Friday, November 04, 2016

Post from the Past: The (Doctor) Strange art of Steve Ditko

With the new movie opening up, I thought I'd re-share this post from a year or so ago spotlighting the amazing, other-worldly art of Steve Ditko, who co-created the character with Stan Lee.




Ditko is a master at using his character's hands as a mode of expression and storytelling. Doctor Strange, in particular, is fascinating to look at in this light, as he expressively conjures up magic.


Ditko's use of shapes and patterns to portray magical energies and other realms and cosmic beings is also highly unique and pioneering in the field of comics.




Below: One of the few photos of the reclusive Ditko.

One of only a few pictures of Steve Ditko











Dr. Strange's astral travels.



The distinctive window of Dr. Strange's Greenwich Village pad (above right and below) was inspired by a similar window in Will Eisner's "Spirit" strip (above left). The influence of Eisner's early work on the "Spirit" is evident on Ditko's line work and visual conception. The two images above are from this site. Notice the window design is also repeated on the cupboard in the picture below.




After Ditko left Marvel, the excellent Marie Severin had the unenviable task of following him up, doing her best to capture the trippy nature of the strip.

Marvel developed a strong college/hippie readership in the mid to late 1960s and Dr. Strange was obviously a favorite. Despite the appearance of his art, however, Ditko was decidedly not influenced by LSD or other drug use and was, in fact, very conservative devoting his later career to comics focused on the black/white, every many for himself philosophy of Ayn Rand.

The Severin image below made its way onto the cover of Pink Floyd's second LP, A Saucerful of Secrets.



Finally, here's "In Search of Steve Ditko," an excellent documentary from BBC TV.





What's happening 50 years ago?

Check out our sister site Pop '66!



Video find: "The Story of Skinhead"

The skinheads we Americans know of are white, racist thugs. But, interestingly, the skinhead movement started as a black subculture stressing fashion, ska and reggae.

This new BBC documentary by Don Letts takes a look at the movement's roots and where it went.


Cool! New Doctor Strange enamel pins by Mondo

Get 'em here.


New Music Friday: Beat Bugs; Jim James; Frank Zappa; Captain Kangaroo, more

Click the links to order discounted CDs, vinyl and downloads from Amazon.

Beat Bugs: Best Of Seasons 1 & 2 (Music From The Netflix Original Series)






Pop Culture Roundup: Doctor Strange; The Hulk; Doctor Who reunion

Via Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin: "The Occult World of Doctor Strange" calendar from 1980.



You can see the complete calendar here.

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Via Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!: When the Hulk met Tom Wolfe.

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"Doctor Who" co-stars David Tennant, Billie Piper and John Barrowman reunited at the Alamo City Comicon last weekend.