Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Dia de El Ditko: Steve Ditko's birthday!

A very Happy Birthday to Steve Ditko, comic book creator extraordinaire!
(Mort Todd's colored version of his cover to DITKOMANIA #72)

Steve Ditko, as artist, is the co-creator of Spider-Man & Dr. Strange, and on his own has created such characters as The Creeper, The Question, Shade the Changing Man and his signature character, Mr. A.

 (Larry Blake's cover to DITKOMANIA #75)

Born November 2, 1927, Steve Ditko continues to create new comics, published by himself and Robin Snyder. His latest book was DITKO #5-FIVE ACT, featuring such characters as The Madman, The Outline and The Cape! At age 83 his physical output has slowed down, and he's not going to be drawing at the same level he was 20 or even 30 years ago. But his determination to create new stories, and publish them himself, remains for me a continued source of inspiration.

For the last year or two, I've been contributing to the DITKOMANIA zine on a regular basis. My most recent illustration was this one for their Halloween issue, featuring a review of Ditko's sole Tomb of Dracula story, published in the late 70s.

The fact that Ditko was born on November 2, the same day as my character Diego de La Muerto, a.k.a. El Muerto (which is also El Dia de Los Muertos) surprised me when I made the connection years ago. My first exposure to Ditko's work was back in the mid-seventies, with reprints of his early Spider-Man & Dr. Strange stories available in Marvel reprints at the time. His work has always struck me for it's combination of quirky cartooning and surreal imagery, combined with his knack for innovative storytelling devices and layouts.

Happy 83rd Birthday, Steve Ditko!

To order Ditko's self-published comics from the last 20 years or so, visit this page, courtesy of the Ditko Comics Web Blog run by BobH.

To order copies of the DITKOMANIA zine, edited & published by Rob Imes, visit this page.


Anonymous said...

What a great tribute, Javi!

I'm gonna re-read my Captain Universe issues of Marvel Spotlight to celebrate!

Anonymous said...


Very nice tribute to Mr. Ditko. Nice choice of art as well. I always enjoy your contributions to Ditkomania.

Nick C.

Javier Hernandez said...

Thanks guys. I always have time to spotlight Mr. Ditko's great and varied career.

Greenblatt the Great! said...

Nice tribute! Love that Mort Todd DM cover....

Yeah, reading those "Capt. Universe" comics is one great way to celebrate! So is re-reading "Beware the Creeper!" Man, how that got past DC's editors is amazing when you really look at that character and concept. Bizarre! Even for superhero comics!

Mort Todd said...

Great selection of the Master's Fine Art!