April 25, 2011

Unusual Tales - Inside The Crystal Globe

0 comments

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

"Inside The Crystal Globe" is a 4-page story first published in Charlton's TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #11 [1959].  This is one of a handful of stories and covers from the era that are signed "J. Kodti" (or sometimes "Kotdi"). Not sure why the pen-name was used, but there is a slightly different look to the inking on this story compared to most Ditko work of the era.  A little sharper, less variation in line weight.  Anyway, not too much of a story, as the Traveler mentions in his introduction it's one of the rare times he chooses to intervene rather than just narrate.  The most interesting bit of art is the ghostly image of the Traveler in the crystal ball on the first page, that's really effective.


But before the story, some links:
Complete MISSING MAN book available
New issue out soon
Two big DC collections scheduled for 2011
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen

April 23, 2011

Unusual Tales - The Most Terrible Fate

0 comments

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

"The Most Terrible Fate" is a 5-page story first published in Charlton's OUT OF THIS WORLD #7 [1958]. In a post-nuclear war world of a thousand years in the future, a young man finds out that his parents have been keeping a terrible secret from him.  Kind of an over-wrought story with a twist you'll probably see coming, but the art is nice.  Note especially the good panel progression across the top of the last page, ending with a classic Ditko extreme close-up of the eye.

But before the story, some links:
Get the massive AVENGING WORLD collection, 240 pages of comics and essays, now
New issue out soon
Doctor Strange softcover MARVEL MASTERWORKS volume now available
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen


April 20, 2011

Unusual Tales - The Thing From Below

2 comments

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

"The Thing From Below" is a 5-page story first published in Charlton's OUT OF THIS WORLD #5 [1957]. An excellent monster story about a professor who goes around the oceans using an ancient formula that he believes is bait for a sea monster. Apparently he didn't think too far ahead, as the emergence of an actual sea monster scares him spitless, leading to a very 1950s ending. Some great work by Ditko, especially on that first page.

Though there's probably no way to verify it one way or another at this date, I wonder if the gorgeous cover to UNUSUAL TALES #6 [1957], a few months prior to this issue, goes with this story.  It certainly does fit, though the monster design is different, and there are more men on the boat, and they look more like recreational fishermen than researchers.

But before the story, some links:
Classic MR. A comic reprint available now
Chock full of fan art, article and Ditko rarities
1980s Deluxe THUNDER AGENTS reprint coming soon
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen


Unusual Tales - All Those Eyes

0 comments

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

"All Those Eyes" is a 5-page story first published in Charlton's OUT OF THIS WORLD #6 [1957].  It's a brief humourous story about a master of disguise who works as a spy, and what leads to his downfall.  Not a great story, but those familiar with Ditko's later work will see some visual themes that resonate, especially on the second page.


But before the story, some links:
DITKO PACKAGE featuring Shag still available
Subscribe and get back issues now
Unpublished Hulk/Torch story from 1981 coming soon
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen


April 19, 2011

Unusual Tales - When Old Doc Died

1 comments

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

"When Old Doc Died" is a 5-page story first published in Charlton's TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #6 [1957]. Another favourite, this is pretty much the dictionary definition of what would now be called a "Twilight Zone story", but two years before the TV show even began.  Very tight and compact story about a small-town Vermont doctor and his near-death experience, Ditko does a great job with it, especially the subtle changes in line weight for the different settings, and some especially good shots of Rod Serling the Traveler. Looks like there were a few lettering changes made prior to publication, I suspect to edit out the name of Doc's second destination.  I'm kind of surprised that they even got away with the explicit mention of the Devil in those early Code days.


But before the story, some links:
Full length STATIC and MOCKER graphic novels still available
Articles on all facets of Ditko's career
Complete CREEPER hardcover now available
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies


Click to embiggen


April 18, 2011

Unusual Tales - Manana

0 comments

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

"Manana" is a 2-page story first published in Charlton's OUT OF THIS WORLD #9 [1958]. Just a quick little morality play more than a story, but very enjoyably brought to life by Ditko, it's always been among my favourite of his 1950s stories.

