September 4, 2008

Plop #16 [1975]

The 6-page "Love is a Dandy", written by Steve Skeates and inked by Wallace Wood, is Ditko's only official contribution to Joe Orlando's short-lived but fondly remembered DC humour anthology PLOP, although one other story intended for PLOP, "The Gnark Is Coming, The Gnark Is Coming", with the same writer and inker, appeared in AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #13 [1976].

Rather strange little story about Hubert, a nerdy young man who has no luck with women so turns his affection towards plants, one day finding a dandelion which returns his affections (beating the human/vegetation relationship exploration of SWAMP THING by a decade). The exploration of the complications that ensue from this unusual pairing take up the next few pages (including the rejection of Hubert by Dandy's parents), until disaster inevitably strikes.

It's always good to see Ditko stretching fully into the humourous side, which often peeks out in his other work as well. There's some good slapstick and odd expressions in this story that re enforce the humour. Wood is always an interesting combination with Ditko. Heavy at points, bits of this remind me of some of his own humour work, but for the most part the Ditko pencils come through. I'm glad that on most important Ditko stuff he got to ink himself, but it's good to see some variety like this on some of the minor works.

Also of interest in this issue, a house ad for MAN-BAT #1, which would turn out to be the only issue of the series by the Ditko/Milgrom art team. Very nice image of the character, which outside of the ad I think only appeared in a smaller edited form on the text pages of MAN-BAT #1.

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