Monday, November 02, 2009

Happy Birthday STEVE DITKO (82 yrs old)

The co-creator of SPIDER-MAN turns 82 today!

Steve Ditko, whose comic career is now in it's 56th year, is getting ready to release a new comic book. This book, "DITKO ACT TWO", is actually the 6th comic book he's released since October 2008! He's published these with Robin Snyder, who he's been working with for the last 20 years, releasing almost 20 books in that time. Check out Bob H's excellent Ditko blog for most of these Snyder/Ditko books. Also, Bob has posted a really nice slideshow showing 82 b&w images by Ditko. I really enjoyed his selections, as you get a real good sense of the variety of work Ditko produces: humor, horror, action, violence and other cool, weird stuff!

Ditko has certainly left his impact on the mainstream comics world with his work on Spider-Man and numerous other characters (he designed the original red & gold armor for Iron Man that has been the basis of most versions of that character for 40 years). But his self-published work of the last 20 years is testament to his life-long goal of doing this his own way. Sure, there are several other examples of much more commercially successful self-publishers (Jeff Smith with BONE and Peter Laird's & Kevin Eastman's TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES), but I admire most of all the comic book artists who've ever worked. He functions purely as an artist (who chose comics as his voice of expression) who has something to say and does so without any other considerations other than telling his story. They may not be marketed with the most far-reaching business savy, or their appeal doesn't connect with the 'marketplace', but he's crafting the type of stories he wants to. And the fact that he's putting out more books in this current series tells us someone besides me is buying them!

Steve Ditko is working away in his studio producing new comic books. At age 82. He's not pausing in between pages to Twitter, or to add Friends to his Facebook page. He isn't scheduling his next podcast, or checking with his agent if Disney is going to greenlight a MR. A animated series.

He's just making comic books.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Ditko.

Okay, I have to go and Twitter this post...

1 comment:

Greenblatt the Great! said...

Well written, Javy! Amen to your Ditko tribute. And it's quite awesome that the creator of the Missing Man is not missing in action in the comic book scene.

From Spider-Man to Ditko Act Two, here is a cartoonist who has always marched to the beat of his own drum for sure.

Happy birthday to a genius!