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.

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