October 17, 2008

It Stalks the Public Domain - Cinderella

Continuing the series, bookmark http://tinyurl.com/ditko-stories to see them all.

You'd think it would at least be easy to answer a question like "What was Ditko's first story for Charlton?", but clearly those guys in Derby CT wanted to make life difficult for the people who would care about such things over 50 years later.

One contender is THE THING #12 [Feb 1954], likely released in late 1953. The other reasonable contender is SPACE ADVENTURES #10 (coming next week). Unfortunately, SPACE ADVENTURES for some reason went from bi-monthly to quarterly just then (then back to bi-monthly), so that issue is dated "Spring 1954". Thanks a lot, guys...

Unless more evidence turns up, I'm going to go with this issue, since I like it a bit more. Ditko did both the cover and lead story for this issue, so it would also be his first cover. And unlike in his stories for other publishers preceding this (unless I missed it in a corner somewhere), he signed the work, so I guess it's the first appearance of the name "Ditko" in comics, too. In fact, the cover is signed "S. J. Ditko", a pretty uncommon use of his middle initial. Hm, wonder when we'll first see his full first name...

Anyway, 8-page "Cinderella" is, obviously, a re-telling of the fairy tale.  Only this time, with vampires!  Pretty gory little story, with some unexpected twists.  Ditko's artwork is quickly getting much more confident and imaginative.  The bottom of page 3, with the demon horses pulling the carriage, is really good.  The vampire step-sisters killing their rivals on page 4 (the scene also used on the cover) is very creepy.

Most scans in this series adapted to my personal tastes from those found, and available for free download with registration, at the Golden Age Comics Download site. To buy Ditko comics and things on paper, go over here for ordering info on his available creator owned material (including his latest comic, DITKO, ETC...) and over here for info on recent and upcoming publications from all publishers, and don't forget to subscribe to Rob Imes' revival of DITKOMANIA, now accepting PayPal.

1 comment:

  1. great story! The ending not so much...but great concept!



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