Tag: Steve Ditko

Brainiac On Banjo #061: Charlton Comics Goes To War!!

Brainiac On Banjo #061: Charlton Comics Goes To War!!

The Unknown Anti-War Comics!, by Steve Ditko, Ross Andru, Joe Gill, Denny O’Neil, Pat Boyette and others, edited by Craig Yoe • Yoe Books!-IDW • $29.95, 226 pages

Back when the three of us were laboring over at the DC Comics factory, I was blessed with having my office between those of Denny O’Neil and Archie Goodwin, two of the finest comics practitioners in American history. If they were to be branded A-listers, we would need to invent a new first letter for our alphabet. I’m going to start with Archie, but don’t worry. Denny comes into this story later.

Back around 1992 and 1993, Archie and I started frequenting a swell midtown restaurant where New York Times executives often brought advertising clients. Remember, this was about 16 years before Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau put our beloved medium on the legit. Usually, our passionate conversations revolved around two subjects: frighteningly radical politics, and comic books; particularly EC Comics. To the chagrin of the over-wrought suits sitting within eavesdropping distance, we would conflate the two.

Of all of Archie’s massive achievements as a writer and an editor, my personal favorite is the four-issue run of Blazing Combat, the black-and-white war comic published by Jim Warren with the Frazetta covers and interiors drawn by Alex Toth, John Severin, Reed Crandall, Joe Orlando, Gene Colan, Wally Wood… you get the point. The series was influenced by Harvey Kurtzman’s Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat for EC Comics, and all the above-mentioned artists had drawn stories for Kurtzman. Archie was too young to have written for them, but he was a member of the EC Fan-Addict Club (fan-addict > fanatic, get it?). Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #061: Charlton Comics Goes To War!!”

Brainiac On Banjo #020: Lee and Ditko – Thank You

Brainiac On Banjo #020: Lee and Ditko – Thank You

It appears today is the last day of the year. That’s just a construct, but it does support the weight of tradition. There’s a lot of Top 10 lists during this terminal week – they’re easy to write, evidently popular, and pretty much bullshit. Yes, I’ve written a few but, really, if you start your list with, say, April and end with the following March and you’ll have a different list. If you disagree with me – and how dare you! – think of all the movies that didn’t win Oscars that probably would have had they been released the preceding or succeeding year.

Yeah, I’m still pissed Bill Murray didn’t win for Lost In Translation.

Another tradition is to list the top stories of the year. This has a bit more value, although I prefer the “top underreported stories of the year” features because I might learn something. I suspect that, when it comes to the amazing world of everybody’s comics, two of the stories that made a whole lot of lists (aside from Bill Maher’s) are the deaths of Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. So I’m going to conflate them.

Together, if not for Stan and Steve I’d be writing about Trump again and a lot of stunt people would be on welfare. Let me explain.  Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #020: Lee and Ditko – Thank You”

Steve Ditko 1927 – 2018

Steve Ditko 1927 – 2018

New York City police announced today that Steve Ditko, one of the comic book medium’s preeminent creators, died on June 27th.

His body was found in his apartment two days later.

Best known for co-creating the Amazing Spider-Man with Stan Lee for Marvel Comics, Steve also created or co-created Doctor Strange, The Creeper, Captain Atom, The Question, The Destructor, Mr. A, Shade The Changing Man, the Hawk and the Dove, The Stalker, Static and many others, and drew such other characters as The Blue Beetle, The Hulk, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, The Micronauts, Tiger-Man, Warp, the Paul Levitz-written version of Starman, Machine Man, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Speedball, and countless science-fiction and horror stories for a number of publishers including Warren Magazines, DC Comics and Marvel.

A bold and unique artist – nobody drew like Steve Ditko – and one of the truly great storytellers, Steve was trained by legendary artists Jerry Robinson and Mort Meskin. One of his first published works was in Harvey Comics’ Captain 3-D, where he assisted Meskin on inking Jack Kirby’s pencils. Ditko would ink Kirby many times in the next several decades.  Continue reading “Steve Ditko 1927 – 2018”