September 24, 2010

New Ditko - DITKO #5-FIVE ACT

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Just released from Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko is DITKO #5-FIVE ACT, the latest 32-page original comic book from Ditko, featuring five stories, including returning features The Madman, The Grey Negotiator, The Cape and The Outline, and a new feature listed as "The W..." on the cover. Also a few single page features.

Over here for ordering information direct from Robin Snyder and all of their previous and future releases. Retailers interested in carrying this or any of the other Snyder/Ditko publications should contact Snyder for discounts and minimums, his wholesale terms have recently improved to the point that you're almost definitely getting a better price than similar publications offered through your main distributor.

I'll also have copies available, see here or check Ebay.

September 21, 2010

Upcoming Ditko - THUNDER AGENTS reprint

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DC has a new reprint format starting next month, 96 page specials for $8 collecting a few issues based on some theme or storyline.  The first Ditko in this format will be in December, a reprint of several of the old T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS stories from Tower.  Based on the description below it'll include the 10-page "A Matter Of Life And Death" from #7, with art by Wood and Ditko.  A good way to get a sampler of the original Agents if you didn't want to get one of those six $50 hardcovers.


DC COMICS PRESENTS: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1
Written by WALLACE WOOD, STEVE SKEATES and others
Art by WALLACE WOOD, GIL KANE, STEVE DITKO and others
Cover by WALLACE WOOD

As DC’s new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS series gets under way, relive these legendary tales from T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1, 2 and 7! Don’t miss the origins of the team’s members, the death of a lead character, and more!
On sale DECEMBER 29, 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US

September 9, 2010

New Ditko - Spidey/Strange reprint & Captain 3-D backgrounds

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The collection of the recent SPIDER-MAN: FEVER mini-series is out now, and in addition to the new Spider-Man / Doctor Strange team-up it includes the original Ditko variation on that theme from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #2 [1965].

Those interested in early Ditko might also want to take a look at THE SIMON & KIRBY SUPERHEROES, a new hardcover collection of all the superhero work S&K did for publishers other than DC and Marvel. Ditko, along with other artists, did some work on the backgrounds of the Captain 3-D material early in his career, and those stories are reprinted for the first time in here, in colour instead of 3-D.  Of course, that's the smallest reason to pick up the book, which also has hundreds of pages of other material, including the complete Fighting American.

September 8, 2010

Unusual Tales - Cover Gallery (1 of 3)

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

 As previously discussed, Ditko drew 20 covers for Charlton during his first stint there, published in 1954 and 1955. Ditko covers resumed in 1957, and he drew some great covers during the rest of the 1950s, mostly for Charlton, like the dozen below.  More appear in this post.

Note the the recent Ditko/Snyder co-publication THE COVER SERIES includes a dozen Ditko covers from the 1950s (none of the ones below), as well as a good sampling from the next 50 years of Ditko's career.

My comments on the covers below, click on the thumbnails or title links for larger scans


Some links to check out:
New material and classic reprints, including THE COVER SERIES
New issue out now
Slightly short of complete Doctor Strange colour reprint later this year
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies




STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #31 [1957]
Just small images from three of the interior stories on this cover, including one of the two Ditko stories inside, "The Man Who Could Never Be Killed". The other two stories aren't by Ditko, though he does eye-catching images to illustrate them, images which don't have much to do with the actual stories.

UNUSUAL TALES #6 [1957]
The cover is the only Ditko content in this issue, which is relatively uncommon in the 1957-1959 era compared to 1954, and it's unrelated to any of the interior stories. Just a great looking image, and very well coloured, one of my favourite 1950s Ditko covers.  There is a story which appeared a few months later, "The Thing From Below" in OUT OF THIS WORLD #5 [1957] does look like it could be related to this story (although with a very different looking sea-beast, but as seen in the previous cover the cover images weren't always representative).

OUT OF THIS WORLD #3 [1957]
A very simple and dramatic cover, unrelated to any of the Ditko interiors.  It looked really good in black and white on the cover of Robin Snyder's 1989 OUT OF THIS WORLD collection, where it was the first of these covers I saw.

STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #32 [1957]
A nice cover to go with the other dimensional abstract art masterpiece "A World Of His Own" appearing in this issue, some of Ditko's first work with some imagery we'd see again in later decades.

TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #3 [1957]
Ditko's first Mysterious Traveler cover, and an excellent one (someone else thought so, too...). Of the three stories promoted on the cover, only "Secret Mission" is by Ditko.  I have to say, I'd love to see a Ditko story titled "The End Of The Medium" based on that cover image.

UNUSUAL TALES #7 [1957]
An image for the Ditko story "The Man Who Painted On Air" from this issue.  While the interior story looks nice, the detail on the cover image is really a whole higher lever, whether because of the superior printing or the added importance given to strong cover images in that era.

