December 30, 2014

Ditko in 2014 wrapup

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A pretty decent year for new and reprint Ditko in 2014. As usual, go here for the occasionally updated list going back to 2005.


Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko continued their publishing programs with three more of Ditko's 32-page series (#19 to #21), plus MR. A. #15 printing for the first time some stories done circa 1990 for an unpublished series. There were also two issues of Ditko's essay series THE FOUR-PAGE SERIES.

There were two issues of DITKOMANIA published during the year, #92 and #93.

Several notable reprints.

The Wallace Wood Estate licensed reprints of a few of Wood's major projects. The complete WITZEND includes the earliest Mr. A. stories, the first version of Avenging World and several short bits. CANNON includes Ditko's two stories from HEROES, INC. (printed two pages to a page to fit the landscape format they used for the bulk of the Cannon strories).

KILL THE FACE reprinted the three Ditko issues from the 1980s in colour for the first time.

Marvel had a bunch of reprints, mostly just reprinting stuff already available in multiple formats. There were also the usual pricey reprints of public domain material from various publishers.

December 19, 2014

Upcoming Ditko - #22 and Mysterious Traveler (Kickstarter link)

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Now on Kickstarter, the next two Ditko/Snyder publications. The series of original comics continues with #22, featuring The Madman, The Outline and P Masks, plus more. There's also a TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER comic, also 32 pages and featuring "new and reprint material".

New Ditko - #2oww1

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Now available, #2oww1 from Steve Ditko and Robin Snyder, the latest release of new material from the mind and hands of Ditko, featuring The !?, The Outline, The Grey Negotiator and more. Retailers that carry it should have copies now or soon, or you can order direct from Robin Snyder, details here.

November 14, 2014

New Ditko - KILL THE FACE

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Now available from Ace Comics are both a print-on-demand and a digital version of KILL THE FACE, collecting the three 1986-87 18-page stories by Steve Ditko (with Joe Gill, Frank McLaughlin and Rick Altergott), in colour for the first time, plus a 1944 short origin of the character by Mart Bailey and an introduction by DITKOMANIA editor Rob Imes, all under an Alex Toth cover. The digital edition is a 55 MB PDF file.




October 27, 2014

--Link-- #2oww1 Kickstarter ending

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Last day for the latest Ditko/Snyder Kickstarter for #2oww1, the twenty-first in Ditko's current series of comics, to feature returning characters The Outline, The Grey Negotiator and The !? and more (possibly something called "The ES"?).

September 28, 2014

--Link-- Ditko's #2oww1 Kickstarter

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Now accepting pledges is the latest Ditko/Snyder Kickstarter for #2oww1, the twenty-first in Ditko's current series of comics, to feature returning characters The Outline, The Grey Negotiator and The !? and more (possibly something called "The ES"?).

September 27, 2014

New and Upcoming Ditko - MR. A. #15 and others

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To catch up some...

Now available from Robin Snyder is MR. A. #15.  This contains two new Mr. A. stories, "The Best Deal" (20-pages) and "Exploder" (11-pages), that Ditko originally intended for the first issue of a MR. A. series solicited but unpublished by AAA circa 1990, the front and back cover for that issue and a classic Mr. A. page first seen on the back cover of the 1973 issue of MR. A.

To anticipate the inevitable question, I do not know the exact reasoning for the "#15" designation, but will note that the following 14 prior publications contained at least one original story featuring Mr. A. (many others contained single page Mr. A. features):

WITZEND #3 [1967]
WITZEND #4 [1968]
COMIC CRUSADER #6 [1969]
COMIC CRUSADER #7 [1969]
GRAPHIC ILLUSIONS #1 [1971]
THE COLLECTOR #26 [1972]
COMIC CRUSADER #13 [1972]
SENSE OF WONDER #11 [1972]
MR. A #1 [1973]
MR. A #2 [1975]
COMIC CRUSADER STORYBOOK [1978]
STEVE DITKO'S 176-PAGE PACKAGE HEROES [2000]
DITKO CONTINUED... [2009]
OH, NO! NOT AGAIN, DITKO! [2009]

And I thought I had posted about it before, but apparently not, so I'll just mention that #20 (or as I still like to call it, "#SNAKE FACE") is also out, with Miss Eerie, The Cape and more. It also announces the next book in the series, which appears to be called #2oww1 and will feature The Outline, The !? and The Grey Negotiator. THE FOUR-PAGE SERIES might have some more issues, and while I can't say for certain that more Mr. A. is in the pipeline, I will note that Ditko kept the "Coming: The Origin Of Mr. A." blurb on the last page of "The Best Deal".

