Category Archives: Steve Ditko

CCL Podcast #351 – Still Uncollected Stan, Jack and Steve

Just Imagine Stan Lee's Superman
Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Superman

Collected Comics Library Podcast #351
28.1Mb; 30m 34s

When one looks at the work of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko you can see that nearly all of it has been reprinted in some form or another. But some of the comics have slipped through the cracks and has yet to be collected at all. On today’s show I take a look a few of the comics most notably Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe, which was collected in a 3-volume trade paperback set, but was promised a complete Omnibus edition and was canceled for no apparent reason; Jack Kirby: Genesis from Dynamite Entertainment, an incomplete reboot of Silver Star, Captain Victory and other Kirby characters as envisioned by Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek to name a few; and finally what adds up to about 40 pages worth of comic book material by Steve Ditko that was haphazardly not included in the three recent DC Comics hardcovers: The Creeper, Ditko Omnibus 1 and 2.

Also on the show: God Hates Astronauts HC on Kickstarter, Black Mask Studios, Valiant $1 comics and the 7th EC Comics reprint from Fantagraphics titled Sucker Bait and Other Stories by Graham “Ghastly” Ingels and Al Feldstein.
Cheers!

Chris

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CCL Podcast #318 – Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 1 Shade and Stalker

Collected Comics Library Podcast #318
31.9Mb; 34m 37s

The past few weeks I’ve been savoring DC’s new offering of the Steve Ditko Omnibus Volume 1. This book features two short lived series Shade, The Changing Man (8 issues) and Stalker (4 issues). Both series are visually stunning and the stories are compelling and left me wanting more, sadly that didn’t happen from Ditko, although Shade did come back in a few different incarnations including his own Vertigo series. Look for more Shade in Justice League Dark. Stalker, on the other hand, would fit well in Demon Knights, if DC ever decides to bring him back (which they have done on more then one occasion). But more importantly, I give a complete rundown of all the other contents in this massive book, and there is a lot to go over including revealing the other artists and writers that created a whole host of comics that have never been reprinted until now.

I also go over my initial reaction to the first 2 weeks of DC Comics New 52. In short, I’m impressed with many titles, but some left me saying, “Thanks for the #1, but no thanks to #2″. Find out what made my cut!

Lastly, I go over the upcoming 2011 Detroit Fanfare and the Comics Podcasting Panel which is this weekend! Yes, the panel will be recorded and uploaded when it is ready next week:
Chris Marshall, Collected Comics Library
Mike Pfeiffer, Most People Are DJs
Zack Kruse, Distinguished Comic Book Podcast
Stevie Disme, Comic Book Queers
Derek Coward, Comic Book Noise
Dan, Comic Related
Should be a great show, please join us for a great time!

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CCL Podcast #311 – Interview with Blake Bell; Steve Ditko and Bill Everett Archives

Collected Comics Library Podcast #311
27 Mb; 58m 37s

I’ve been meaning to have Blake Bell on the podcast ever since I did my Steve Ditko retrospective in February, 2010. You can consider this, Part 5, if you would like, but we also talk about another icon – Bill Everett, who created Namor, The Sub-Maniner and co-created Daredevil.

It’s a candid discussion on what made the 1950’s such a special time for comic books and the toll it sometimes took. Blake talks about their lives and the fast paced industry that kicked off the Marvel (Silver) Age of comics. We also discuss Blake’s other works including the 2011 Eisner nominated (Best Comics-Related Book) Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics, I Have To Live With This Guy! (TwoMorrows Publishing), Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko, The Steve Ditko Archives series and the upcoming Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Volume 1.

I want to sincerely thank Blake, and Fantagraphics,  for coming on the podcast!

Sunday Review – The Creeper by Steve Ditko HC

In 2010 I made a commitment to discover Steve Ditko on my own. Thanks to the Marvel Masterworks, I read his run in Amazing Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. I picked up several other books including The Steve Ditko Visionaries, Stranger Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Volume 1, The Art Of Steve Ditko, The World Of Steve Ditko and I have amassed just about every one of his recent self published work with Robin Snyder. And if you follow the CCL blog and podcast on a regular basis, you know that I produced a 4-part series on his career in February 2010.

