December 16, 2009

Ditko in 2009 wrapup

Well, barring last minute surprises it looks like all the Ditko that's going to come out in 2009 is now released, so  here's the summary post, still in time for all your Winter Solstice gift exchanges.  Nothing says "thinking of you" like the gift of Ditko.

As usual, new books are listed as they're announced and released over here.  If you want details on the contents of any of these publications, I refer you to Brian Franczak's invaluable Ditko Fever site.

Very big year for Ditko releases, no less than 30 publications listed below. Biggest year for new Ditko comics since 2000, and among the reprints are many things that have never been reprinted before.

Most important, of course, was the continued release of material published by Ditko and Robin Snyder.  Three new comics, cover to cover Ditko,  plus a gorgeous reprint of a Ditko classic, the 1973 MR. A. comic. We should see some more in 2010, with one new comic (A Ditko Act Two) already announced.

Oh No! Not Again, Ditko! [Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko]
Ditko Once More [Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko]
Ditko Presents [Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko]
Mr. A. [Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko]

There were also a few Ditko essays in the year.  One in the usual forum for such things, Robin Snyder's monthly newsletter, and one available online (courtesy of Batton Lash).  Some interesting reading in those.

"The Ever Unwilling" in The Comics v20 #3 [Robin Snyder]
"The Ever Unreachable" [Big Hollywood, original on-line essay, no longer on-line]

And for Ditko from the fan perspective, Ditkomania continues to come out at an even faster rate than its already generous bi-monthly schedule (plus with some extra-sized issues this year).  You get a focus on a wide variety of Ditko work in the 2009 issues, from some of his most popular works to largely overlooked periods, plus reviews of the new Ditko material and some nice fan art.  Doesn't look like editor/publisher Rob Imes is going to slow down much in 2010, so order some back issues and subscribe now.

Ditkomania #70-76 [Rob Imes]

Part of Dark Horse's business model now seems to be in picking up the rights to some old comics from publishers who are either no longer around or whose licenses to that material has lapsed, and got some Ditko in the deal.  Their second book of Marvel's Indiana Jones comics of the 1980s only has Ditko's first story, so their upcoming third volume should have his remaining seven.  And along with the second volume of Creepy from last year, all sixteen of Ditko's stories for Warren (most with Archie Goodwin) are now in print, spread across five $50 hardcovers.  A few upcoming books will, oddly, reprint full issues that contained reprints of earlier issues, so expect some redundant Ditko in those.  And yes, I know, you want to see a single all-Ditko book with all sixteen stories. Tell it to Dark Horse.

Indiana Jones Omnibus: The Further Adventures #2 [Dark Horse]
Creepy Archives #3 [Dark Horse]
Creepy Archives #4 [Dark Horse]
Eerie Archives #1 [Dark Horse]
Eerie Archives #2 [Dark Horse]

Big thing for Marvel this year was the new softcover line of Masterworks. It's all stuff that's been reprinted multiple times in multiple formats in the last few years, but still, nice affordable books.  The first Spider-Man volume does have some photos of the recently made publicly available artwork to Amazing Fantasy #15. Anyway, expect a few more volumes with Ditko content in 2010, most importantly Spider-Man v4 and Doctor Strange v1 (sadly they'll probably follow the lead of the hardcover for that and stop short of Ditko's full run).

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man v1 Tradepaperback [Marvel]
Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man v2 Tradepaperback [Marvel]
Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man v3 Tradepaperback [Marvel]
Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk v1 Tradepaperback [Marvel]
Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four v2 Tradepaperback [Marvel]

Some stray Ditko in a few other Marvel books did manage to include a few minor but previously unreprinted works, like a Speedball story in that Pet Avengers books.

What If? Classic v6 [Marvel]
Pet Avengers Classic [Marvel]
Spider-Man: The Sinister Six [HC] [Marvel]
Marvel 70th Anniversary Collection [Marvel]

And lastly, various publishers continued or began reprinting copyright free Ditko stories, mostly from Charlton.  What a strange idea...  Anyway, some overlap among these books, and with prior reprints, I again refer you to Ditko Fever which has or soon will have full contents details with for each book.

Steve Ditko: Edge of Genius [Pure Imagination]
The Art of Steve Ditko [IDW]
Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives [FBI]
Crypt of Horror #6 [AC Comics]

Expect some more of that going on in 2010.

One thing we didn't see in 2009 was a reprint of Ditko's Creeper stories from DC.  A black and white volume, which wouldn't have included all of Ditko's 1970s stories, was on DC's long-range schedule for a while, but pulled in favour of a full colour hardcover which should come out in 2010, and which will include not only all of the officially published Ditko stories but the story intended for Showcase #106 which fell victim to the DC Implosion.  Sadly, looks like they'll be printing it in black and white, but still, a complete Ditko Creeper book.

Ditko was also missing from the hardcover Marvel Masterworks line in 2009, but next year he'll at least be represented with various shorts in the third Tales to Astonish book.

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