Prince Namor

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  1. When I was a young kid first reading comics, I hated Gil Kane, especially on Spider-man (my favorite). I still don't much care to read the comics he did the story art on (unless finished by Romita), but man oh man, I have grown to really appreciate his Marvel cover art during the prime Bronze Age years ('72-'75), especially when paired with a quality inker. Just some amazing work, that probably doesn't get enough recognition.
  2. Back in the 'Stan, Steve and Jack did everything' era, which included a few other people of course, there was no 'artist' bullpen. I think Stan made it seem like that to sound like a big successful EC style company. Eventually they'd get there. I remember Marie Severin's map from Foom #16.
  3. Primary? Geez, I hope not. For a lot of those guys, they come to the shows and pay for their own travel and hotel - you figure they put out as much as $2000 to $4000 to show up with their wife or helper - most don't own ANY of their original art work, so they sketch and draw the whole show, maybe have a fee for an autograph to help out... It's not like the movie stars, who have an endless line. A few years before he passed away, Herb Trimpe, I walked up to his table - no line at all and spent 30 minutes talking to him and his wife. I ended up buying a $200 Wolverine piece from him. Super nice guy. Hope he got his hotel paid for by the convention, because I just didn't see him making the kind of money people think.
  4. Seems Sturdy Steve wasn't the only Marvel pro to have a negative view of fans back in the day.... here 'Happy' Herb Trimpe lets loose a bit. Check it out at 6:18. His views on people in his profession are pretty interesting too. Also - some classic footage of the Marvel 'Bullpen'! To be fair - the Herb Trimpe I met a few times at shows was one of the nicest, most respectable creators I ever interacted with, who was very happy to spend time with fans.
  5. From a psychological stand point - not really. Stan would probably be a much more complex and interesting study because he's much better at... uh... hiding the truth/manipulating events/changing his story/conveniently forgetting facts, etc. Ditko is simple. People who have an extreme black and white thinking process, in pretty general terms, need some form of therapy. This form of thinking usually shelters the individual (making relationships difficult if not impossible), plays hell with their self image, and holds them back from a successfully rewarding life. All of which pretty much seem to apply here. In basic terms - Ditko experienced situations in work (we know of) and maybe life (I'm guessing) that he felt were unfair. Rather than understand that people and the world are filled with grey areas of uncertainty, he withdrew more and more, eventually withdrawing completely - while gaining inspiration from Objectivism. He spent the rest of his life working in seclusion, with a small group of outside contacts. His personal life is a mystery, though we know he had relatives. I just don't think it'd be all that interesting. It seems pretty cut and dry. Ditko was as fanatical in his own beliefs as the people he shunned (comic book fans) in their own beliefs. Though I have to admit I'm looking forward to reading this here in a few days!
  6. Something else interesting I just noticed... Dr. Strange first appeared in Strange Tales #110, which we know from Stan's own words "Twas, Steve's idea...", but wouldn't even get a mention on the cover until #117. Peculiar that a new hero, would go 7 issues (he wasn't in #112), including his origin in #115, without even a blurb on the cover about him! He finally gets a small box mention on the cover in #118, but then doesn't show his face on the cover again until #121! He finally gets a 2/3rds cover appearance in #130 (but drawn by Kirby), which wouldn't happen again until #146 when he finally makes a full cover appearance! And guess what issue that is? Ditko's LAST issue! In fact - ASM #26, the well talked about issue where Ditko finally gets credit as co-plotter/artist, coincides with Stan taking Doctor Strange OFF the cover of Strange Tales altogether! Hmmm.... He gets a word balloon on #134 and NOTHING on #135. After a small panel at the bottom on #136, and a blurb on #137, the next ten issues feature FULL Nick Fury covers with no mention of DS on 6 of those 9 covers - until Ditko's farewell issue, that Stan interestingly titled "The End at Last!" LOL. At the same time - Cap and Iron man split the cover of every Tales of Suspense, until they started alternating covers with #70 (until it turned into Cap's own series with #100) - and Tales to Astonish would split every cover with Ant-Man and Hulk before they started alternating covers with Hulk and Sub-Mariner (before becoming Hulk's own titles with #102). Oh and after Ditko left Marvel? Doctor Strange would appear on every other cover.
  7. According to research done on Mike's Amazing World of Comics, Back to the Future #1 was reported as shipping July 2nd, 1991 and hit newsstands on August 6, 1991.
  8. Not quite the same pizzaz as Romita would give her! Great page... Interesting how Romita would make MJ a real bombshell... a much 'sweeter' version Gwen... Hmmm... Sweeter Gwen... who drew that panel there?
