Suspended Animation

Michael Vance - Mark Allen
Michael Vance Books

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Comics Legend Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko      The world is full of imagination, of wonderful glimpses into other worlds and times that lift our spirits out of boredom or even trouble.

      Born in 1927, comics legend Steve Ditko has added much to that wealth of imagination. Artist and occasional writer, Ditko rose through smaller publishers to the height of popularity in the early 1960s with his co-creation of Spiderman and his work on characters like Doctor Strange and The Hulk for Marvel Comics.

Steve Ditko      Best known as an innovative artist with a well-defined and firm life philosophy, Ditko did much to liberate static comic book page layouts through his innovative style of visual storytelling.

      It is impossible to know if his fresh style was the natural result of Spiderman's attributes or sprang completely from Ditko's mind. After all, Spiderman "does whatever a spider can" which includes hanging upside down from ceilings or from the sides of walls at wild, inhuman angles. Whichever is true, Ditko helped change comics pages of panels stacked like orderly building blocks into dynamic and ever changing visual dances as Spiderman swung head-down and butt-up through the canyons of New York City.

      That Ditko's distinctive style is seldom plagiarized is tribute to the power and singleness of his vision and  art.

      Ditko's work includes: Fantastic Fears (1953, Farrell), Black Magic (1953, Prize), Capt. Atom, Blue Beetle, Question, Gorgo, Konga, Black Fury, SF, war, weird stories (1953'68, Charlton), weird tales (1955-'57, St. John), Spiderman, Hulk, Dr. Strange and weird tales (1956-'66, Marvel), Noman, Dynamo (1966-'68, Tower), Nukla, Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes (1966, Dell), Creeper, Hawk and Dove (1968, National), and fantasy (1966, ACG).

      Ditko also drew for various Warren magazines including Creepy (1966-'68), Witzend (1969-'70), and created the philosophical character "Mr. A" for several magazines.

      The work of Steve Ditko is highly recommended.

      Some older comics are expensive or difficult to locate.  Price guides or comics dealers help. Comics shops, conventions, mail order companies and trade journals are good sources. Prices vary; shop around.

      Review by Michael Vance

  

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