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Ditko Lives!

Steve Ditko is alive and working in 2018.

If that name doesn’t ring a bell – he’s the trippy artist/writer behind Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, The Creeper, Hawk & Dove, Captain Atom, Speedball, The Question, yadda, yadda. He’s one of the greats.

Ditko self-portrait
Ditko’s self-portrait.

I’ve been bored with mainstream comics for a while now. I feel like a music geek who’s favorite band has gone mainstream. Super-Heroes™ rule the box office and the culture. If you think it’s reaching critical mass, just wait until all these little kids grow up.

But I digress into present tense.

So, I’m in search of new fertile territory, someplace that’s not been overrun yet. I’m on youtube. It shows me only the worst parts of my psyche reflected in algorithms and zeitgeist schadenfreude, but I make a break for it. I start searching for comic book vids. Not the angry ones they want to show me – where comic pros and fans bicker over sales and diversity, but the ones that share knowledge. I come across a BBC documentary from 2007 about Steve Ditko. It’s excellent (and pirated). Halfway through comes the shocker –  Ditko, one of the great comic book masters, is still alive and working out of a small New York City office. He’s friendly, but won’t appear on camera.

I pivot to the internet and do some research and he’s still working in 2018. His next book comes out in June. He’s gone all J.D. Salinger, except he still sells his work – quietly. I have my enticing new itch to scratch.

My inner geek feels better now.

 

******Update – Sadly, Steve Ditko passed away on June 29th, 2018. I was able to sign-up for his last Kickstarter Campaign and even recieved an emailed update from him on the 22nd. So sad. I’m glad I “rediscovered” him before his passing. He was one of the true Comic Book masters.

Published inMusings

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© 2019 by Maximilian Gray
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