It's perhaps not a coincidence that elements of the plot in this story would also fit in well with Eisner's Spirit stories. A hobo straight out of Eisner central casting tells the story of a stranger he met on the road, who told an unbelievable story about being 400 years old, as a result of a formula he took as the apprentice of an Italian alchemist centuries ago which granted immortality, but with a curse. A very enjoyable story, definitely a notch above the standard for these tales, with very good art by Ditko, very distinctively his work of the era even with the influences showing through.
Some links to check out:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
News on upcoming releases expected soon
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
Lots of great reading in those back issues, stock up now
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
Brand new essay on-line now
Download public domain comics, likely including the one this story is from
scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies, plus, did you know, there are actually comics done by people other than Ditko? I know, it surprised me, too!
Click images to enjoy the full-sized sequential art