Friday, February 12, 2010

Number 683

Right out of the gate

I know Steve Ditko served an apprenticeship in comics; he worked in the Simon & Kirby stable for awhile, where he was reportedly influenced by Mort Meskin (who also influenced Joe Kubert). But it's not stretching things (hyuk hyuk) to say when Ditko went solo he came right out of the gate as a solid professional. He showed even in his earliest stories that he stretched head and shoulders above many of his contemporaries in the industry.

...and speaking of stretching...

..."Stretching Things" was Ditko's first solo story, although not his first published story. It appeared in Fantastic Fears #5, and this is a black and white reprint from 1971, Terror Tales Vol. 3 No. 4.

I'm also including an early crime story to show that even in otherwise routine stories his artwork elevated the material. It's from Charlton's Crime and Justice #18, 1954.

You can read the original color version of "Stretching Things" at The Horrors Of It All.



Cool stories, Pappy!
They were both fun, yet I think I liked the first story better -- ya can't beat a good melting man story!

Ditko always does it his way, and his way is never boring. I enjoy his weird angles and overhead shots in the second story. In fact, I enjoyed the post so much, I won't even mention the tender love scene between Tex and Barry on page 6, panel 6...I won't point out how close Tex gets as he caresses Barry's bandaged thigh...not one word...

Mike Britt said...

When I published "Stretching Things" (from stats that Ditko sent me in 1959) in FMZ in 1970 I didn't know where it was originally published until I got clarification from Bruce Hamilton. Turns out that Bruce wrote the script and this too was his first published work.

Mykal said...

Pappy: That first Ditko story is still the most unsettling story I have ever read in comics. Man, it gave me the serious whim whams when I first read it years ago, and nothing comes close to it for giving me a shiver. I still like it best of all Ditko's work. -- Mykal