Rare Ditko stories?

Image © Steve Ditko.

The question mark is because I’m not sure how rare these stories are. They appeared in the first five issues of a magazine called QUESTAR that began publication in 1978. Here’s the cover of the first issue:

Image © William G. Wilson.

While subtitled  “The NEW magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” as you can see the focus from the beginning was SF films, with this great Ken Barr “Star Wars” painting on the cover. Inside, in addition to articles about that film there are comics stories, including a six page story written and drawn by Ditko in each of the first five issues. I’m selling the first three on EBAY this week (sorry for another ebay plug), and I thought there might be some Ditko fans out there who’d like to know. Have these stories been reprinted since? I’m not even sure the stories weren’t printed somewhere else before QUESTAR. This first story has “© 71” in the title area, suggesting it was drawn in 1971, seven years earlier, though it’s possible it’s meant to be “© 77.”

Image © Steve Ditko.

In any case, I don’t think Ditko’s art has ever been showcased better, at least until some recent hardcover collections. The printing quality is superb, crisp offset printing on bright white glossy paper, and in black and white, so every detail is clear. Above is one panel scanned at printed size, 150dpi. The art size on each page is 8 by 10 inches, considerably larger than a comics page. The stories? They’re space fantasy with a heroic flavor. The style reminds me of Ditko’s Dr. Strange or perhaps SHADE, THE CHANGING MAN more than anything, though with many small panels on each page, reminiscent of his more personal work like MR. A.

If you know anything more about these stories I’d love to hear it. And thanks for putting up with my eBay commercial.

2 thoughts on “Rare Ditko stories?

  1. BobH

    I’ve posted about a few of the issues over here:

    Questar #1 [1978]
    Questar #2 [1978]
    Questar #5 [1979]

    I have the other two, I’ll get to them eventually. The story in #1 was reprinted in colour in Charlton Action Featuring Static #12 [1985]. It definitely looked better in the larger b&w format. The story in #3 was printed by Renegade in Revolver #3 [1986], printed sideways so each page of the original was printed as two pages. The other three stories have never been reprinted.

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