Thursday, 17 November 2016

THE STRANGE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO...



Read an extremely interesting article  about SPIDER-
MAN and Dr. STRANGE co-creator STEVE DITKO the
other day.  I accessed it via a link on MARK EVANIER's
blog, and it was such an eye-opening read that I thought I'd
link to it here as well, so you can all see it for yourselves
(if you haven't already).  Click here.

15 comments:

sroman said...

Interesting article, although I thought the camping out at Ditko's door aspect was a little too much. He doesn't want to talk; why keep pressing the issue?

I had my own Ditko experience years ago—a pleasant one—and wrote about it last year: http://www.starwarpconcepts.com/happy-birthday-steve-ditko/

Kid said...

Well, if the writer is doing his 'due diligence' for a project and people say the best way to see Ditko is to call in at his studio, then I think waiting for him to turn up (in case he's out) is within reason. Unless Ditko tells someone personally that he doesn't want to talk, then there's always the chance that he might - as previous occasions demonstrate.

I'm glad that your experience was a pleasant one, but if the article is accurate, I'd have to conclude that Mr. Ditko sometimes seems to be just a little too 'impatient' with people who only wish the best for him. And he's certainly reclusive, although he's entitled to be whatever he wants to be. Thanks for commenting.

John Pitt said...

Interesting article, Kid, thanks for the link. He must get quite a lot of "pestering" and might get very wearing. Very similar to the Jonathan Ross meeting.

Kid said...

I don't think he'll get all that much, JP, especially as his best four-colour comic work was in the '60s. It wouldn't hurt to be gracious. The writer's description of how Ditko reacted to him at the door quite shocked me. All he had to do was smile nicely, say "Thanks for your interest, but I don't do interviews" and close the door quietly. He comes across as downright rude. I'm sure he could afford to go ex-directory if he really didn't want to be bothered by people 'phoning him, or have a peep-hole in the door and an intercom so he could check who's calling. Why does he even have a studio? The work he does now, mainly for his own amusement it seems, he could surely do at home? Having met Stan Lee, that's how I expect comics royalty to behave.

Phil S said...

I have see ditko's new work. It's just political screeds now. His artwork and layout is still there but his content is unreadable.

John Pitt said...

The trouble is, politeness and old-age don't always go hand-in-hand. It sounds like he has some kind of problem. Should we make allowances for his age, out of respect for his legacy? It's a difficult one. I'd like to think that I could always be civil enough to give that kind of answer like you describe ( and you are perfectly correct ), but I have seen, first-hand, the effect old-age can have on the mind, so perhaps this may be the case?
( I'm just playing devil's advocate, here, as I'm not exactly perfect, myself! )

Kid said...

I've seen his new work as well, PS, but I have to say that I don't think his artwork is anywhere near as good as it used to be.

******

I suppose old age may have affected him, JP, but from the look of the tracts he draws nowadays, to say nothing of the kind of 'message' stuff he was churning out after leaving Marvel in the '60s, I think he was 'affected' in some way long before he was old. He's entitled to believe what he wants to, of course, but he comes across as completely unbending and unsympathetic to the views of others. However, he was certainly a terrific artist in his heyday.

Colin Jones said...

He's an extreme right-wing Libertarian crackpot who thinks people should beg on the streets rather than receive any kind of welfare - so he's hardly likely to be a sweet old gentleman !

Kid said...

Expressed in your usual diplomatic, understated way, CJ. He does come across as a bit...'strange', but I suppose that's quite apt for someone who created such out of this world artwork in Strange Tales (and other places).

HomeMadeComix said...

Robert Crumb pretty much nails it...
http://scotteder.com/Images/Category_2/subcat_869/crumb-rand.jpg

Kid said...

I note that 'anti-life' was mentioned. I wonder if Ditko's contemporary, Jack Kirby, was making a comment about Rand's philosophy when he had Apokolips tyrant Darkseid's main interest that of acquiring the 'anti-life equation'?

Phil S said...

Ayn Rand was a writer. Not an economist or philosopher. It would be basing your life on Stan Lee's Marvel universe. Interesting but not practical. There have been attempts at objectivist towns and they all fail. I'm guessing because no one can agree on anything.

Kid said...

Well, she's described as a writer, philosopher and playright, and credited with creating and promoting a philosophical system called Objectivism. Personally, I find the idea of objectivism rather subjective - mainly for the reason you describe.

Warren JB said...

John: yup, he has a problem. He's read Atlas Shrugged.

The history of this article I'm aware of, including some of Ditko's objectivist comics that filtered online, though I don't mind a fresh take on it. A lot of it came from 'Robby Reed's blog, though his long, glowing, pro-Ditko write-up had something of the reverse effect on me. I can't fault the man (Ditko) for sticking to a principle, but objectivism seems much too unbending, cold and uncompassionate. Combine it with what seems like a sizeable persecution complex, which may or may not be a result of that philosophy ("I'm a creator! All the parasites are out to get me!") and his dismissiveness, it feels as if he might have squandered all the goodwill in the last few decades, that he earned in a couple of years of drawing popular comics.

Or does that sound too unbending, cold and uncompassionate?

Kid said...

Many of Robby Reed's posts have had the reverse effect (on me at least) to the one he clearly intended, WB, so it's refreshing to see that I'm not the only one thus affected - even if it's only with one post. Steve Ditko is someone every comicbook fan of a certain age adores for his work on Spider-Man and Dr. Strange, yet the more I read about him, the more I'n reminded of the old saying - 'Never meet your heroes'.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...