But before the story, some links:
ACT 8 coming soon
#84 coming even sooner
Reprint of SHADE, STALKER and other DC rarities coming not quite as soon
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen

April 17, 2011

Unusual Tales - The Man Who Stepped Out Of A Cloud

0 comments

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

"The Man Who Stepped Out Of A Cloud" is a 5-page story from Charlton's OUT OF THIS WORLD #5 [1957]. A gorgeous looking story, really showing off some of the best aspects of early Ditko, from the use of shadows to the expressive faces to the weird alien designs, and some really good Ditko hands and ties.  The story itself, well, has kind of a creepy subtext read in modern times, which probably wasn't intended and wouldn't have been seen fifty years ago, but is pretty decent.

But before the story, some links:
ACT 7, the twelfth of Ditko's current series, now available
New issue immenent, subscribe today
Potentially all of Ditko's DC work in-print by the end of 2011
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen


April 13, 2011

Upcoming Ditko - Act 8

0 comments
...or to give it what looks to be the full title, ACT 8 MAKING LUCKY 13, THIRTEEN, DITKO'S 32S.  That's the next new Ditko in the series, and as you can see from the cover, we get some Grey Negotiator and some Madman, plus a classic Ditko visual motif in that close-up of the eyes.  Coming soon, ordering details over here for this and previous Ditko works in print.

April 12, 2011

Upcoming Ditko - Strange Tales reprint and random Spider-Man

0 comments
Pair of reprints from Marvel. There's a Spider-Man reprint mini-series which apparently reprints some random selection of comics, with the fourth issue it has three issues of the Ditko run for a good price, if you're looking for a Ditko-era Spider-Man sampler. And for the first time the Marvel Masterworks line gets to one of Ditko's seventeen stories from his first run at Marvel, with the 4-page never reprinted "The Great Experiment" from STRANGE TALES #46 [1956].  Unfortunately Ditko's stories were so scattered that they'll be spread out among almost seventeen different books in this format.

SPIDER-MAN: WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY #4 (of 7)
Written by STAN LEE
Pencils & Cover by STEVE DITKO
Silver Age Spidey classics! Spider-Man makes his crime-fighting debut as he tries to join the Fantastic Four — but will he survive his inaugural battle with the Chameleon? Then, Dr. Octopus returns, madder than ever — and Spider-Man must face the stinging wrath of the Scorpion! Relive the magical collaboration of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in this trio of masterworks from the Marvel Vault! Collecting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #1 (from MARVEL MASTERWORKS: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 1 TPB), #11 (from MARVEL MASTERWORKS: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 2 TPB) and #20 (from MARVEL MASTERWORKS: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 3 TPB).
72 PGS./$3.99

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: ATLAS ERA STRANGE TALES VOL. 5 HC
Written by VARIOUS
Penciled by VARIOUS
Cover by JOE MANEELY
From the dark heart of the Atlas Era comes another dose of bizarre and exciting STRANGE TALES! Crafted by a host of the most talented illustrators to ever grace the comic-book page — from early work by Steve Ditko to accomplished efforts by Bill Everett — each story is a page-turning pleasure from the days when comics were as frightful as they were delightful! A heaping helping of bug-eyed aliens, unexplored caves, time machines, mermaids and atomic bombs will prove to you there’s a taste of something for everyone with a penchant for the fearsome and the fantastic. And with an in-depth introduction by noted Atlas scholar Dr. Michael J. Vassallo, there’s no other place where comics’ most contentious era is presented and studied in such detail as here. So reserve your copy today, and march on with the MARVEL MASTERWORKS!
Collecting STRANGE TALES (1951) #40-48.
248 PGS./$64.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-5016-9

April 2, 2011

Upcoming Ditko - More on Hulk/Torch

0 comments
Couple of updates on the recently announced HUMAN TORCH & HULK: FROM THE MARVEL VAULT #1.

If you haven't followed the comments on the original post M. W. Gallaher posted a link to a 1981 fanzine news page that mentions the story, confirming it was intended for MARVEL TEAM-UP, and also mentioning a Moon Knight story by Jack C. Harris and Ditko that's also never been published.

And JCH himself popped in with a few details about the story.

And not confirmed, but I've been told Karl Kesel is indeed inking the story, in addition to scripting it.

Also, the original posted price of the special was incorrect.  It'll be $2.99, not $3.99.

And it looks like the story will be included in the tradepaperback FROM THE MARVEL VAULT in the fall, along with the already published Stern/Vokes Doctor Strange story, a Thunderbolts story and maybe one or two other one-shots which haven't been announced yet, in case you want to wait a few months and get it in that format.

Followers