  9. Ditko says that Stan and his collaboration worked fine for many years. But once Stan got busier (my words), they ran into problems (my words based on HIS words). Stan changed the way they did covers and so Steve would ask what Stan wanted - Stan still wouldn't be happy and then he'd tell Steve to just come up with something (Ditko's words). Then they'd make changes. It's only natural an artist would get his feelings ruffled by this. Now when this started to occur more on the stories, Stan's version is that Ditko became hard to work with - Ditko's version is that Stan put more of the work on him - which we have seen him do to other artists as he got more and more busier. Ditko would do most of the work - Stan would make changes - of course causing creative butthurt from the artist, but then - sign his name to it as the writer. Who wouldn't that bother? Stan didn't say, "No, we're doing it THIS way." He told Ditko to go make up his own ideas. That's what Ditko did. Ditko didn't just decide to do the book himself - an editor would've never let that happen. STAN MADE THAT DECISION. But still signed on and got paid for being the writer. Ditko did not get paid for being the writer. That was why Ditko says he left. Was Ditko 'prickly' and hard headed about what he wanted? Sure. As many co-creators are. Stan was 'prickly' and hard headed about what HE wanted too. After all, it was pretty much HIS comic book company to run, why wouldn't he be? But he made the decision to let Ditko take over that book... why? To see if it would falter? Out of frustration? Because he hoped Ditko would quit? Because he had a vision of where he wanted it to go? The big question to me is...why did he continue to sign his name as the writer?
  10. I agree with everything you said in this post, but I want to break this down because you make some great points that I don't want to be overlooked. YES - the greatest run of a mainstream comic ever, up there with Lee/Kirby's FF and Lee/Romita's ASM. It would've been different and yeah, it would've been interesting to see what his thought process was... I can't imagine MJ being introduced as amazingly as Romita did it... I wonder what Ditko's idea was behind that build up of her - if it was the same as what eventually happened or if he had a different idea. All creative people are going to feel that way - even Kirby argued with Stan over changes he made. Not saying either is right... Stan did what he thought was best for Marvel in general, and it proved to be financial beneficial to the company - but guys like Ditko and Kirby - real story tellers - are always going to THINK they know best. That fight for what the final produced work is - is what made Marvel special. And so when Ditko didn't want to do that anymore...wait, I'm going to have to address this separately... I agree... but... tell me it wasn't cool at the end of #33 when Pete, having gone through all that he's been through, strong arms JJJ for more money and blows off Betty and Ned - he finally stands up for himself! Of course... yeah... if that had become the dominant side of his personality, it wouldn't have been as interesting... As much as I enjoyed those initial Mr.A stories, they do get pretty bland and repetitive after awhile. A black and white world is pretty boring. This was the genius of Stan. He saw what was coming - he saw who was reading the books (through campus speaking engagements) and rather than push his own agenda on people (as Ditko would have), he took a more progressive path that he saw as financially beneficial and certainly more interesting story-wise with the book. I have no idea what Stan's real views were - maybe he WAS pushing his own agenda - but as a story editor/writer/plotter he was very much a liberal. That's why it's funny these days to see the opposite of that champion him so much, because what he stood for in the comics would be seen as SJW politics to them today. Great point that no one has brought up yet. I agree - I think Stan WANTED him to leave. The book was popular and selling well, but Stan saw where it was going and where he felt it needed to go (and he was right), but he couldn't outright fire Ditko because it would've created a backlash (and dented the carefully cultivated image he was creating for himself), so he ignored him and waited it out. Romita would've started drawing/plotting with Stan on Daredevil #16 (guest starring Spider-man) around Dec 1965/Jan 1966 - and Steve would've turned in his last story around February... so he was already planning...
  11. There's no doubt Ditko had his fallings out with comic book companies - but are they anymore different than say... Jim Starlin? Roy Thomas? Frank Miller? They all had fallings out and bounced around from publisher to publisher at different times, but why aren't they considered hard to work with? Hasn't probably more than 50% of all creators from the Bronze Age had some kind of falling out with Marvel or DC or both? Ditko did work with Stan Lee for a decade before they had a falling out, and with Robin Snyder for... 40 years? He also worked at Charlton, with numerous writers and editors for 30 years. He also did work with Pacific Comics for a number of years. Seems he had a lot more long lasting employers than not. Not saying he couldn't be 'prickly'... he certainly was, especially with fans. Seems to me mostly with fans. Thanks for posting the article - hadn't seen that before!
  12. Yeah, he just waited 50 years to write about it.
  13. I thought you left? Funny how anyone who makes a big exit from a thread, ALWAYS seems to come back. And who said Stan was taking advantage of a young artist in the business? Ditko did his first story with Stan when he was at the ripe old age of 28, a little under 3 years in the business. So when they started working together Ditko WAS fairly new, compared to Stan. But my point was never that Stan took advantage of him when he was new. That's something YOU somehow came up with. There's no misfire. Ditko's words are his own. Just because you can't stand the idea of anyone talking about anything that might make Stan look like he wasn't the kind old genius who created every Marvel character is no reason to get upset. The truth is... Ditko WAS writing the book. Even Stan said so. He just wasn't getting paid for writing it. No pot being stirred here. A is A.