November 20, 2009

Unusual Tales - Stranger In The Herd

"Unusual Tales", a series presenting Steve Ditko's comics from 1957 to 1959 that are in the public domain.

Prior to 1960, when the first Captain Atom and Konga stories appeared, the vast majority of Ditko's work was for one-shot stories, with no recurring characters (other than the interchangeable hosts/narrators for some stories).  Even when he did do recurring characters, he usually only did one story in a pre-existing feature (like Radio Patrol or Robin Hood [coming later]).

The main exceptions to that in Ditko's first decade are a pair of very similar horses...

BLACK FURY was a long-running western for Charlton, featuring a wild horse that roamed around the old west, protecting his herd.  Ditko did a few stories in three consecutive issues, BLACK FURY #17 [1959] is the middle of those issues and opens up with the 5-page "Stranger In The Herd", which you can see below.  Not too much to say about it, Ditko does a good job with the horses and overall setting, and page three has an interesting look where it drops out the panel borders.

More on Ditko's other regular horse soon.

Some links to check out:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work

New stuff coming out at a steady clip
Check out the fanzine DITKOMANIA
I'm sure the horses will get mentioned if that Ditko's animals theme issue gets done
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
Some Marvel stories from this era in the Tales to Astonish/Tales of Suspense hardcovers
Download public domain comics, likely including the one this story is from
scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click images to big-up.


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