August 20, 2014

--Link-- MR. A. Kickstarter last call

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Last day for the latest Snyder/Ditko Kickstarter, this one for Ditko's MR. A.  Check it out.

July 21, 2014

--Link-- MR. A. Kickstarter by Snyder/Ditko

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The newest Kickstarter from Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko, for a MR. A. project, is now live until August 20, 2014. $2300 goal, well on the way to that already. Note that unlike the last few Kickstarter projects, this one does have international shipping as an option, as well as an option to be listed in the acknowledgements for a nominal pledge without directly ordering the book, if you prefer to get it from another source.

June 11, 2014

--Link-- Ditko's #20 Kickstarter last day

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Less than one day left to pledge to the latest Kickstarter from Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko, for publication of #20, the next in Ditko's long-running series of 32-pagers. It's already past its target, so it'll be funded, and Snyder's been pretty quick about getting these out once they're funded.

June 4, 2014

Upcoming Ditko - KILL THE FACE collection

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After last year's THE RETURN OF THE ORIGINAL SKYMAN PENCIL PORTFOLIO #1, ACE Comics has a collection of Ditko's three issues of WHAT IS... THE FACE? from 1986-7 coming out, in colour for the first time, under the title KILL THE FACE with Alex Toth's cover to #3 up front and also available as a mini-poster with pre-orders.

My previous post on the first issue is here:

What Is... The Face #1 [1986]




May 28, 2014

Ghostly Tales #75 [1969]

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This Charlton comic closes with the 8-page Ditko story "No Other Man". Mr. Dedd is our narrator, telling the story of the widow of Roger Wimm and her attempt to transform her lovestruck lawyer into a duplicate of her late husband for his ghost to inhabit. Very strange and cynical story, Ditko's in top form on the facial expressions which really sell the story.

This story is also featured on the cover of the issue, but that illustration is done by Jim Aparo, who does a good job on his version of the climactic scene.

May 26, 2014

Panels of Ditko

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That man might be crazy, but Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko will gladly take your money for new Ditko comics, now on Kickstarter.

May 16, 2014

Old goof-off bit by me

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Sorting through my files, I found this silly little thing I put together as a banner for the site when the Mr. A reprint came out a few years ago. Just wanted to post it here so I can always find it.



May 15, 2014

New Ditko - THE FOUR-PAGE SERIES #6

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Ditko's THE FOUR-PAGE SERIES continues with the sixth issue, featuring the following essays, now added to the master list:

“#28: Red Flag”
“#35: FP: Comic Book Fan Packs”
“#33: X's 'Idea'”
“#23: The Intolerable Other”
“#36: CC: The Caller and the Called”
“#30: Repeater, Spreader, Reinforcer”
“#37: Start & Finish”

“#28: Red Flag” also appeared in #9 TEEN (it's really short), the rest are new. More details on the contents soon. Copies are available  for $1.50 US, $2.50 International from:
Robin Snyder
3745 Canterbury Lane #81
Bellingham, WA
98225-1186 USA

More details on books available from Snyder here. You can also get copies of THE FOUR-PAGE SERIES in some tiers of pledges for the current Kickstarter for Ditko's #20.

May 14, 2014

New Ditko - DITKOMANIA #93

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Just in, DITKOMANIA #93 featuring everything you need to know about Ditko's early 1960s monster features Konga and Gorgo. Some great colour covers on this one and a lot to digest inside, including an article by Stephen Bissette.

Regular subscribers and backers of the Kickstarter should have copies soon. For everyone else, ordering info here, as usual, plus a few PDF copies of earlier issues.

May 12, 2014

--Link-- Ditko #20 Kickstarter from Ditko/Snyder

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Now ready to take pledges, Steve Ditko's upcoming #20 from Ditko and Robin Snyder. A somewhat enigmatic cover, but those familiar with the earlier 19 books in the series can probably make educated guesses about some of the contents.

