He co-created Spider-Man, created Doctor Strange, and is one of the most important comic artists of all time, yet he’s ignored any publicity for decades. What happened to Steve Ditko?
No doubt this video will be old news to our readers in the UK, but we’d bet many US comic fans haven’t heard of In Search of Steve Ditko. Hosted by TV talking head/mega-fanboy Jonathon Ross, he’s looking for Steve Ditko, a man who hasn’t done an interview since the 1960s. And did Ross ever do his homework. This has got to be the most informed, comic literate doc ever made.
At first it seems Ross will only be talking to some of the most important UK comic folks, which is totally fine. Who doesn’t want to hear what Neil Gaiman or Mark Millar have to say about Ditko? Alan Moore is particularly interesting figure in the story. He talks about basing Rorschach on Ditko creations The Question and Mr. A, then talks about how strange it is that liberals loved Ditko’s work when Steve is a hard-right lover of Objectivism. How often do you see Alan Moore talk about someone being more peculiar than him?
Anyway, the Brits give context, but Ross heads to New York and meets with the people that were there. Hardcore Spider-Man fans will thrill to see Ross interview John Romita Sr., Jerry Robinson, and Ralph Macchio about their experiences with Ditko. Even Joe Quesada goes on record about the virtues of Steve’s work. But Ross’ biggest get has to be Stan Lee.
Ross gets Stan to go on record about his experience with Steve, open up about their arguments over attributing responsibility for Spider-Man’s creation, and even gets Stan to drop down his practiced media facade. And yet, while Stan could be the bad guy of the documentary, they end up treating him fairly, showing his consternation with the famously difficult Ditko while still showing him massive respect. Is Lee only doing this because there’s a camera on him? Who can say.
Anyway, if you’ve never watched it, now is the time. It’s a crash course in comic history, packing so much info in just one hour.
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