Remembering Comics Legend Steve Ditko

first_imgYesterday, we said goodbye to one of the greats in comics. It’s always an absolute bummer when one of our absolute heroes passes away. They’re the inspiration of why we do what we do and create how we create. Steve Ditko, a fantastic and overwhelmingly brilliant artist and writer, died in New York City at the age of 90. Ditko created some of the best characters still known to this day. With his unbelievable talent and epic drive, he paved the way to making comics as far out as possible and never stopped for a second. Today, we honor Steve Ditko in a little tribute for one of the comic greats that will never be forgotten.Born to Stephen Ditko, a carpenter at a steel mill and Anna, a homemaker, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on November 2nd. Ditko became fascinated and interested in comics as his fathers interest in a newspaper comic called Prince Valient. Ditko’s passion and love for comics would only fall deeper when introduced to Batman and Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Ditko drew for a military newspaper as he enlisted in the military after WWII. After his military service ended, he embarked on his journey to become a professional comic artist. Ditko worked under Jerry Robinson, Batman artist and co-creator of Robin and the Joker. He went to school at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, now known as SVA (School of Visual Arts). It was then Ditko would get set into the life of comics and begin some incredible work in the process.Self portrait of Steve Ditko asleep at drawing boardBy 1953, Ditko was working with Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in their studio, first as an inker at. He would start professionally doing this under the influence of Mort Meskin, an artist known for his Golden and Silver age books. He would move on to work with Charlton Comics, creating Captain Atom with writer Joe Gill and debuting that character in Space Adventures #33. After this, he went to work for Atlas Comics, but then landed a job at the one and only Marvel.While at Marvel, Stan Lee came to Ditko with an assignment on hand. He wanted Ditko to give a fresh take on a superhero with spider powers after being disappointed with Jack Kirby’s take on the character. Ditko worked on it. He developed Spider-Man’s look from top to bottom, including the blue and red costume design and web shooters that we love today. Spider-Man would make his first debut within Amazing Fantasy #15. Ditko would go on to helped create other great Spider-Man characters and villains Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Sandman and more.Ditko also created another classic character that we all know and love. That character was Doctor Strange! In 1963, Ditko debuted the sorcerer in Strange Tales #110 through Strange Tales #146. He would later leave Marvel over creative differences with Stan Lee then worked for DC Comics. There he would work on Machine Man and the Micronauts. It was his belief and support in Objectivism at this time that he created some dope characters based off that. In 1967, he created Mr. A, based on the philosophy, but then created other characters such as Hawk and Dove, The Queen and the Creeper for DC also out of the belief.Ditko didn’t stay at DC for long, working with Charlton was one of the places that he stayed exclusively with for a long time until returning to DC in the mid-70s. He would work on Shade, the Changing Man (1977 – 1978), Stalker (1975 – 1976) and way too many titles to mention in a short tribute. He took over Machine Man from Jack Kirby in ’79 returning to Marvel for a few titles but also working for Pacific Comics as well.As we talk about the history of this man, we’re going to get a little personal in this tribute. After he worked with Archie, Eclipse and Western Publishing towards the 80s and into the 90s, Ditko went back to Marvel to help create a character that Ditko helped create that means a lot to me.Squirrel Girl was co-created by writer Will Murray of Doc Savage and drawn by Steve Ditko. Murray already had the script planned for Squirrel Girl, but he needed an artist. The one he had dropped out on him, but when he mentioned and requested Ditko, he came game for it. Squirrel Girl originated from Murray’s long-time girlfriend (and fan of Ditko’s), but Ditko brought her to life, giving her the specific look and characteristics with Murray to help mold her. Squirrel Girl made her appearance in Marvel Super-Heroes #8 and have been stealing everyone’s heart (including mine) and nuts ever since.Steve Ditko would retire from comics in 1998. He, however, leaves us such a legacy of his creations to look too fondly. It’s incredible to see how many characters Ditko created that still hold up and astound us to this day. Ditko was an absolute tour-de-force when it came to comics. He was an incredible artist, writer, inker, and creator that everyone should have the privilege to read his work.So, we want to say, thank you, Steve Ditko. We, the Geek community and fans, thank you for your inspiration. We thank for your hard work. For your heart and hand in creating some of the beloved characters that we’ve come to adore. We also thank you for your massive brilliance to your art and for what you’ve done in comics. You’ll always be a massive inspiration to us, and we thank you for that. RIP Steve Ditko, you were indeed the coolest guy swinging. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *