February 28, 2009

The Unexpected #190 [1979]

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Here's a rather unusual bit from Ditko's work at DC. During the "DC Implosion" some of their horror comics were cancelled (HOUSE OF SECRETS and DOORWAY TO NIGHTMARE) and the planned contents for them were placed in the new triple-sized "Dollar Comic" version of a surviving title, THE UNEXPECTED. This format not having ads, the introductory page was printed on the inside front cover, and in this case featuring the hosts from the two defunct books, Abel and Madame Xanadu.

This page was written by Mike Barr and drawn by Ditko, and is Ditko's only contribution to this issue. A slight gag, but Ditko puts his experience in drawing rooms full of mystic and arcane curios to good use, and the black and white reproduction on slick cover stock serves his work better than a coloured interior page would have.


February 27, 2009

New Ditko - Ditkomania #71

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DITKOMANIA #71 is now going out to subscribers and (along with the previous issues) available for order, and featuring a great cover by Neil Vokes.

See Neil Vokes' site for some of the background work on the cover, including sketches for several unused versions.

DITKOMANIA mailing list

DITKOMANIA ordering information

February 26, 2009

Texas Rangers in Action #77 [1970]

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While the vast majority of work Ditko did for Charlton in the 1970s was in the fantasy/horror titles, he did dip his toe in a lot of the other genres that Charlton continued to produce.

TEXAS RANGERS IN ACTION #77 [1970] has an 8-page Ditko story called "Enemy Ground", which opens up with the outlaw Lopez and his men gunning down ranger Hyte Tolliver in the streets of a small Texas town.  After the ranger's body is carried away, Lopez and his men continue to run roughshod over the town.  After they threaten the local barkeep, his daughter asks Tolliver (still recuperating in secret in a local widow's basement) for help, and being a gallant ranger he goes to confront the bad men, prevailing with some help from the barkeep.

Pretty standard story, but it's always good to see a Ditko western, the action and characters fit nicely with his style.

The cover of this issue is also partly Ditko artwork and part Pat Morisi, although just taken from the splash pages of their interior stories, as was often the style at the time.

February 25, 2009

Upcoming Ditko - Ditko Once More

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The next 32-page one-shot Ditko comic published by Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko will be DITKO ONCE MORE, out later this year. Not sure exactly when, but they've been coming out about bi-monthly so far.

Ordering info for all the in print RS/SD books is over here. I've also got the current list of issues of THE COMICS newsletter with Ditko articles that are still available (including all 16 parts of his 2001-2003 "Mini-History" of Spider-Man and more).

February 21, 2009

New Ditko - Oh, No! Not Again, Ditko

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From the Ditkomania mailing list comes new from Rodney Schroeter that he's gotten copies of the latest original Ditko book, OH, NO! NOT AGAIN, DITKO! Rodney usually gets his copies early, so those who ordered single copies from Robin Snyder (ordering info here, as usual) should be getting it soon. The next Ditko book, DITKO ONCE MORE, is also announced, so I should have the cover to that one available soon.

Oh, and Marvel recently released the first Spider-Man volume in their softcover Marvel Masterworks series, which in addition to the usual stuff includes the origin story shot directly from the recently unearthed original artwork. Over here for the usual updated new Ditko list.

--Link-- Isabella on Ditko and Ditkomania

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Go over here to read Tony Isabella's review of recent issues of DITKOMANIA and some notes about his own professional interactions with Ditko (including being offered the scripting job on SHADE and turning it down).

February 8, 2009

--Link-- Articles on Ditko's Question

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Pat over at the Silver Age Comics Blog has some extensive commentary on Ditko's The Question series, covering the BLUE BEETLE backups and the solo issue of MYSTERIOUS SUSPSENSE.

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