Monday, August 17, 2009

Review: ...Ditko Continued...

While I was at the San Diego Comic Con I found a vendor dealing copies of the various comics Steve Ditko has published through Robin Snyder. Although he's officially retired, these books have been coming out with seeming regular frequency of late. I decided to take just one book so that I could sample the fare. I chose "...Ditko Continued...," which was released earlier this year.

"Ditko Continued" is an apt title because many of the stories are continued; some are interrupted mid-story for an unrelated feature. Some end with the word "continued" and are never resumed. I suppose a subsequent issue may pick up on these stories?

The comic is only 32 pages but is jam-packed with stories, including features like the Grey Negotiator, Mr. A and a new super-hero called simply "Ditko's Hero." Hero's costume reminds me a little of Jack Kirby's Hydra uniforms:

If you've been with my since my first blog, you may recall that I don't really care for Mr. A. All of the material in Ditko Continued is of that type; Hero is the only straight-up adventure tale. For all that, I was glad to see Mr. A if only because he's familiar to me, unlike the other features. How blunt are the stories?

Pretty dang blunt.

You may also find the above panels difficult to read. Well, this is raw Ditko - I'm not even sure if it was originally produced for publication or if Ditko produced these for his own pleasure. Many of the dialogue balloons have sketchy dialogue where characters express themselves like an Arch Oboler character, ie:

It might be helpful to think of Ditko Continued as a sketchbook, a chance to see the artist with his hair down. As an admirer of his work, I'm always pleased to see a sample of his work. Ditko's faces, gestures, poses, shadows and weird swirls of energy are among my favorite comic book visuals. As an art book, I liked it.

Information on ordering copies of Ditko's recent output is available here.

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