Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Out of This World

I just received two more additions to my Steve Ditko collection. These books are both from the late 1950s. During the period Ditko was working at Marvel, he also continued to work at Charlton Comics which was a comics publisher that was rather strange in a lot of ways. Apparently they were mainly a magazine publisher and the comics aspect of the company was just a way to keep the presses going and in good working order between magazine printings, which was the meat of the company profits.

Charlton had a reputation for paying some of the lowest page rates for comic artists in the business. But for some reason Steve Ditko seemed to enjoy working for them, mainly illustrating stories scripted by Joe Gill. While the stories were often just as simple and silly as the ones he was illustrating at Atlas/Marvel, he did create quite a number of inspiring and quite stunning images for them. My suspicion is that he encountered little or no editorial mischief at Charlton and this is why he worked for them at a lower page rate than he could get elsewhere.

In addition, frankly Ditko's style is not everyone's cup of tea. Some people just don't like his work, and I can see where he could have had trouble getting jobs at some of the other well-known publishers of comics in the 1950s and early 1960s.

I was pleased to add these two lower-grade books to the collection, for they have some very interesting comic stories from Mr. Ditko, and both even have pretty nifty covers from the man who would go on to create Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Iron Man's new armor (if not Iron Man himself), the Creeper, the Hawk & the Dove, the Question, Mr. A, etc., etc.

Out of This World #12. Initially I had my doubts that this cover was by Ditko, but on closer inspection it's obviously his work.

I really like this cover. Classic Ditko art.

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