Since then I’ve kept up on my Ditko reading and discoveries whether it be in Steve Saffel’s Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s Superheroes or the Creepy and Eerie Archive series. I also picked up The Creeper by Steve Ditko which is a collection of his contributions to one of his most bizarre creations. For all intents and purposes, Jack Ryder is a culmination of the more heroic Vic Sage, The Question and his more hardcore avenging crusader, Mr. A. You’ll note that all three characters look like one another and even wear the trademark fedora. The also have their own similar sense of justice and lack of compassion for the vile. Jack is by far the most extreme when it comes to behavior and look. The Creeper costume molded to him, for lack of a better term, when he was given a super-soldier like serum to save his life by Dr. Yatz. With the help of a transmitter he can change back and forth between the man, Jack Ryder and the anti-hero, The Creeper. The serum does seem to get the best of Jack at times even causing him to go insane and changing at will. He battles the typical gangsters but eventually has his own foe called Proteus. He’s a fun character and has even been seen in more recent comics like the Reign In Hell series.

As for this book, it only collects the Steve Ditko stories; Showcase #73 (1968), Beware The Creeper #1-6 (1968-69), 1st Issue Special #7 (1975), his run in World’s Finest Comics #249-255 (1978-79) and the black and white Enter Dr. Storme story which was slated for Showcase #106 but was shelved due to the DC Implosion. It was only printed in Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2 (1978). As much fondness I have for Ditko, it would be nice to have a full omnibus of all the early material through the 1970’s. You can visit the DCU Guide to see The Creeper’s chronology. Beside the CCC #2 there is no real bonus material like sketches or unused artwork. There is a short, but nice, introduction by Steve Niles (30 Days Of Night) in which he talks up Watchmen by Alan Moore and even Frank Miller and basically spoils the Creeper’s origin from Showcase #73. But really, that’s OK because there is so much more to this character. He’s ever changing and evolving and this book has piqued my interest to Beware The Creeper even more.

The Creeper by Steve Ditko HC
Written by Steve Ditko, Don Segall, Dennis O’Neil and Michael Fleischer
Art by Steve Ditko and others
Cover by Steve Ditko
Introduction by Steve Niles
$39.99, 256 pages, DC Comics
Collects Showcase #73, Beware The Creeper #1-6, 1st Issue Special #7, short stories from World’s Finest Comics #249-255, and an unpublished story for Showcase #106 (The 25-page story, entitled “Enter Dr. Storme,” is written and illustrated by Ditko, and features an appeance by Ditko’s character The Odd Man. It will be printed in black and white).

Also recommended:
The Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 1 Starring Shade The Changing Man
Action Hero Archives Volumes 1-2

When Trades Collide: Fantagraphics and IDW


It’s nothing big but it caught my eye nonetheless. Both Fantagraphics and IDW are publishing retrospectives on the work of Alex Toth.

November 2010 (moved from October 2010)
IDW Publishing – Genius, Isolated: The Life And Art Of Alex Toth by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell, $49.99

January 2011 (moved from October 2010)
Fantagraphics – Setting the Standard: Alex Toth at Standard Comics 1952-1954 by Greg Sadowski, $29.99

Reading the official solicitaions I gather the the IDW book will be more of an art book and the Alex Toth at Standard Comics book looks to be more like the Steve Ditko Archives (Fantagraphics). I’m a big fan of the late, great Toth and any chance to see his work is OK in my book.

But here’s the intestesting part, this is the second time that IDW and Fantagraphics published a retospective on the same person. You may recall that Steve Ditko was chosen to be the subject not too long ago.

July 2008
Fantagraphics – Strange & Stranger World Of Steve Ditko HC by Blake Bell, $33.99

December 2009
IDW Publishing – The Art Of Steve Ditko HC by Craig Yoe, $29.99

Of course it’s not uncommon that companies publish similar books, but both Ditko and Toth are two of my favorites so I thought it’s worth mentioning.

I wonder who will be next? Larry Lieber?