July 3, 2013


Just in from Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko, the latest in Ditko essays, THE FOUR-PAGE SERIES #3, with the following contents:

“#9: An Eternal Truth, Lesson Rejected”
“#10: The Fantasy Lifters”
“#12: For Good Or Ill”
“#13: Tsk! — The Still Unreachable — Tsk!”
“#18: Anti-Ditko 'Fans'”
“#17: …To The Last Drop”

[For the numbering, there were 10 essays total in the first two FOUR-PAGE SERIES publications (see here for list of Ditko essays), not numbered, 2 of them reprint and 8 original. On first publication, one of the reprint essays was labeled "The second in a new series of articles". So to answer the inevitable questions about what essays #1-#8 are, and if and where #11 and #14-#16 will appear, and why #17 is printed after #18: Your guess is as good as mine]

It's available directly from Robin Snyder, along with all the prior in-print Ditko publications from their 25 years of co-publishing.

Robin Snyder
3745 Canterbury Lane #81
Bellingham, WA
98225-1186 USA

SnyderandDitko @ icloud.com

Essays - The Four-Page Series (prices include postage, order direct from Robin Snyder)
#1 (part of The Comics v23#9) -- $2.50 US, $3.50 International
#2 -- $1.50 US, $2.50 International
#3 -- $1.50 US, $2.50 International
#4 (upcoming) -- $1.50 US, $2.50 International [featuring "He Should Have X@*#! Done..." and more]

Keep watching the comments, I'll pull out a key quote from each essay over the next few days.


  1. From #9: An Eternal Truth, Lesson Rejected, © 2013 S. Ditko

    "One should recognize, know the nature of public claimers. They are what they really are."

    "The too many still cannot tolerate any absolutes like black/white, A is A or hero/villain."

  2. From #10: The Fantasy Lifters, © 2013 S. Ditko

    "Contradictory claims can't both be true. One claim has to be untrue, false, a lie, with the relevant implications, consequences, for a deliberate deceiver."

    "Comic book fans accepting, believing, spreading, [Stan] Lee's unsupported claim reveals, exposes, a too willing self-blindness to facts, truths and honesty that dominates comic book fandom."

    1. The "Contradictory claims can't both be true." line reminds me of this part of Leonard Pitts' interview with Kirby. And note Kirby's use of the words "initial concept" and "credit for developing".

      PITTS: You say you created Spider-Man. How different was your initial concept from the Spider-Man we all know?

      KIRBY: My initial concept was practically the same. But the credit for developing Spider-Man goes to Steve Ditko; he wrote it and he drew it and he refined it. Steve Ditko is a thorough professional. And he an intellect. Personality wise, he’s a bit withdrawn, but there are lots of people like that. But Steve Ditko, despite the fact that he doesn’t disco–although he may now; I haven’t seen him for a long time–Steve developed Spider-Man and made a salable item out of it.

      There are many others who take credit for it, but Steve Ditko, it was entirely in his hands. I can tell you that Stan Lee had other duties besides writing Spider-Man or developing Spider-Man or even thinking about it.

      PITTS: So, you’re saying you had the original idea and presented it to Ditko?

      KIRBY: I didn’t present it to Ditko. I presented everything to Stan Lee. I drew up the costume, I gave him the character and I put it in the hands of Marvel. By giving it to Stan Lee, I put it in the hands of Marvel, because Stan Lee had contact with the publisher. I didn’t. Stan Lee gave it to Steve Ditko because I was doing everything else, until Johnny Romita came in to take up some of the slack. There were very few people up at Marvel; Artie Simek did all the lettering and production.

      PITTS: Now, Stan has said many times that he conceived Spider-Man and gave it to you and that he turned down the version you came up with because it was too “heroic” and “larger than life”-looking for what he had in mind.

      KIRBY: That’s a contradiction and a blatant untruth.

    2. BTW. People often get excited about the idea that Kirby said he drew up the costume. I think here Kirby is speaking in a general sense of the way he presented any character at Marvel. And while he didn't create the Ditko Spider-Man costume, he absolutely did create a Spiderman costume.

  3. Bob, I wonder if you have seen this page from an old issue of the fanzine The Web Spinner?

  4. That fanzine page, paraphrasing some discussions with Romita shortly after he began drawing Spider-Man, is interesting, mostly as a picture into how Ditko was talked about in the Marvel offices shortly after his departure (since Romita doesn't seem to be speaking from any direct interactions with Ditko). The other interesting thing is that Romita's account of a specific disagreement regarding the Green Goblin (Ditko wanting it to be Osborn, as he clearly planted clues for in the art, and Lee wanting it to be Ned Leeds) makes a heck of a lot more sense than the most commonly told version of that story over the years (Lee wanting it to be Osborn, Ditko wanting it to be an unknown, despite the evidence in the art), although it's still second or third hand that there was a disagreement.

  5. From #12: For Good Or Ill, © 2013 S. Ditko

    "And those outside who have no, or very little, actual knowledge of the one in the public eye, but want, need, to publicly redefine him - like with a movie of a novel."

  6. From #13: Tsk! — The Still Unreachable — Tsk!, © 2013 S. Ditko

    "These eternally childish whiners ALWAYS know best for what is right, good, for another.
    "Like little children, they demand that everything must please them.
    "If not, there will be the public whining, crying, complaining, temper tantrums and abuse of all kinds."

  7. From #18: Anti-Ditko 'Fans', © 2013 S. Ditko

    "So outside of my publicly doing comics at Charlton Press, Marvel, how do comic book fans actually know of my other interests, reading habits, my intellectual, philosophical level of understanding and competence?
    "Yet sight unseen, some claim, imply, even insist, they knew, know of, my abilities to understand technical material, abstract theories, pro/con problems, principles, etc."



Powered By Blogger