May 16, 2009

It Stalks the Public Domain - Car Show

Continuing a look at early Ditko stories. See for the list.

A rare early Ditko foray into humour, with the 3-page "Car Show" from Charlton's FROM HERE TO INSANITY #10 [1955], one of many humour comics to pop up in the wake of the success of Kurtzman's MAD. Nothing really hilarious in the script, maybe if I was more familiar with cars of that or any other era I'd get it. Ditko does have a lot of nice touches in the art, like his signature being attached to the first panel with a paperclip, that charred panel, the slashed panel.

By the way, if you think that the pages might be out of order, you're not alone. They actually appeared with that charred panel last in the recent reprint in STEVE DITKO: EDGE OF GENIUS, and that actually made more sense to me than this order. Thanks to Nick Caputo for confirming that the order below is indeed the order it appeared in the original comic.

Ditko also does the unrelated cover to this issue.

In addition to being a genre oddity for Ditko, this comic is also a bit of a scheduling oddity. It's dated June, 1955, and is the only comic book with Ditko art to have a 1955 cover date, following a very prolific 1954. The last work Ditko had published before this was a cover 6 months earlier, and the last story was 10 months earlier. His work wouldn't show up again for another 10 months, and that would be for his first brief stint at Marvel, he wouldn't have another story in a Charlton comic until early 1957. So it's not really clear if this was a story (and cover) that just sat in inventory for a while (the comic book industry was in considerable turmoil at the time, this is also the first "post-Code" Ditko story) or if Ditko did indeed draw it in the middle of a period where, for whatever reason, he didn't do any other comics.

Click images, you know the drill.


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 some Ditko comics go over here for ordering info on his available creator owned material co-published with Robin Snyder (new book coming soon) and head over here for info on all recent and upcoming books with Ditko from all publishers (some better than others). And be sure to check out DITKOMANIA, the Ditko fanzine, currently running bi-monthly and with some great art and articles.

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