Comic book artist Steve Ditko was found dead in his New York home this week. Ditko was 90.
Ditko is perhaps best known for co-creating Spider-Man and Dr. Strange with Stan Lee, for Marvel Comics, back in the early 60s. Two characters that have imprinted themselves onto mainstream consciousness, especially with recent blockbuster movies.
However, Ditko would leave Marvel Comics in 1966 due to creative differences with Lee. He spent most of his creatively fecund years with DC and Charlton Comics creating memorably quirky characters like the Creeper, Shade the Changing Man, Hawk and Dove, the Question et al.
These characters reflected Ditko’s own offbeat personality and oddball art style. Ditko was also notorious for his objectivist views as a follower of philosopher Ayn Rand.
These views would be expressed in Mr. A – a character that Ditko maintained copyrights over – a hero known for his uncompromising principles and incorruptibility. Mr. A was one of the influences behind the popular Watchmen character Rorschach.
Personally, one memory of Ditko’s work has been indelibly stamped onto my consciousness. In Amazing Spider-Man #33, Spider-Man is trapped under tons of machinery but by force of sheer will, overcomes this obstacle magnificently, the embodiment of “never say die”.
A brilliant takeaway from a creator who left a lasting impact on pop culture.
Rest in peace, Mr. Ditko.
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