Steve Ditko has died. A real comics legend. Great storyteller, imagination, and very individual and dynamic art style.
I looked through my Ditko comics yesterday to scan and post in tribute. Click images for larger views.
I'm not sure when I first saw his art. He was always around.
In the late 1970s a paperback book was released with the first six Hulk comics reprinted therein. Maybe that was the first thing for me:
(That's sellotape holding together this well thumbed copy).
There were many 1960s Marvel comics being reprinted in the UK and the US as the 1970s went into the 1980s, so I was exposed to both eras of work from Ditko.
Here's another Hulk story from the 1980 Hulk Annual:
The British Spider-Man Summer Special was a black and white reprint of the 1960s Sinister Six story. This remains a favourite of mine:
Also in the UK, Alan Class was reprinting 1950s work from Ditko. In Sinister Tales, I read Grulla:
A fascinating story was presented in Strange Tales, Dragon Lord:
Marvel US were also reprinting Ditko Spider-Man in their Marvel Tales series:
In 1984, Marvel UK started their Transformers comic. The back up story was Machine Man:
Ditko drew a good few Indiana Jones comics:
And was regular artist on Rom; comics based on a robot toy:
Here's Daredevil from 1986:
Ditko drew a new superhero comic for Marvel in 1988, Speedball:
The same year, a new number 1 issue of "What If?":
So as you can see, Ditko was still very much a current artist at Marvel.
In 1993, he did a one-off comic at Dark Horse, "The Safest Place":
It was the late 1980s before I started frequenting comic shops. The search for back issues was given a considerable boost by this. Here are some of the Ditko goodies I've picked up over the years.
Ditko's Doctor Strange is wonderful:
Destructor from Atlas Comics, 1975:
Not often you see Ditko draw Batman. Here he is in Man-Bat, 1975:
I liked the Micronauts comics by Michael Golden, and the annuals drawn by Ditko were a nice variation on the characters:
Charlton were good about aiming their comics at fans. They'd label them, "All Ditko Art" on the covers. This is from "Giant from the Unknown" in Monster Hunters, 1978:
Another landmark character from Ditko was The Question. This is from a 2000 reprint edition:
The Missing Man, from Pacific Presents, 1982:
A Black Lightning solo story from The Outsiders, 1986:
Static, from Eclipse Monthly, 1983:
An older one from 1967. Captain Atom:
The Ditko comic I bought most recently was last month. An issue of Jack Kirby's Secret City Saga from 1993:
I saw the news of his death Friday night as it was first announced, and involuntarily let out an audible "no".
It was the Hollywood Reporter article ("published 2 minutes ago"). I went to his wiki page to see his birth date listed as if he was still with us.
Refreshed a minute or two later and there was his date of passing added. Gone.
R.I.P. Steve Ditko.