Thursday, June 16, 2011

Steve Ditko, comic artist

A Brush with the Ditko Brush

Here's a nice early Ditko strip from Charlton's Crime and Justice 18 (April-May 1954). I stumbled across it while researching the title at the Digital Comic Museum, an Internet blessing for comics fans. It's an episode from a series about two radio-car cops. This is the only entry in the series drawn by Ditko.

Most of Ditko's stylistic traits are in place. He's inking with a heavier brush than he used later, and I find the results delightful. Many people have mentioned Jerry Robinson's influence on Ditko. It's visible here, especially in the faces (both men shared a liking for big noses). I haven't seen it discussed much, but I believe early-middle-period Joe Kubert (about the time he was doing "Chuck Chandler" for Gleason) also influenced Ditko, especially in posing.

Ditko does a nifty turn with his brush in this strip. Check out the suggestions of architectural shadows in this detail:
Even in1954 Ditko's visual world was stuck in the early 1930s.

1 comment:

Paul Chadwick said...

Now that you mention it, Ditko's closest stylistic cousin is Kubert, isn't it?

Ditko never achieved his grace in figure drawing, depicting beautiful women and elegant page design -- but Ditko's somewhat grotesque, eccentric work is brilliant in its own way.