March 22, 2010

Unusual Tales - Secret Mission

"Unusual Tales", a series presenting Steve Ditko's comics from 1957 to 1959 that are in the public domain.

From the pages of TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #3 [1957] comes the 5-page Cold War drama "Secret Mission", as our fedora-clad host tells the story of a man who sneaks back into Czechoslovakia in order to gain some valuable intelligence for the west using his artistic skills.

While I sometimes feel that the "never reprinted" status of these stories is deserved, that's not the case with this one.  It's a well written story, with some clever twists, and Ditko just absolutely knocks it out of the park visually.  Every page has some strong work, starting with that great splash panel, with the shading on the dark clouds contrasted with the Traveler's face and the great foreground figure. One of my favourites from this era.

Some links to check out:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
Over a thousand pages of material available in crisp black and white
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
Next issue, Ditko's Women
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
 All of Ditko's work for Warren available, spread out in five books
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

Click images to exercise the freedoms that men like Jon Krakma risked their lives for:

1 comment:

  1. Nice work. one can clearly see the Eisner influence in this story.

    Nick C.