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Author Topic: RIP Steve Ditko
dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1519
Post RIP Steve Ditko
on: July 7, 2018, 12:25

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/07/obituaries/steve-ditko-dead-spider-man.html

Hireling
Superhero
Posts: 45
Post Re: RIP Steve Ditko
on: July 7, 2018, 21:49

Nothing to say but thank you, and I never got the chance to say it in person. 🙁

bkadams
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 589
Post Re: RIP Steve Ditko
on: July 9, 2018, 14:16

If you haven't seen "In Search of Steve Ditko" you may want to check it out.

Tempest
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 398
Post Re: RIP Steve Ditko
on: July 9, 2018, 19:00

Have to echo Hireling's sentiment. I've got the first three Marvel Masterworks featuring Spider-Man on my shelf, and have gone back over and over again to appreciate Mr. Ditko's work on Amazing Fantasy #15, in addition to the retinue of material he provided following that.

I will also echo Alan Moore's statement that, regardless of whatever ideological bent he assumed over the last forty years or so, there's nothing but congratulations for the courage and commitment that went into creating characters like The Question and Mr. A, and the viewpoints that they espoused and encapsulated. I understand that Mr. Ditko's nephew (carrying the same given and surname as his uncle) has also taken on comic book artistic work; my sincere hopes that this person finds success and carries on the artistic innovation that his uncle did. Steve Ditko: All thanks, all best, and all best wishes on the journey ahead.

dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1519
Post Re: RIP Steve Ditko
on: July 10, 2018, 18:34

I can definitely second the recommendation of the search for Steve Ditko starring Jonathan Ross.

That being said, personally I keep coming back to the revelation that the legendarily reclusive Ditko was apparently found in his studio/residence 2 (or more) days after he died. Is dying alone at 90, despite being a multi-decade icon in his chosen field, an indication of personal 'intellectual integrity' and/or the unique personality of an 'intensely creative' person, perhaps taken to an extreme" ? Or is it, rather, as I am now beginning to suspect, perhaps suggestive of long-time un-diagnosed personality disorder or other mental illness.

As a kid, i personally preferred the Romita Spider-Man, and the (similar) version in the classic 1967 cartoon, to the formative Ditko version. I once stumbled upon, and bought, a Mr. A publication from the 1960s or 1970s in a $1 bin at a comic book store, tried to read it, and found it so preachy and boring that I personally thought Ditko had moved beyond 'challenging' the readers to using his name as a lure to insult/abuse them. I am now reconsidering whether this was maybe the fruit of mental illness, and not purely 'challenging creativity' presented in an "uncompromising" way.

Lastly, i reflect back on how I don't think its ever been revealed publicly exactly WHY Ditko abruptly left Spider-Man in 1966, but then came back to Marvel in later years at least twice. But instead of doing new/unique/challenging work, he elected, apparently to do fill-in issues of Micronauts and Machine Man and ROM and Captain Marvel and Indiana Jones (to name a few titles with issues by him that I own personally).

His late 1980s "Speedball" was one of the last comic book titles I ever bought at a convenience store. i bought every issue. By that time, I was well aware of the Ayn Rand/Question/Mr. A/Watchmen connection, as well as his earlier work on Spider-Man and Dr. Strange and Captain Atom/Blue Beetle. I liked the title character concept. But in execution, the whole thing looked and read like it had been created by the staid 1950s father on "Leave It to Beaver" At the time, i uncharitably ascribed my perception to Ditko's age. (Back then, 30 years ago, when i was still in high school, 60 seemed like near-death.)

Now I find myself wondering whether, if he had been born 50 years later than he was, he might've received some professional help in a way that would've enabled him to further maximize his creativity and not die alone at 90 as a famous recluse whose best work had been done 50 years earlier.

bkadams
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 589
Post Re: RIP Steve Ditko
on: July 11, 2018, 08:43

I became aware of Steve Ditko rather late in life, only after getting a subscription to Marvel's online comics service. I read the early Amazing Spider-Man Doctor Strange, Strange Tales and became aware of, and gained an appreciation for, his art and storytelling abilities. I never read his later comics: Mr. A, Creeper, Hawk and Dove, Question, etc., and I never knew about the Ayn Rand stuff.

I do think I prefer his art on Spider-Man, showing him to be wiry and a very nerdy Peter Parker, over the far more muscular and smiling version done by John Romita.

There's an old saying about madness and genius running together and you're probably right about Steve having an un-diagnosed mental illness. What he did, quitting Marvel so suddenly, then living his life like a hermit, is certainly not normal.

He definitely influenced some major talents including: Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and even someone like Edgar Wright, who had a good tweet about Steve:

RIP to comic book legend Steve Ditko, beyond influential on countless planes of existence. He never truly profited from his comic creations that have lasted for decades, but his work will never be forgotten.

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