May 7, 2014

Adventure Comics #468 [1980]

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ADVENTURE COMICS #468 [1980] has the 8-page Starman story "Uneasy Lies The Crown" written by Paul Levitz and drawn by Steve Ditko and Romeo Tanghal. This is the second chapter of the twelve issue run on the feature. This story is a bridge between the previous introductory story and the next, which provides the origin of the character, so there are a lot of hints about his connections to the Imperial royal family as he foils a plot gain control of the Empire in an impending coronation.

A solid story laying out some of the groundwork for the character, with Ditko showing off a few of the visual designs he did for Starman's powers and his world, plus a little bit more of the mysterious supporting character Mn'torr who appeared briefly at the end of the first story.

I'm pretty sure this was actually the first chapter of the story I read when it was originally published, followed by #470, and it would be a while before I got the chapters I missed, so I can tell you it was pretty effective in telling a satisfying complete story in each chapter while building up the bigger story.

This story was reprinted in THE STEVE DITKO OMNIBUS #2 [2011].



May 4, 2014

Many Ghosts Of Doctor Graves #1 [1967]

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Charlton's MANY GHOSTS OF DOCTOR GRAVES #1 [1967] closes with the 8-page "The Ghosts Of The Stone Lovers" (Case 372), which I think is the only collaboration between Steve Ditko and Pat Boyette (not including their separate art being mixed together in collages for covers and introductory pages and Boyette's introduction to the Konga reprint book THE LONELY ONE).

Sometimes Doctor M. T. Graves is just a host of these stories, sometimes he's an active participant. This is kind of half-way between, as he arrives in the aftermath of a ghostly encounter that left his friend, a curator of ancient Roman art, hospitalized.  The curator tells the story of his remarkable find of a stone statue of two lovers, and how it led to the lovers appearing to him as ghosts and telling about how they came to be cursed following Julius Caesar's murder. In a rather overly long epilogue to the ghost story, Graves investigates. I think that might just have been there to give Ditko/Boyette an excuse to render some more of the statues in the museum, which they do quite creatively.

Boyette seemed to pretty much follow Ditko's style, this story is pretty close to the other Ditko-inked ghost stories of the era, if it weren't signed I'm not sure I'd have had any reason to think it wasn't Ditko solo.

This story was reprinted in DR. GRAVES #75 [1986].




May 3, 2014

Ghost Manor #26 [1975]

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GHOST MANOR #26 [1975] from Charlton begins with the 7-page story "Curse Of The Kolukoffs" written by Joe Gill and drawn by Steve Ditko. Hosted by Mr. Bones, who sets it up as an essential story in the study of lycanthrophy. Set in the Ural Mountains, Baron Sergei Von Koulukoff is a werewolf who aids what I guess are normal wolves in hunting and terrorizing the local serfs. His lifestyle is interrupted by the return of his cousin Leonidas, an avid hunter determined to make the local wolves his prey. And, without spoiling it, kind of a silly ending, but at least it works out for the surviving serfs.

I do like that second page, seen below, with the vicious wolf attack, and the constantly sneering face of the Baron is a Ditko speciality.

This story was reprinted in HAUNTED #47 [1980].





Monsters Attack #3 [1990]

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MONSTERS ATTACK #3 [1990] is the middle of the five issues of this black and white magazine edited by Mort Todd and published by Globe Communications. In addition to some John Severin, Pat Boyette and Gene Colan in this issue is the usual Steve Ditko written and drawn story, the 5-page "Face It".

This is a nice little crime story with a science fiction twist that serves as a nice companion to two of Ditko’s major long-form works of the era, STATIC and THE MOCKER. In this, an inventor named Kuga uses his robot to kill Welson, a rich man who refuses to fund Kuga’s work, and steals Welson’s identity with another invention to get access to his money.  As you’d expect, Kuga soon faces a form of justice.

A great looking splash page of the various half-finished works in the lab, and Ditko’s renditions of the face-transforming mask is quite striking, both when it works as planned and when it goes out of control.

This story, like the other four Ditko stories in MONSTERS ATTACK and many fine stories by other artists, has never been reprinted. Yet.


Hm, why did I feel the need to add "yet"...

Strange Suspense Stories #47 [1960]

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STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #47 [1960] ends with the 5-page Ditko story "His Brother's Keeper". It features Peter Marsden, a once-renowned but now reclusive scientist, who once pursued a theory that ancestral memories were stored in the unused portions of the brain. We then flashback to the tragic story when he and his brother George went to Egypt to research the work of an ancient sorcerer which might validate his theory. Let's just say that they do, but immediate human tests on experimental drugs are never a good idea.

