Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ditko content worth exploring

Over the past few years I've been honored to write about the work of one of the most important, unique and distinctive artists in the world of comics - Mr. Steve Ditko - in DitkoMania. Rob Imes has been editing the revived publication, which was originated by Bill Hall. Rob's fanzine is a labor of love, and I like the fact that it is "home grown", put together the old fashioned way, with scissors, tape and tender loving care. Rob decides what to include, and his approach has been entertaining and thoughtful. While Rob has theme issues that often focus on Ditko's earlier work, he also reviews Ditko's latest output. I'm also in great company, sharing space with folks like Barry Pearl, Jason Sacks, Bruce Buchanan, Javier Hernandez, Dave Sim, Mort Todd, Batton Lash and Michael T. Gilbert (to name a few). DitkoMania has well thought out articles, wonderful artwork and a lively letters page. It's a real bargain, and I encourage anyone who enjoys the work of Steve Ditko to give it a try. You won't be disappointed.   


You can also read some reviews of earlier issues of DitkoMania at this site:


I think they're quite insightful.

Robin Snyder has been publishing a newsletter entitled The Comics for decades (yes, decades!), and it is always filled with interesting articles by pros (Ditko has contributed many essays over the years, detailing his involvement on Spider-Man. Essential reading for those interested in comics history), letters and artwork on all facets of comic books.  Robin produces a unique publication that centers on the positive aspects of the medium. Like Rob, his newsletter is a solo effort, and his output has been phenomenal. How he put together 12 issues a year, while also publishing the latest work of Mr. S. Ditko (lately on a Bi-Monthly basis) is beyond me. I would be remiss if I didn't add another important fact: Robin is one of the nicest people I've had the pleasure to correspond with. I salute him!  Try a sample issue, and tell him Nick Caputo sent you! You can also order Ditko's latest output from Robin, as well as much of the work he has produced with Robin over the years, including gems like Static and the Mocker.   


These are impressive, small press publications that deserve attention. They stand out in a sea of slick publications (although mags like Roy Thomas' Alter Ego, still has the same enthusiastic feel they began with, and Roy is another class act).  I hope fanzines such as Rob and Robin's continue to surprise and thrill me for many years to come.       


Barry Pearl said...

It has been great fun and delightful experience writing and reading DM. Comics today are very different from the ones I read as a kid. Yet, with DM, I see that so many generations spanning 50 years can still appreciate the great work he has done. Right now, I am reading many of his comics from the 1950s and 1960s. It is a joy.

Robin is a great guy and a great cat rescuer! It has been a joy to e-mail him and consider him a friend. Robin knows his stuff and his magazine is always fascinating to read. Most important is that the comics is part of the real history of comics and it features important concepts and ideas and leaves speculation to others.

I did most of this with Dragon natural speaking so I didn't actually have to type. I'm scared you're going to find an error somewhere. I now have to prove I am not a robot which goes against my programming.

Nick Caputo said...

You mean you're NOT a robot?

And I didn't find any errors, so keep using Dragon natural fire-breathing, or whatever newfangled contraption you have!

Kid said...

Ooer, I DID find an error, I think. Shouldn't it be "...comics ARE part of the real history...", not "...is part..."? Now for my attempt at a 'no-prize' - it was a deliberate mstake to see if we were paying attention.

Barry Pearl said...

Made you look! No new comment!!!

Jeff Clem said...

I am new to this really fascinating site, so I have a question that may have already been answered: Does anybody have any interesting behind-the-scenes information on the Red Circle/Archie Adventure line of comics in the early to mid-1980s? This would obviously include Ditko's and Snyder's role in producing The Fly, but I'm just curious about this intriguing, uneven run of comics.

Nick Caputo said...


I'm glad you're enjoying the site. Please feel free to commment on anything. I love discussing all of this stuff.

I don't have too much info on the Red Circle/Archie Adventure line, except that they had some very talented folks working for them for a while, including, Alex Toth, Steve Ditko and Robin Snyder.

From the bits and pieces I recall reading, management did not try for originality and eventually replaced the better editors, going the standard route, leading to stagnation and cancellation.

There is a some information on this site: