Comics legend Steve Ditko passed away on June 29th at the age of 90.
Few comic-book artists have had the influence of Steve Ditko on modern pulp fiction. Steve was a creative force ahead of his time whose unmistakable, unique and distinctive style graced the pages of many a comic I and many other fans used to, and still do own. In other words, Steve Ditko was a legend.
Ditko studied under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the cartoonist and Illustrators School in New YorkCity. He began his professional career in 1953, working in the studio of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, starting out as an inker and coming under the influence of artist Mort Meskin. During this time, he then began his long association with Charlton Comics, where he did work in the genres of science fiction, horror, and mystery. He also co-created the superheroCaptain Atom in 1960.
Ditko was best known as the co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, crafting stunning imagery that brought these superheroes to life in the pages of Marvel Comics. His work on Dr. Strange is remarkable regarding how he attempted to bring the surreal environments of the stories to life with his fabulous artwork. Ditko worked closely with Stan Lee on these projects, and the two had a somewhat contentious relationship, but after his groundbreaking work with Marvel, Ditko left the company for reasons he never specified.
After leaving Marvel, Ditko went to work for Charlton Comics, drawing for characters like Blue Beetle and the Question. In the late 60s, Ditko funneled his Objectivist ideas into creating the comic book hero Mr. A, and he moved to DC Comics in 1968 where he worked on characters like Creeper and Hawk and Dove.
Ditko had two stints at the publisher, the first from 1968 to 1969, following his split with Marvel Comics, during which he introduced The Creeper, the talk-show host turned maniacal vigilante, and Hawk and Dove, the costumed brothers on opposite sides of the political spectrum who became associated with the Teen Titans. He returned in the mid-1970s, during which he created Shade, the Changing Man, co-created the sword-and-sorcery comic Stalker, revived The Creeper and drew the Prince Gavyn version of Starman.
Ditko subsequently became something of a recluse, declining to give interviews even as fans attempted to corner him at his Manhattan apartment. His work remains hugely influential on the superhero movie landscape and the world of comics at large,
Rest in peace Steve, and thanks.