Saturday, November 14, 2009


Speaking of SPIDER-MAN, gotta give an extra shout-out to DITKOMANIA #75, one of the best issues of Rob Imes' awesome tribute to the original Spider-Man artist.

Steve Ditko remains one of the most defiantly individual, unique and renegade comic book artists of all time. Few have climbed to such career heights and lows as Ditko, and Ditko has admirably called the shots all along, sometimes at the expense of his career. It's kind of breathtaking and honorable in an industry where most artists do any kind of comic book work to make money.

What's awesome about Imes is the passion he puts into his zine (he took it over from the original editor) and how the humble Xerox-and-staples DIY format of the zine mirrors Ditko, these past two decades a small or self-publisher, whereas Kirby's tribute zine, The Kirby Collector, has production values that reflect Kirby's larger-than-life scale, bombastic style and gigantic fan base. It's interesting how the polar-opposite formats echo the aesthetic of their respective artists. But don't let the homemade appearance fool you: Imes' DITKOMANIA is thorough and hardcore, well-researched, with terrific essays and even discoveries made by its terrific contributing writers. It' as sturdy as Sturdy Steve himself!

DITKOMANIA #75 includes loads of great articles on the work Ditko did for DC Comics, Charlton and Atlas in 1975, and I'm proud to have my DITKOTOMY column on Atlas' Tiger-Man illustrated by Winston Blakely, an artist who pays tribute to Ditko's art without copying his style (no easy feat). Blakely's the visual star of this issue: his sketches of Stalker, Tiger-Man and the Creeper illuminate the issue throughout. The cover is by Larry Blake.

If you're a Ditko fan, this issue is a winner and a good gateway issue into the world of DITKOMANIA! A cover-to-cover read. Highly recommended!

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