Friday, May 23, 2008

Sweet Nostalgia!

Sometimes I get a kick out of looking at some of the toys of childhood and recalling those sweet days. In the past couple of years I decided to begin accumulating a set of the original run of the Ditko-created issues of The Amazing Spider-Man. As my friends know, I feel that Steve Ditko pretty much created the character whole cloth and that adding another person’s name as “co-creator” is nothing short of a lie. I came to this conclusion based on a number of facts, and it irks me to see people like Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby referred to as assistants to someone else.


Recently, at a comic convention, I picked up The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 by Steve Ditko. I hadn’t read this comic book in quite some time, and I’d largely forgotten what a complete package of kid’s delight that it is. The book was ingeniously designed to be something that would dazzle any boy who bought it. The story brings the uninitiated reader up to speed on the then-new title character. It contains most of the major villains that had appeared in the first fifteen issues of the regular title, and has a fun—although simple—storyline.

What kid could resist this book? (Not this kid!)

The book is packed with great splash pages, pinup pages, cover recreations, and informational bits explaining the whys and hows of the Amazing Spider-Man. Of all of the comics of my childhood, this one transported me back to those early memories better than anything else I’ve acquired from those days.

Nobody could do this kind of page like Steve Ditko!

I know that this book has been reprinted a number of times, and that it can be had in book format and printed on high quality paper. But one of the pleasures of owning these books (for me) is partly due to the sensation of feeling that old pulp paper and smelling what I realize is the slow and unstoppable dissolution of that pulp. There’s nothing like the smell of an old comic!

Take me home!

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