The Hawk and the Dove
And of course, everyone's favorite wall-crawler
One of the reasons I love his work so much is because his work has a lot of expressionism. The way he draws his characters makes them seem alive, but he does it in a different way than the way Kirby does it. Kirby does a lot of dramatic posing with his characters, done in a very overly dramatized manner. Ditko brings his characters to life through use of camera angles, moody atmosphere, and wonderful facial expressions. I think it would behoove every comic book artist working today to study his work and learn from him.
One of the things I've always noticed about Ditko's work, especially during his run on Spiderman, was that everybody looked incredibly anxious, often looking like they're just about to have a horrible nervous breakdown. I think that actually fit the Spiderman comic, because, let's face it, a lot of those stories were very depressing. Also, I think it just fit the time period as well. Think about it, it's 1963, we just went through the Cuban Missile Crisis, but we're still living with the fear of nuclear annihilation. I think an artist who could represent those feelings would strike a chord with readers. I think all artists strive for that, striking an emotional core with a reader or viewer.
I may not agree with his politics, but damn it all if he's not one of the greatest artists and storytellers of all.
Here are a few places to find out about this great artist:
Steve Ditko's website (operated by Blake Bell)
The BBC Documentary In Search of Steve Ditko http://www.dograt.com/category/cartooning/comic-books/in-search-of-steve-ditko/page/2/
This documentary includes interviews with comics masters such as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, John Romita Sr. (his replacement on Spiderman), Marvel editor Joe Quesada, as well as the one and only... Stan "The Man" Lee. I hope you enjoy.
Until next time,