Saturday, June 13, 2009


DITKOMANIA # 73 (the theme: DR. STRANGE) is out now! And check out this glorious cover by superhero caricaturist extraordinaire FRED HEMBECK.

DITKOMANIA is the official publication devoted to appreciating, discussing and analyzing the work of STEVE DITKO, who, at 81, continues to be a prolific cartoonist, self-publishing title after title on an almost monthly basis of late. Ditko, of course, is the original artist (and, by some schools of thought, including Ditko's, the dominant creator) of Marvel's flagship title, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and DR. STRANGE. He also contributed his trademark wild, borderline-surreal art to myriad titles for Marvel, DC, Charlton, Tower...even those free Bob's Big Boy comics. He's a stylist, with one of the most distinctive and recognizable art styles in comics. And he's also one of the most frustratingly inaccessible personalities in the industry, which gets many of his fans hot 'n bothered trying to figure him out. Which then only annoys Ditko further. It's rather, um, strange.

I've been writing for DM for a few issues now, since about # 70. A column I call DITKOTOMY, as Steve Ditko's art and concepts of justice are all about duality. After all, how many times have you seen that great Peter Parker/Spider-Man split face by now? Or an angst-ridden Peter Parker casting the shadow of Spider-Man. It's iconic!

Anyway, it's been fun to contribute to this freewheeling little 'zine. DM has been pairing my column with artist WINSTON BLAKELY, which has been a treat. Blakely knows how to capture that Ditko aesthetic while maintaining his own identity for these spot illustrations. For my WATCHMEN-timed column on Ditko vs. Alan Moore, Blakely drew The Question popping Rorschach in the puss, and he totally nailed that frontal action shot which Ditko is known for.

Editor ROB IMES sets the tone, which is not sycophantic. Obviously, we're all great admirers of Steve Ditko, that's an automatic. Contributors love to delve into the arcane, but there's also room to be critical if, perhaps, some of his work falls short of the especially high standard Ditko has set in the 1950s through 1980s when his career thrived. And sometimes, Rob will dig up some good stories which debunk myths and misconceptions about the famously publicity-adverse artist.

Be sure to look out for DM # 75, which will be devoted to Ditko's work for Atlas Comics. Mr. Blakely will once again be illustrating my column, this time the subject of TIGER-MAN. I've already seen the layout for this one and let me tell you, Blakely has earned his stripes! (sorry, Winston, a bad pun is hard to resist...)

I've cut and paste the DITKOMANIA ordering info below. Best, MICHAEL

DITKOMANIA is published quarterly.
this issue is 32 pages (including covers) , 5.5 x 8.5 inches in size, printed in black & white.
within the UNITED STATES, a single copy of the new DM is $1.50 plus $1.00 postage (or $2.50 postpaid).
a 4-issue subscription is $10.00 postpaid.

to CANADA: a single copy of the new DM is $1.50 plus $1.10 postage (or $2.60 postpaid).
a 4-issue subscription is $10.40 postpaid.

to MEXICO: a single copy of the new DM is $1.50 plus $1.20 postage (or $2.70 postpaid).
a 4-issue subscription is $10.80 postpaid.

to THE REST OF THE WORLD: a single copy of the new DM is $1.50 plus $1.90 postage (or $3.40 postpaid).
a 4-issue subscription to DM outside north america would cost $13.60 postpaid.


in the U.S., payment can also be made by check or money order.
outside the U.S., payment can also be made using an international money order in U.S. funds.
payment should be made out to "rob imes" --NOT "ditkomania"-- to this address:
rob imes
13510 cambridge #307
southgate, mi 48195

you can also contact rob at for further information.

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