August 30, 2011

New Ditko - DC's DITKO OMNIBUS v1

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DC's THE STEVE DITKO OMNIBUS VOLUME ONE, featuring Shade, Stalker and various non-series short stories from 1966 to 1982, should be available in comic shops tomorrow. I'll have a copy soon, but anyone who gets one right away feel free to use the comment section here to discuss the contents and quality, including the obvious question regarding the last issue of Shade.

[update, confirmed that the unpublished story intended for Shade #9 is included, in black and white]

August 27, 2011

Upcoming Ditko - ESSENTIAL SGT. FURY v1

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Marvel has a big black&white collection of the first few years of SGT. FURY coming out in November. Lots of great artwork by creator Jack Kirby in the early issues, ably followed up by Dick Ayers, but for the purposes of this weblog the interesting thing is SGT. FURY #15 [1965], which has the 20-page story "Too Small To Fight, Too Young To Die", pencils by Dick Ayers and inks by Steve Ditko. Very attractive combination.

ESSENTIAL SGT. FURY VOL. 1 TPB

Penciled by JACK KIRBY & DICK AYERS
Stand at attention, soldier, and get ready for a super-size K-ration of the adventures of Sgt. Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos! Join Fury and his Howlers — with special guest-appearances by Captain America and Bucky! — as they battle Baron Strucker and his Ratzi hordes, bringing the action all the way to Hitler himself! This tank-size tome brings you such a heaping serving of WWII adventures that enough to whet even Dum Dum Dugan’s appetite! WA-HOOO!
Collecting SGT. FURY #1-23 and ANNUAL #1.
544 PGS. $19.99

August 24, 2011

Ghostly Tales #60 [1967]

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Two 8-page Ditko stories in this issue, both inked by Rocke Mastroserio, who inked quite a few pages of Ditko's work at Charlton in the 1966/1967 era, mostly Captain Atom stories but also a handful of ghost stories like these.

The issue opens with  "If I Had Three Wishes", written by Gary Friedrich, where an Egyptologist names Jason Partridge is rewarded for his interest in knowledge rather than riches with a golden scepter which grants wishes of riches, life and death. As in every story with such a plot, the wishes don't quite work as expected.  Not too inspired a story, and most of the artwork is just adequate, but there are some absolutely wonderful bits when Ditko is drawing the Egyptian statues and artifacts. Host Mr. Dedd's reactions to the events are also pretty amusing.

Closing off the issue is "The Ghost Mover", the tale of Howard Croft, a man who makes home movies of himself doing various death-defying stunts.  His latest plan is to set up some cameras in a house that's believed to be haunted. Again, not too inspired a story, and nothing quite as special in the art for Ditko/Mastroserio to show off their artistic chops at the Egyptian stuff in the first story. Mr. Dedd does seem to find it all quite amusing.


August 20, 2011

New Ditko - DITKOMANIA #85

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DITKOMANIA #85 is now available.  This issue concentrates on Ditko's work in black&white magazines, with well illustrated articles looking at all 16 of Ditko's 1960s Warren stories and all 5 of his 1980s stories for MONSTERS ATTACK (the latter article written by me).  Also in this issue are reviews of the newest Ditko releases, ACT 8 and the Hulk/Torch "Marvel Vault" story, plus the usual fan art, letters and more.

Single issue and subscription information are over here, and the Ditkomania mailing list is down this way.

August 9, 2011

Unusual Tales - Can This Be Real?

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

"Can This Be Real?" is a 6-page story first published in Charlton's MYSTERIES OF UNEXPLORED WORLDS #9 [1958]. A reporter named Eddie thinks he's got a big scoop when he snaps an infra-red photo of the FBI capturing a spy, but when he develops the picture he finds there's a bigger story in the two strange men in the background.

Clever little story, and a lot of great storytelling by Ditko.  In particular take a look at the bottom of page 3, a nice example of Ditko's work from the era, and a perfect final panel. A lot of good uses of the tall shape you get from the 3x2 six-panel grid.


But before the story, some links:
New edition of classic MR. A available
New issue on Ditko's black&white work out soon
Ditko/Wood STALKER in upcoming DC collection
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen


Unusual Tales - The Heel And The Healer

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

"The Heel And The Healer" is a 6-page story first published in Charlton's TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #7 [1958].  The Traveler narrates a brief parable about a snake-oil salesman down in Mexico trying to sell his phony cures when he runs into a real healer.

Entertaining enough story, but like a lot of these stories with hosts the more interesting thing is the variety of ways Ditko would draw the host.  I especially like the first image in this one, which has an interesting effect which I don't think Ditko used very often.


But before the story, some links:
Read fascinating comic-book history in THE AVENGING MIND
New issue coming soon
Will the Shade reprint include the unpublished issue?  Your guess is as good as mine...
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen


August 8, 2011

--Link-- Marvel Mysteries and Comics Minutiae

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Nick Caputo, who attentive readers of this weblog will know is the one most likely to correct me in the comments when I make a mistake, has just started his own blog, Marvel Mysteries and Comics Minutiae, and as you'd expect one of his first posts is about Steve Ditko, as I'm sure many in the future will be. Go read and subscribe in your rss reader of choice.

August 7, 2011

Unusual Tales - The Wrong Planet

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

"The Wrong Planet" is a 5-page story first published in Charlton's SPACE ADVENTURES #27 [1959]. This is the story of Rogul, a strange colourfully dressed man who appears on a city street one day, speaking an unknown language and not knowing where he is.  Fortunately one of the people on hand for his appearance is a linguistics professor, so we eventually get some answers, which only raise more questions.

Strange little story, Ditko does a good job with Rogul's attire, and we get one of those classic Ditko alien cityscapes on the final page.

But before the story, some links:
A DITKO #14 coming soon, Miss Eerie returns
Lots of great back issues with great articles and art
Almost every Ditko story for DC in print by year's end
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen


Unusual Tales - Live For Reunion

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

"Live For Reunion" is a 5-page story first published in Charlton's MYSTERIES OF UNEXPLORED WORLDS #5 [1957]. It's about a boy named Hal, whose parents vanish when he's young due to the appearance of some mysterious "Green People" and his quest to find out what really happened.

An entertaining story with some great body language and facial expressions by Ditko.  And check out the interesting bit on the middle tier of page 4, with a look at Hal's travels through the world in search of clues.  Very cleverly done, and very evocative of some later Ditko work as well.


But before the story, some links:
ACT 8 now available
New issue coming soon
Several DC hardcovers coming soon, Stalker, Shade, Starman, Hawk & Dove among contents
Scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click to embiggen


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