Comic Book Legend Steve Ditko Sheds This Mortal Coil

    Comic legend Steve Ditko passed away yesterday at the age of 90. A good long run for a man that contributed so much to the conic book genre.

    As a kid Steve shared his fathers love of newspaper comic strips and in 1950 enrolled in the Cartoonists and Illustrators School where Batman artist Jerry Robinson was one of the instructors.

    Jerry Robinson, had this to say about Steve when he had him as one of his students in art school:

    “a very hard worker who really focused on his drawing” and someone who “could work well with other writers as well as write his own stories and create his own characters”

    Steve’s professional comic book career began in 1953 and he soon found himself working with greats like Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. In 1955 he began working at Atlas Comics…which would go on to become Marvel Comics, inking, penciling and/or writing such titles as Amazing Adventures, Strange Worlds, Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish.

    Stan Lee on their collaboration during this time:

    “All I had to do was give Steve a one-line description of the plot and he’d be off and running. He’d take those skeleton outlines I had given him and turn them into classic little works of art that ended up being far cooler than I had any right to expect.”

    Regarding Spider-man:

    “One of the first things I did was to work up a costume. A vital, visual part of the character. I had to know how he looked … before I did any breakdowns. For example: A clinging power so he wouldn’t have hard shoes or boots, a hidden wrist-shooter versus a web gun and holster, etc. … I wasn’t sure Stan would like the idea of covering the character’s face but I did it because it hid an obviously boyish face. It would also add mystery to the character….”

    Spider-man in a panel from “If This Be My Destiny…!”

    Steve left Marvel in the 1960’s after having completed a long run with Stan Lee on Spider-man. The circumstances are vague but some say it was because Lee and Ditko disagreed on pretty much everything.

    Heavily inspired to get into comics by the character Batman, Steve Ditko was an objectivist and a veteran (having enlisted in the army in 1945) and was said to have a hard-line against criminals (my kind guy). Steve Ditko could Ink, pencil and draw, which made him a triple-threat. I’ve always had a great fondness for comic book creators who could adeptly handle multiple disciplines.  Steve would spend the next decades working with just about everybody: DC Comics, Eclipse Comics, Charlton, Archie Comics, Dark Horse Comics and even back to Marvel again.

    Characters created or co-created by Steve Ditko:

    Adria (comics)
    Aged Genghis
    Agent X (Jim Burley)
    Liz Allan
    Ancient One
    Angel Devlin

    Sunset Bain
    Robbie Baldwin
    Baron Brimstone
    Bill Brane
    Billy Connors (comics)
    Bluebird (Marvel Comics)
    Betty Brant
    Burglar (comics)

    Captain Atom
    Chameleon (comics)
    Clown (comics)
    Creeper (DC Comics)
    Crime Master

    Doctor LittleJohn
    Doctor Spectro
    Doctor Strange

    Dragon Lord (comics)

    Eel (comics)
    Electro (Marvel Comics)
    Enforcers (comics)
    Eternity (comics)

    Fancy Dan
    Farley Stillwell
    Faustus (cat)
    Frederick Foswell

    Mac Gargan
    Great Gambonnos

    Hank Hall
    Hawk and Dove
    Human Cannonball (Marvel Comics)

    Ion (Marvel Comics)

    Jack O’Lantern (Marvel Comics)
    Jackal (Marvel Comics)
    J. Jonah Jameson
    John Jameson (comics)

    Master Khan
    Ted Kord
    Kraven the Hunter

    Leader (comics)
    Ned Leeds
    Living Brain
    Lizard (comics)
    Looter (comics)

    Jason Macendale
    Madmen (DC Comics)
    Snake Marston (comics)
    Martha Connors
    Aunt May
    Metal Master (comics)
    Mindless Ones
    Missing Man
    Mocker (comics)
    Molten Man
    Montana (comics)
    Baron Mordo
    Mr. A

    Nightmare (Marvel Comics)
    Nightshade (DC Comics)

    Doctor Octopus
    Odd Man (comics)
    Harry Osborn
    Norman Osborn
    Ox (comics)

    Princess Python
    Proteus (DC Comics)
    Punch and Jewelee

    Question (comics)

    Sandman (Marvel Comics)
    Shade, the Changing Man
    Sinister Six
    Spencer Smythe
    Squirrel Girl

    Gwen Stacy
    Stalker (comics)
    Starman (comics)
    Static (Eclipse Comics)
    Mendel Stromm
    Strongman (comics)
    Supreme One (DC Comics)

    Glenn Talbot
    Terror (DC Comics)
    Flash Thompson

    Uncle Ben

    Vera Sweet
    Vincent Yatz
    Vulture (Marvel Comics)

    Mary Jane Watson
    Wingy Ames
    Wong (comics)

    Yogi Bizerk

    Flying square in the face of most creators today, Steve ardently believed that the work shouldn’t be about him:

    “When I do a job, it’s not my personality that I’m offering the readers but my artwork. It’s not what I’m like that counts; it’s what I did and how well it was done. I produce a product, a comic art story. Steve Ditko is the brand name”

    Amen. Truly one of the greats.

    RIP Mr. Ditko…you’ve earned it.

    Source: Wikipedia

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