Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Ditko did not "co-create" Spider-Man. He CREATED the character. Since when is an editor entitled to co-creator status on anything? Was Hemingway's editor the "co-creator" of THE SUN ALSO RISES? Was Eisner's editor at Quality Comics the "co-creator" of THE SPIRIT?

Stop promoting the fallacy that Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby had a "co-creator" at Marvel Comics. What they had was an editor. A general purpose editor, but that's all.

Even this article, which is largely sympathetic to Ditko, makes the mistake of calling him a "co-creator" of Spider-Man. And while I have nothing but contempt for the works of Any Rand (it's neo-Fascist bullshit), I was offended by the writer terming Ditko's Rand-inspired propaganda as "doodles".

The Vulture: Classic Ditko villian. Embittered asshole tries to get even.
Nobody had done a cover like this since Jack Cole left comics.
I wonder: after issue #33 of Spider-Man...had Ditko already made his decision to leave?

Here, "Written" means edited. The stories were written and illustrated by Ditko. Edited by a lying shill.
Another great Spider-Man villain: The Sandman.

One of the best stories Ditko ever wrote. Equaled only by his "Master Planner" arc.

After Ditko left Marvel, no one ever created covers as dynamic as this one.
The final chapter of the Master Planner arc. Best superhero comic ever written (by Steve Ditko, not Liar Lee).
Apparently, Martin Goodman--who was the final arbiter of covers--absolutely HATED covers and full-page splashes that showed the heroes' asses. Therefore, Ditko was sometimes testing Goodman by delivering just such covers. Sometimes Ditko would be overruled and the covers would be re-done or re-drawn by other artists. But I think there were times when Goodman was too busy with his magazine operations and a book would be published with Ditko's ass-first artwork intact!


Henry R. Kujawa said...

"No asses on covers"? Perhaps there was some homophobia involved?

I think of the classic case of FF #64, where a spectacular image of The Kree Sentry was reversed to show the back of the creature, so we'd then see the FF's faces.


YET, the instant Kirby left Marvel, FF #102-- and again, FF #104-- had John Romita covers with the heroes facing AWAY from the camera. W--T--F???

Only days ago, someone at the Captain Comics board went on about how much better the published version of FF #64 was.

"Kirk G" is one of the friendlier, more reasonable ones there...

"Somehow, I always prefer the version that actually saw print... with the view of the back of the Sentry facing the FF attacking. But as I recall, the Human Torch isn't actually there on the island with them, is he? It's just Reed, Ben, Sue and some scientist explorer that they rescue, right?

I would guess that the printed version was chosen as a result of a long-standing pattern of layout, where Stan (or whoever) didn't thing we should see the heroes attacking from behind, but prefered seeing the heroes' faces and the villian or antagonist's back or ass. I guess that makes sense, but some of the rejected covers really don't look all that bad to me.

Also, the printed version of FF #64 also gives a much stronger impression of the massive SIZE of the Sentry, and he just looks all the more threatening to my eye."

HemlockMan said...

In his role as an editor, I've always been willing to give Lee his due. He was exceptional in that capacity. He had a knack for knowing when a cover was effective and when it was not. Of course he wasn't always right.

I've never seen that version of the FF cover.

As for the ass-avoidance issue, this is something I'd read in several locations concerning Lee's opinions of cover art. And there are a couple of instances of him putting the brakes on Ditko covers that showed the hero from behind. (I think the covers for #10 and #35 were redrawn because of this--and there's the full-page Hulk ad by Ditko that he refused to run because it showed the Hulk's big ass.)

Kirk G said...

As the owner of several early silver age Marvels that had been defaced by crude drawings by kids, I can attest that there may be a reason why a full frontal shot of the heroes may not be preferable. (Need I say more?) In addition, I was never put off by a shot of a hero's butt...I'm thinking of the classic Tales to Astonish #88 or so where the Stranger is fending off the climbing Hulk. Doesn't that cover feature a rear shot of the Hulk? With him, I could see where a massive glud might be distracting, but it would sell me on what a hunk/hulk he was.

HemlockMan said...

A couple of years ago the layouts and detailed Ditko pencils surfaced of a Hulk ad meant to promote the Ditko-written Hulk yarns in TALES TO ASTONISH. It featured a classic Ditko Hulk figure ass-first to the reader. Lee killed it off, but the art resurfaced and was featured in the website of an oline Ditko group (where I was banned for pointing out that all of the Objectivists there are neo-Fascists). Someone there scanned the illustration and inked it. Once again, it was an instance of Lee being afraid of superhero ass.

Kirk G said...

Got a link to that Hulk image to share? It's not the one where the planes are straffing him, is it?

HemlockMan said...

Not right now. I think it's in one of my back issues of Ditkomania. I'll see if I can dig it up.

It's just a full-figure shot of The Hulk--but from behind.

Another classic example of Lee putting the end on a Ditko butt-shot is the original cover for The Amazing Spider-Man #35. They had someone else (Dan Adkins?) cover the Spider-Man figure and redraw it so that you don't see Spider-Man's butt cheeks.

HemlockMan said...

OK. Here's one version of it. A lot of different fans have taken a shot at inking it. It was just in pencil format since Lee killed it off before Ditko could ink it.

THIS ONE is inked and colored by, I think, Aushenker.