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Topic: Ditko in the 70s (and beyond) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Jason Czeskleba
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Posted: 27 February 2023 at 4:16am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Huh. Assuming the credit for that Hulk cover is correct (I can't find any confirmation and there's no signature) it looks like Ditko did a little more inking at 80s Marvel than I originally thought.
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Jason Czeskleba
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Posted: 27 February 2023 at 4:49am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

 Rebecca Jansen wrote:
Did Ditko ever do any kind of romance or cartoon animal comics ever?

Ditko's first-ever published story was a romance story, as a matter of fact.  "Paper Romance," which appeared in Daring Love #1 in 1953.  You can read it here.  The blogger who uploaded it claims it's Matt Baker pencils and Ditko inks, but I think most Ditko scholars believe that it's 100% Ditko art.  I don't know enough about Baker's work to have an opinion.

I don't think Ditko ever did another pure romance story.  He did do a few stories for Charlton's Haunted Love, a book which (obviously) attempted to blend the two genres in its title. 

And I'm pretty sure he never drew a funny animal story.  The closest thing I could find was this Charlton house ad from 1985, when Charlton made a very brief attempt to return to comics publishing (after a year or so of suspended publishing).  Their newly-relaunched line was all reprint except for Charlton Action featuring Static.  Among the titles were books featuring Atomic Mouse and Punchy and the Black Crow, so Ditko drew them for the ad:
 


Edited by Jason Czeskleba on 27 February 2023 at 4:52am
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 27 February 2023 at 6:09pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The credit I saw for that Hulk cover only credited Milgrom but something about the look of the Hulk set off my Ditko detector! It totally fits that this is his inking. Milgrom and Byrne did a great 'Ditko' on four early Doctor Strange reprint comics I have though.

Oh yeah, I have seen that ad once... I did have a couple later Charltons, definitely a Zoo Funnies reprint with crow characters.

The romance comic shows early Ditko pretty strongly but does say Baker may've done basic layouts which is possible I guess. Maybe compare to his Lassie and Canteen Kate comics of around that time period? I thought Steve Ditko started in comics while still an art student with some Classic Comics/Illustrateds? One of those uncredited diverse hands sorts of things. Matt Baker only did the one of those that I know of; Lorna Doone, but back in the mid '40s. I've seen a bit of Steve Ditko The Thing from the '50s (the Charlton horror title). He could've fit in at E.C. if they hadn't had to fold the scary stuff. He did work with Wood (as well as 'beside' in the comics pages) off and on over the years and it's always a great combination! Ah, if only Tower Comics had could've established itself long-term.
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 27 February 2023 at 8:44pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

A couple more quirky independent Ditko covers, perhaps just favors for Robin Snyder.


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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 27 February 2023 at 8:55pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

That romance story is fascinating.  Did Ditko ever go on record as to why he moved away from the more traditional illustrator look to the stripped-down and exaggerated look of his later years?
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 28 February 2023 at 11:02pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I enjoyed SPEEDBALL, but I pretty much enjoyed everything Ditko did all the way to the end!  Here are the covers of the first five issues, which had some interesting inkers.

SPEEDBALL #1 penciled by Steve Ditko and inked by Butch Guice

SPEEDBALL #2 penciled by Steve Ditko and inked by Bob Layton

SPEEDBALL #3 penciled by Steve Ditko and inked by Dan Adkins

SPEEDBALL #4 penciled by Steve Ditko and inked by Dan Adkins

SPEEDBALL #5 penciled by Steve Ditko and inked by Bruce Patterson
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 01 March 2023 at 1:42am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I might try Speedball sometime as I have a stack of New Warriors with him in. Don't think Destroyer Duck is for me though (I did get a Stewart The Rat by Gerber from around that same time however).

It looks like Adkins is the inker that kept the most Ditko in the finished covers shown. He and Sinnott on the '70s Kirby covers were in a class of their own too!

When I first heard about (but hadn't seen) Speedball it made me think if a certain drugs concoction unfortunately... it was nice to see he was more like one of those 'super happy rubber fun balls' with sparkly bits I remember from the '70s (last seen bouncing clear over a three story house). :^)
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 01 March 2023 at 7:57am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I believe Speedball was called "the Masked Marvel" in-story in every issue of SPEEDBALL.  I never read NEW WARRIORS; was there an acknowledgment of that or a name change or was he just called "Speedball" out of the gate?
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 01 March 2023 at 5:42pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I don't recall him being a "masked marvel" in the New Warriors. I have the first two appearances in Thor and the first issue (2nd printing) plus #10 onwards. He's definitely the Beast (later Avengers version) of the group bouncing about with humorous running commentary. It doesn't look like he was any more serious in his own title either though.
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 02 March 2023 at 8:43am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Here's the rest of the SPEEDBALL covers, all of them inked by Bruce Patterson except for #10 inked by Dan Day.  A fun series, collected in tpb in 2019.  I always wonder about that--if the original series didn't sell that well, why collect it?  OR if the material is worth collecting, why was it cancelled?





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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 03 March 2023 at 1:14am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

And from 1984...

AVENGERS ANNUAL #13 penciled by Steve Ditko and inked by John Byrne
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 03 March 2023 at 2:11am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

That's worth getting for the cover alone!

Just put in an order for Marvel Tales #167, yay. :^)

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 03 March 2023 at 2:14am
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