Legendary comic book artist Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man and the creator of Dr. Strange, has long been an adherent of Ayn Rand’s so-called Objectivism. I read both Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead in college, while studying for my B.A. in Economics, and I think Rand’s ideas are ludicrous, but I enthusiastically support Ditko’s work.
The Ditko Public Service Package on Kickstarter, run by Robin Snyder, Ditko’s publisher, is reprinting an unusual book that came out over twenty years ago. The campaign has two more weeks to go, and I am very pleased that the fund has more than the $4900 that’s needed for the project. I contributed $106, with the extra six bucks for shipping.
With all of the publicity surrounding the new Spider-Man movie, I assumed my posts featuring In Search of Steve Ditko would get some more hits, and they are, but now there’s a much better copy available of the 2007 BBC documentary by Jonathan Ross.
A long time ago, my world would have been rocked by the news that Disney is buying Marvel. Today the news interests me greatly, but I can’t think of any way that the purchase will have an effect on me personally.
The picture above of Stan Lee is noteworthy, because he’s standing next to Steve Ditko’s unpublished cover for “Amazing Fantasy” #15, the 1962 comic book that introduced Spider-Man. A similar drawing by Jack Kirby was used instead. In my opinion, Jack’s style didn’t suit the character, and I assume Stan felt the same way, because after that first cover he rarely had Jack draw Spidey. Jack included Spider-Man in his 1969 Marvelmania self-portrait, and even at the time that seemed wrong to me.
One of the most reliable hit-getters for this site is the BBC documentary, “In Search of Steve Ditko.” At this link you will find Stan talking about Ditko’s insistence that he is the co-creator of Spider-Man.
Stan is always lavish in his praise of the artists who worked for him in the Marvel Bullpen, and that’s great. Stan absolutely deserves everything he has received in money and recognition, and he has received a lot of both:
Lee sued Marvel, claiming he was owed profits from the Marvel films that had started to take Hollywood by storm. The suit was eventually settled with Lee reportedly getting a settlement of more than $10 million.
But if Stan deserves the money and credit he has received, Steve Ditko deserves some of the same. With the BILLIONS of dollars now on the table, Ditko should get a million bucks and co-creator status for Spider-Man. Without the latter, it seems he won’t accept the former.
Something I meant to mention months ago is the anonymous donation to the Library of Congress of the original art to the 1962 comic book Amazing Fantasy #15. That particular issue includes the first appearance of Spider-Man, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
And a few months ago a new book about Ditko came out from Fantagraphics, the outfit that is handling The Complete Peanuts. (Here’s the set I’m hoping to get from Santa this year.) STRANGE AND STRANGER The World of Steve Ditko, by Blake Bell, rated a review in the New York Times.