Odd little story, parts of it are really overwritten in scientific gobbledygook, but the ending is surprisingly subtle, letting the art tell the ending in a silent final panel. Ditko's art is excellent, this is one of his more detailed jobs from the era, with some really fine shading. As usual Ditko does a good job on the Egyptian imagery, and the ending gives him a chance to draw some more historical scenes, and he does a good job with that silent ending.

This story has never been reprinted.

The cover of this issue, as was the norm for Charlton at the time, is composed of interior artwork re-purposed for the cover, in this case a collage of images from the last two pages of this story.



May 1, 2014

--Link-- Last Call DITKOMANIA #93 Kickstarter

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Last call for the DITKOMANIA #93 Kickstarter for the next issue of Rob Imes' fanzine devoted to, well, it should be obvious from the title.  This issue has a focus on monsters, including Konga on the front cover and Gorgo on the backcover, the subjects of a good percentage of Ditko's work from 1960 to 1963.

If you're already a subscriber to DITKOMANIA, a Kickstarter pledge can be used to extend your subscription or get a digital edition with additional material.

April 29, 2014

Upcoming Ditko - #20

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As usual, new Ditko carries within a preview of the next Ditko:

Not sure if that's the final cover, or if those faces will be filled in. And I guess the title is "#20", but it could be "# SNAKE FACE".

April 28, 2014

New Ditko - #9 TEEN

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Now available, Ditko's #9 TEEN, the latest in Ditko's series of all-new 32-page comics. Returning features include The Madman, E (e) & I (i), The Hero, The Trapper, plus a few other features. There's also a very short new essay in Ditko's current series ("#28: Red Flag") and an acknowledgement of the Kickstarter backers.

Said backers should have copies now or soon. As usual, all the new books and various other Ditko publications are available directly from Robin Snyder, details here, and the new book should be available from retailers who order from Snyder now or in the near future (interested retailers should contact Snyder for terms, which are probably better than you get for similar comics from your main distributor).

April 22, 2014

--Link-- WITZEND preview

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If you're considering whether or not to get the upcoming two-volume box set of WITZEND, the publisher has an 87-page PDF preview available now, including the full table of contents for each volume and a few pages of the Ditko stories to be published, including the first pages of the two Mr A stories.

April 8, 2014

--Link-- DITKOMANIA #93 Kickstarter

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Rob Imes has a Kickstarter project on now for the publication of DITKOMANIA #93, the next issue of his on-going fanzine. If it makes its funding goal, this issue features at least 32 pages with a focus on Ditko's monsters, especially the Charlton movie spin-off comics of the 1960s featuring Konga and Gorgo.

Check it out, both print and digital editions available, plus other premiums for higher funding amounts. And as usual, subscription information for DITKOMANIA is over here.

March 29, 2014

--Link-- Last day for Ditko Kickstarter #9 TEEN new comic

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Just a quick reminder that it's now the final day to back the latest Snyder/Ditko Kickstarter and get a copy of #9 TEEN, featuring The Madman, with an acknowledgement of your support therein, plus other incentives for higher pledges. The subscription to Snyder's newsletter THE COMICS at the $60 and higher level is a great opportunity for those who have been curious about trying it.

March 13, 2014

Upcoming Ditko - WITZEND update

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Just a heads-up, it looks like the upcoming WITZEND two-volume hardcover set, featuring several key Ditko stories, will be $125 instead of the previously announced $95, in case that has an effect on your buying choices.  The price at Amazon still seems to be based on the older price as I write this, and I think their policy is to generally honour whatever the lowest price is between when you order and the books ships.

March 12, 2014

(Possible) Upcoming Ditko - Wood's CANNON

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Some on-line info for the upcoming reprint of Wallace Wood's CANNON (like this) now list Ditko as a contributing artist, which I don't believe was the case in earlier listings. That means that one or both of the two Ditko pencilled stories for HEROES, INC. might be included, although I don't know in what form, since the book is in a wide landscape format. If anyone gets a copy, let me know.

Edited to add, just saw Fantagraphics has a preview on their website that answers the question.  Both stories are included, but at two original pages per page:



I guess that's better than nothing, especially for the hard-to-find HEROES, INC. #2 story, but not really ideal. Maybe they'd make a good supplement in the upcoming WITZEND book, or a third book if there's enough other Wood material of the same aspect ratio and owned by the Wood Estate to package with these two stories at full size and the other Wood stories in HEROES, INC.

