July 23, 2008

Cracked #221 [1986]

Most of the Ditko's contributions to the long-running humour title CRACKED in the mid-1980s were short untitled stories in the "Robot War" series, like this 1-page job from #221, written by Mort Todd. I'm not sure if "Robot War" was something that other artists did as well for the series or it was unique to Ditko. Anyone?

I've only read this one chapter, but it seems the feature is MAD's "Spy vs. Spy", only with robots. In this case, a large robot chases a smaller one, who has dropped a book on transforming, in the sense that those toys from the 1980s that just won't go away did. Seeing the book, the large robot knows to be suspicious of anything the other robot could be disguised as, and finding a gun acts accordingly. But wasn't quite suspicious enough.

Very cute gag, and Ditko's work sells it nicely. The artwork is on what I think is called duotone paper (of maybe craftint), a look seemingly favoured by CRACKED (especially their main artist John Severin), and Ditko works nicely with the tones, using them for some neat visuals with the sound effects and backgrounds.

1 comment:

  1. This is Mort Todd: Yes, Robot War was Cracked's attempt to emulate Spy v Spy and Ditko and I were the only ones to draw the strip.

    Ditko also drew a "Transdeformers vs Boltron" parody (also done in duo-shade) and a (non-robot related) "Blundercats" satire done in wash. Nice!



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