Born November 1927.
One of the fathers of the modern comic book. Along with Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, Ditko was one of the reasons Marvel Comics survived and prospered during the 1960s, and was one of the main contributing figures to the seedbed of imagination that has recently been harvested so heavily by modern superhero movies.
Ditko studied at the Cartoonists & Illustrator School in New York City, and one of his teachers was Batman artist Jerry Robinson. In 1953 Ditko was working in the Joe Simon - Jack Kirby art studio.
As the original Spider-Man artist, Ditko also worked out the stories and created the sub-plots of the original issues (#1-#38), but since Stan Lee usually wrote the dialogue and was involved in trying to provide direction for the series, often by fighting against where Ditko wanted the series to go, it is a Gordian Knot trying to define the weight of who should have the credit in many of the comics Ditko worked on. It's claimed, for example, that Ditko essentially based Peter Parker upon himself, and was adamant in going against the direction Martin Goodman (Marvel Comics' owner) wanted, which was:
"...the original concept of Parker as a super-powered Archie caught between a brunette and a blonde breezing through life on a motorcycle." Page 108, Tales to Astonish, by Ronin Ro. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004.
Ditko's work in comics goes well beyond Spider-Man, and includes self-published work, work for DC Comics (where he created The Creeper, for example), Charlton Comics and many other companies. Ditko is also the creator on marvels Doctor Strange.
Steve Ditko 1968 - First Creeper Appearance
See cover art enlarged.
The site Kleefeld on Comics has a letter from Steve Ditko on Creativity (and slightly on Spiderman).
Steve Ditko has been providing articles to the cinema site "Big Hollywood." They just posted an article (more of a list of philosophical points) by Ditko titled "The Ever Unreachable." Here's a few points to give the flavor of Ditko's thinking (which, as had been noted in many places, reflects writer Ayn Rand of "Atlas Shrugged" and "Fountainhead" fame):
- 9. Few minds are willing to clearly understand events that affect their lives. Even events like 9/11, terrorism, don’t cause the needed questioning, understanding, of one’s and other’s opposing belief systems, philosophies of life. There is not real concern to know the kind of consequences inherent in any belief, action or philosophy.
- 10. It’s the way many comic book fans, “historians”, don’t seek any fundamental understanding of the role of a hero or the reason, purpose, consequences of anti-heroes, rotting heroes and the deaths of comic book heroes.
- 11. Too many minds are willing to take the path of least resistance, go along with the crowd, seek the comfort of some in-group and be relieved of thought and responsibility by following some claimed, believed, authority. In comics, it’s with some editor, comic book expert or “historian”.
- 89. In comics fandom today, there are too many acting like babies whining, crying, throwing temper tantrums and demanding another’s bottle or toy...
The Creeper - Steve Ditko
More Creeper Original Page Oct 2013| Updated Dec 2013
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Feb 2017: DC's effort to look at new artists is underway for the month of February (the writers workshop will be in March). To see the artist application page, go here: www.dccomicstalentworkshop.com
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