March 4, 2014

New Ditko - THE FOUR-PAGE SERIES #5

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Now available from Robin Snyder, Ditko's THE FOUR-PAGE SERIES #5, with five new essays:

#25: Choice: Either/Or
"The choice can result in something negative, unwanted, unearned, undeserved, penalizing or satisfying, positive, beneficial."

#34: Memory
"Can a man/mind with a claimed poor memory have any authentic, personal integrity?"

#32: With Everyone, A Free-Will Choice
"Everyone is a character in the now world's real life drama."

#24: The Eternally Fixated
"So most inhabitants are not supposed to be allowed to change, develop, grow, but remain unchainng, static, strictly conforming, obeying the planet's (MU [mini-universe]) need, wants, whims, ruling dogma."

#26: 4 tHe knot 2 BritE, rite
"For the not-too-bright in fandom, the ongoing root issue, problem, disagreement, conflict, is the understanding, the status and validity of individual and property rights."

List of Ditko essays
In-Print Ditko/Snyder publications and ordering information
Issues of THE FOUR-PAGE SERIES are each $1.50 US, $2.50 International direct from Robin Snyder

February 28, 2014

--Link-- Ditko #9 TEEN Kickstarter

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Robin Snyder has a currently running Kickstarter for the next new Steve Ditko comic, #9 TEEN, which as you'd expect is the nineteenth release in the series of 32-page comics they've released since 2008. Covers and titles of the previous issues of the series and other Snyder/Ditko publications over here.

This new one looks to feature The Madman, who has previously appeared in 8-page stories in:

DITKO PRESENTS [2009]
A DITKO ACT TWO [2010]
DITKO NO. 5 - FIVE ACT [2010]
ACT 8, MAKING LUCKY 13, THIRTEEN DITKO'S 32S [2011]
NO. 16 - SIXTEEN [2012]

Plus a few other recurring features from the last few years.

February 23, 2014

Upcoming Ditko - Wood's WITZEND reprint

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As previously mentioned, the Wallace Wood Estate has made arrangements with Fantagraphics to reprint the complete run of Wood's WITZEND, which included substantial contributions from Steve Ditko, including the first two Mr. A stories (not reprinted since 1985), the original version of "Avenging World" and some humourous single page comics, 37 pages in all.

It's scheduled for May of this year, the list price would seem to range from  $95 to $125 depending on the source.  The ISBN is 978-1606997444, you can order it from Amazon and for comic shops the order code from Diamond will be MAR141164.


WITZEND HC BOX SET WALLY WOOD
(W) Wallace Wood & Various (A) Steve Ditko
WHERE THE MAINSTREAM MET THE UNDERGROUND
When the formulaic constraints, censorious nature, and onerous lack of creator's rights in mainstream comics got to be too much for the brilliant cartoonist Wallace Wood in 1966, he struck out on his own with the self-published witzend. It became a haven for Wood and his fellow professional cartoonist friends where they could produce the kind of personal work that they wanted to do, without regard to commercial demands - and with friends like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Ralph Reese, Archie Goodwin, Angelo Torres, Steve Ditko, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Art Spiegelman, Don Martin, Vaughn Bodé, Jim Steranko, Jeff Jones, Howard Chaykin, Trina Robbins, Bernie Wrightson, and literally dozens more, it was bound to be a great ride! Now, Fantagraphics presents the complete run of witzend in this beautiful slipcased two-volume set with a special introduction by Bill Pearson and a history by Patrick Rosenkrantz.

February 12, 2014

New Ditko - DITKOMANIA #92

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Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Unless I've missed something, there hasn't been any new Ditko published work since the last update.  There have been the usual steady stream of reprints from other publishers, I've updated those I know about over here.

But just received in the mail, the latest issue of DITKOMANIA from Rob Imes. Among the usual mix of fan art and articles, Mort Todd writes about some of his work with Ditko, in particular Skyman for ACE Comics. Which I didn't realize had just been reprinted in a print-on-demand edition featuring Ditko's pencils, see details over here. There are also lengthy discussions about LASZLO'S HAMMER by Rodney Schroeter and Dave Sim and more.

Order info over here, as well as pdf copies of a few DITKOMANIA back issues.

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