Friday, February 08, 2013

STRANGE Additions.

I'm also slowly picking up all of the Ditko issues of STRANGE TALES. I mainly want these for the Dr. Strange stories. Again, I only want the issues that are by the man who created, wrote, and illustrated the character: Steve Ditko. I don't  care to see what was done with Dr. Strange after Ditko walked away from his creation, leaving it to the thieves who claimed ownership.

I'm always reminded of the fact that Ditko was never allowed to do a Dr. Strange cover of STRANGE TALES. He was, even then, making demands that he be given credit for the work he was doing on the characters that he had created. This was causing friction between Ditko and Lee who was stretching the concept of "writer" to ensure that he took home more of a paycheck. Since covers paid relatively well, Ditko was obviously denied the chance to do these for the title. In the meantime, the readers got stuff like this awful cover by, I assume, Bob Powell, who was at the end of his career (and his life) during this period, and whose talents had largely faded by this time.


Kirk G said...

I'll agree that Powell's cover isn't the best...but I think he was going for the "Mad Scientist" idea...sort of like the Phantom playing the organ in Phantom of the Opera or in 'Frankenstein' ("IT's ALIVE!") playing off the "Mad Thinker" angle.
("Bouncing Ball of Doom"? Sheesh!)

James Robert Smith said...

Oh, yeah. Looks much like the Phantom of the Opera organ scene. However, Powell was just not very good at that point in his career. He was producing nothing like those smooth, flowing covers from the late 40s and early 50s.

I will assume that he also wrote the story. Hard to say. It was pretty more chunk of evidence that Lee wrote nothing, that it was his artists doing the writing while he took the writing credits. If not, he would have been the most uneven writer in the history of comics (which he wasn't because he wasn't writing the stories).

Going through covers...I realize that Dr. Strange was the featured cover on one issue before Ditko left...but Ditko wasn't allowed to illustrate it! Jack Kirby did it.