MYSTERIES OF UNEXPLORED WORLDS #4 [1957]
An image to go with "The Forbidden Room", one of two Ditko stories in this issue.  Very nice detailed image.  I especially like Ditko's placement of his signature on this and many of the other 1950s covers.

UNUSUAL TALES #8 [1957]
Two of the three stories depicted on the cover are by Ditko, "Will Power" and "The Decision", pretty faithful to the actual stories, the other is a non-Ditko story.  Interesting that Ditko seemed to use a different technique for the shading on each of the three images.

MYSTERIES OF UNEXPLORED WORLDS #5 [1957]
This great cover doesn't really have anything to do with any of the five Ditko stories inside, though it does have some superficial resemblance to the lead story "Live For Reunion".  A shame, that looks like an amazing story.

STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #34 [1957]
Two of the four Ditko stories in this issue, "The Man Who Lost His Face" and "The Scar", appear on the cover, but while Ditko did do two stories in the 1950s titled "Escape" he did not do the one in this issue, though he did come up with a simple but strong cover image for it.  But the highlight of the cover is definitely the striking image for "The Man Who Lost His Face".

TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #5 [1957]
All three Ditko stories from this issue (none of them posted here yet) are represented on this cover, with images unusually consistent with the interiors, surrounding a very good image of the Traveler.

UNUSUAL TALES #9 [1957]
One of the four Ditko stories from this issue, "The Night Of The Red Snow", gets the solo cover image on this issue.

Some great covers, hard to pick a favourite from them.  I think either UNUSUAL TALES #6 or MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #3.  What do you think?

Unusual Tales - Test Of A Man

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

"Test Of A Man" is a 5-page story from Charlton's TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #4 [1957].

This is a short tale about Myron York, a zoo curator winding up a long round-the-world boat trip having trouble impressing the girl he's fallen in love with.  Fortunately for him, fate intervenes and gives him a chance to show his prowess against an escaped tiger on the ship.

Some good Ditko artwork on the menacing tiger, and I also like several of the Traveler panels in this one, like the second panel of page three.


Before the story, some links:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
New material and classic reprints
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
Halloween issue next
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
CREEPER hardcover now available
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 embiggen


September 7, 2010

Unusual Tales - The Conquered Earth

1 comments

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


The 6-page story "The Conquered Earth" is from Charlton's OUT OF THIS WORLD #4 [1957].

Alien invasion time, with a dramatic opening panel of the giant saucers attacking Earth.  The hero of this story is Hal Douglas, who gets sent out to meet an alien ship detected approaching Earth.  The green skinned aliens aren't overly friendly though, and it's up to Douglas and his fiancee Paula to figure out their secret.

The story fizzles a bit from the dramatic opening, but some decent work by Ditko in here.  Hal Douglas seems to be another one of those one-shot heroes looking for an on-going feature that pop up in these 1950s stories a lot.

Some links to check out:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
New material and classic reprints
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
New issue out now
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
Slightly short of complete Doctor Strange colour reprint later this year
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 to enbiggen


September 6, 2010

Unusual Tales - Flying Dutchman

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


"Flying Dutchman" is a 6-page Ditko drawn story from Charlton's OUT OF THIS WORLD #4 [1957].

Two sailors survive an attack on their ship, but the ship they hope will be their salvation turns out to be the Flying Dutchman of nautical legend.

Ditko did quite a few sea-based stories back in the 1950s, and it's easy to see from this story why he'd be assigned such scripts. He just does a gorgeous job with the ships, the waves and the period clothing.

Before the story, some links:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
New material and classic reprints
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
Halloween issue next
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
CREEPER hardcover now available
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

Clicky to be doomed to sail the seas for an eternity

September 5, 2010

Unusual Tales - Escape [1]

1 comments

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

"Escape" is a 5-page story from Charlton's TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #4 [1957], not to be confused with the later 4-page story titled "Escape" from UNUSUAL TALES #9 [1957], also drawn by Ditko.

This is the story of a former airforce pilot now working as a soldier-of-fortune in Guatemala and the adventure that led to the opening scene of him broke in New York with a devoted young servant.  A lot of story packed in these five pages.  One interesting bit, while most of the story is very text-heavy, that sequence with several silent panels on page two is really well done.

Some links to check out:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
New material and classic reprints
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
New issue out now
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
Slightly short of complete Doctor Strange colour reprint later this year
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 to enbiggen



September 3, 2010

Unusual Tales - Operation Blacksnake

1 comments

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




"Operation Blacksnake" is a 5-page Ditko story from TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #4 [1957].

This time around the Traveler sticks his giant head behind a story with less fantasy overtones than usual, as he tells us the tale of an American soldier called Sarge who is sent into the desert to defend an oil pipeline with only seven men against a anticipated strike by five hundred.

A very intense story with Ditko's art very much matching that mood, doing a great job with the Arabian clothing, the desert setting and the camels and horses.

Before the story, some links:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
New material and classic reprints
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
Halloween issue next
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
CREEPER hardcover now available
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

Clicky to biggy



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