And Then I Read: THE CREATIVITY OF DITKO by Craig Yoe

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Images © Gussoni-Yoe Studio.

The second of these beautifully designed and printed oversized coffee-table art books focused on the work of Steve Ditko is just as appealing as the first one, perhaps more so because of some fine articles about Ditko by Paul Levitz, Mike Gold, Amber Stanton, Jack C. Harris, Mykal Banta, and Yoe himself. The bulk of the book reprints stories from Ditko’s years working for Charlton from both the seminal 1950s period and the post Marvel time in the late 1960s-70s. All are reproduced quite large, and scanned well from the original comics. The earlier stories are more appealing to me, presenting Ditko’s art as it was when he began: moody and full of shadows, stylized in a way that I like, showing lots of craft and enthusiasm for the medium. The later work is stiffer, and not helped at all by the very poor Charlton printing, but there are some fine moments there as well.

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Interspersed throughout are examples of Ditko’s original art from auction scans, not only early Charlton covers like this, but Marvel and DC work too. Then there’s the pencilled unfinished story written by Jack C. Harris and never before published, a gem for Ditko fans, plus early photos of the man from high school and his first studio, shared with artist Eric Stanton.

If you’re a Ditko fan, you’ll want to add this to your collection. Even if you’re not, it’s well worth a look. Highly recommended!

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