A Tribute to Steve Ditko
Often times at the Ghosts of the Stratosphere, you can find us goofing around as we trade comic book stories back and forth in our typical non sequitur manner. However, there are some moments when it’s time to get serious and pay our most humble respects to the passing of a legend of the comic book field, the late, great Steve Ditko.
Mr. Ditko passed away sadly at the age of 90 recently, leaving behind a mountain of tremendous work and an unquestionable mark on the comic industry. Although many in the upcoming days may highlight the fact that he was the co creator of Marvel’s flagship character, Spider-Man, this was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the man’s total creative output and why he should always be remembered by those who have come to love his creations throughout the years.
To that end, the Ghosts are going to take a few moments to speak about their own stories and how the wonderful Steve Ditko helped shape their comic book lives.
“The first comic book I ever remember reading was a Marvel Tales reprint of Amazing Spider Man #6 by Lee and Ditko. I still have in framed on my office wall. Thank you Mr. Ditko for helping start my lifelong love of comics. Although so many remember him for creating the Web Head, he did so much more.
From creating the entire rogue’s gallery of Spider-man (including my personal favorite Mysterio!), to his insanely mind bending run on Dr. Strange, to reinventing the Hulk in the mid 60s after he was thrown in the rubbish bin and giving him anger as the signature triggering point for his power. Plus he also tried to save Machine Man in the early 80s, making one of my favorite characters one of the few that was drawn by both Kirby and Ditko since the beginning of the Silver Age. Rest in Peace, sir, we will not forget you.”
“Spider-Man has long been my favorite comic book character, and so many of the early books I read were reprints of Ditko’s classic work in creating the webslinger and making him what he is today. I had a mass market sized reprinting of Amazing Fantasy #15 and Amazing Spider-Man #1-#6 that was just in absolute dreadful condition when I wad young, and I read it over and over; I simply loved those old tales of Spidey’s beginnings. I have three pieces of comic art upon my walls, and one is of Amazing Fantasy #15.
Mr. Ditko left behind a legacy and a body of work of which anyone could be proud. He touched the lives of millions of people that would never have the chance to meet him and thank him for the impact he had on them. I’m personally honored and glad he shared his brilliance with all of us.”
“Steve Ditko is probably best known as the co-creator of Spider-man, a fictional character. That fictional character, the stories, the supporting cast, have done more to inspire and encourage me over the years than most people I know. When Spider-man lifts the weight upon him because he has to, I realized that I can lift the burdens heaped upon me when I have to. That means a lot to me, personally, especially when the world seems all too eager to add more weight sometimes.
Steve Ditko’s impact spreads so much farther than just the first 38 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man (plus two annuals), but that’s better saved for another time. For now, I’ll just say that Steve Ditko’s characters, his stories, his art, and his influence have been felt for generations and will all only continue to grow as long as there are people out there to appreciate them. Thank you, Steve Ditko; may you rest in peace.”
If you’d like to hear more of our thoughts on Steve Ditko and his amazing work, please check out the following podcasts we recorded previously that review some of his best known works at Marvel.
Contains a Review of Steve Ditko’s Run on Doctor Strange including the first appearance of Eternity.
If you too were a fan of the late Steve Ditko, Let us know your thoughts and stories!
Until then, my friends, remember that no one is ever really gone as long as we continue to remember them.
May Steve Ditko’s work continue to inspire and excite us for years to come!
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