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.