Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review: Ditkomania#91

For all my interest in Steve Ditko's work, I'm still best acquainted with the stories he published through Marvel Comics - at best, I've dabbled in the rest of his output. Nothing makes me realize just how comparatively lacking my Ditko education has been than when the latest issue of Rob Imes' Ditkomania fanzine arrives in my mailbox (#91, above, is the most recent issue).

Articles in Ditkomania do a terrific job at examining the whole of Ditko's career, often making repeated references to his self-published work (the work I'm least familiar with); other articles involve creators with personal working histories with Ditko; it's a fanzine whose letters page frequently features Dave Sim, Mort Todd and now Javier Hernandez - it feels like an inner circle of Ditkoites.

In an age where the internet allows fans to converse, share reviews, research bibliographies and post fan art, it's amazing to me that the fanzine persists at all; never underestimate the fondness some people have for the hardcopy! Ditkomania's publishing history and physical copy suggest standards and an editorial voice, something the all-inclusive democracy of the internet doesn't permit.

This issue highlights Speedball, with articles about Ditko's stories featuring the character, how the character was treated after Ditko left (the author is much too kind, all things considered) and discusses some more obscure Ditko creations with similar abilities. The previous issue featured a fascinating lengthy article by Ron Frantz, an independent publisher who worked with Ditko in the 1980s; issue#91 sports a larger-than-usual letters page with Frantz himself answering letters; it works very well. There's also some original art, including a coloured front & back cover, an unusual feature for the publication (made possible by Kickstarter).

Ditkomania can be purchased here!


Colin Smith said...

Just a note to say I'm enjoying your daily posts, and that you've certainly sold me on Ditkomania. How can I possibly have managed not to be reading it? I think not knowing much about his work beyond Marvel had a fair degree to do about that, but then, what better way to put that right?

Michael Hoskin said...

Colin, Ditkomania is certainly one solution; reading Ditkomania increases my own enjoyment of experiencing Steve Ditko - perhaps it will do the same for you!

Javier Hernandez said...


I was looking up some Ditko images when I found a link to your site. I started reading through some of your reviews of his independent work when I scrolled down and saw my cover to DITKOMANIA #91 show up!

Anyway, I've enjoyed your opinions on Ditko's work and will make a point to read more of your writings on him.

Michael Hoskin said...

Thank you for noticing, Javier! I've quite enjoyed the work you've printed in Ditkomania and the Charlton Arrow!