DITKO's FIRST PUBLISHED COMICS Dated May 1953
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Robert Beerbohm   
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In early 1953 Gilberton, in an effort to keep their costs down, canned most all their regular creators and went to the cartoonist art school Steve Ditko was then a student at. They hired students to do their comic books at much lower rates, there is an approx ten issue run

 

This is from Classics Illustrated #107 May 1953 - it is clear Ditko did not do the entire book, but his hand is quite evident (to many of us) in some of the pages, about one third the book.

 

Daring Love #1 is cover dated Sept/Oct 1953

 

Classics0107-01.jpg

 

Classics0107-07Ditko.jpg

 

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shiverbones   
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very interesting! It looks like he was given background character work on those pages.

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Robert Beerbohm   
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One can make out the hands of three artists on these pages and the others of this issue

 

On the page 7 i post, the ladies in green up front surely look like Ditko to me

 

other pages sport looks of at least the layouts with some figure work

 

so, what does every one think?

 

a new "first" Ditko comic book story to replace Daring Love #1?

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szelim   
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Interesting. I dug out my copy of this book to see, and I do think there is quite a lot of Ditko style artwork in the book.

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TheWatcher   
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very interesting! It looks like he was given background character work on those pages.

 

 

And background work. To me the throne, decorative green object (lamp?), and smoke on PG 2 panel 1, 2, 3 all look like his work.

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TheWatcher   
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For comparison, here's Ditko's 6 page story from Black Magic 27 dated Nov/Dec 1953 (his 2nd published art)

 

DitkoBlackMagic27.jpg

DitkoBlackMagicPg2.jpg

DitkoBlackMagicPg3.jpg

DitkoBlackMagicPg4.jpg

DitkoBlackMagicPg5.jpg

DitkoBlackMagicPg6.jpg

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Robert Beerbohm   
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Keep in mind Ditko was still a student at the art school Jerry Robinson and Mort Meskin were teaching at the time these art story jobs came available. No diff than say when people come to the Kubert school for projects.

 

I would say Ditko was at least doing layouts on some of the pages of this Classics story. One can easily see there is zero Ditko in the back half of the book - completely different hands at work there

 

The front of the book where the Ditko work is concentrated has a completely different atmosphere

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TheWatcher   
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I also see Ditko in the second panel, specifically the guy carrying the bundle and the asian? face in the lower left.

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Comicdey   
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So essentially Ditko worked as student slave "cheap" labor when known artists were given the boot.

 

Kinda like union/non union...crossing the picket line? hm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:devil::baiting:

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Robert Beerbohm   
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I also see Ditko in the second panel, specifically the guy carrying the bundle and the asian? face in the lower left.

 

sure thing - Ditko art shows up all over the place in the first third of the book - and the neat thing is most any Ditko collector can score on of these compared to the other earlier "first" Ditko comic books such as FF 5, Daring Love 1, BM 27 28. Not quite in the league of Capt 3-D #1 with its huge "warehouse find" concept running with that book.

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Aman619   
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I dont see any Ditko in this piece.... Some similar brushwork perhaps, but compared to the '47 story, which has Ditko's feel all over it down to the filled in blacks with side lighting, theres no comparison. He may have worked on some aspects due to his presence at the school, but...

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shiverbones   
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I have to disagree, I see quite a bit of Ditko in most of the non-main characters. LIke the guy with his arms crossed in the middle panel of the 2nd psoted page & the harem girls in green.

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Blake Bell-migration   
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Hi Robert. I wish I could say I agree with you, but you sent me this book and I find quite a bit of the claims/evidence too dubious to agree with, and I don't agree with the methodology used here to prove the point.

 

When one is making claims like this, it is FAR more important to try and DISPROVE the claim by naming all the differences in the work in question and the artist's style that was current at the time. We need to see side-by-side examples of where they might be differences that would disprove the theory as much as we need (literally) side-by-side examples of what are the similarities. We also need to account for what other artists at the time may have had similarities in style to the work at play, especially since a great deal of the hypothesis stated here relies on examples like "On the page 7 i post, the ladies in green up front surely look like Ditko to me" which, if you broke them down feature-by-physical feature and placed them side-by-side the Ditko faces even in the examples you provide in Black Magic, there'd be enough differences to thwart the theory in question.

 

You also then say, “I would say Ditko was at least doing layouts on some of the pages of this Classics story,” which now changes the emphasis from people’s feature to how the page is being laid out. What are the specific examples of layouts in the CI book that match Ditko’s? And how many layouts in the CI book DON’T match Ditko’s? There are so many differences even in the Black Magic pages in how Ditko structures his mis-en-scene within each panel to make a case that he didn’t even come close to touching the layouts. Lay it out panel by panel and talk to the differences and similarities.

 

You also said, "Keep in mind Ditko was still a student at the art school Jerry Robinson and Mort Meskin were teaching at the time these art story jobs came available." Do you have specific dates for when Ditko was at the school, and when Meskin was there too? If so, what's the source? When did Ditko join the school and when did he "graduate"/leave?

 

If “we” are going to be considered the “keepers of the gate” when it comes to adding/rewrite historical data in the comic-book field, we owe it to the generations coming next to ensure we are using sound principles and practices of art identification. Lord knows enough myths around Ditko have found their beginnings in such conversations, spreading across whatever the information highway of the day is.

 

Not saying you’re wrong here, Bob (well, technically, I am, because even on the examination I did when you sent me the book, and the cursory look now, I think it’s a reach in connecting the dots historically and artistically), but I’d like to see someone proposing a theory try and disprove it before they leap to proving something (since the attempt to do so can be fraught with subjective reasoning as to why one is trying to prove a theory without trying to disprove it first, as must all science do).

 

Sincerely,

Blake Bell

http://www.ditko.comics.org/

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Robert Beerbohm   
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Blake,

Good to see you here. Seems some sort of Ditko Police rang the alarm bells to get you here

 

I thought something like this would draw out the experts over time.

 

Other very long time 35-40 year comic book art fan friends i have who are also every bit as much an expert in Ditko funny book stories as either you or myself agree there is definite Ditko in this book.

 

some of what you query about above would be worthy of a chapter in a book on Ditko

 

i suppose i could write it here, but not tonight - we be having very cold ice rain snow storm here in the mid west the past bunch of days - and it is time to go home soon

 

but, we are talking Ditko worked on this book - that is easy to see

 

did he do it by himself?

 

of course not

 

other hands are easy to see as the story progresses

 

For me, after having been in comics fandom studying this stuff for over 40 years now inside "organized" comic "book" magazine fandom since late 1966, "sources" such as you desire here right now become melded into one world view.

 

i got my first Spiderman & Doctor Strange original art by Ditko back in 1969. Soon there after i got my first Ditko Charlton pages - at one time i owned over 60 Ditko comic book pages & covers - all at the same time. Twas hunting down looking for potential obscure Ditko appearances with as much fervor as looking for Wood or Frazetta, etc

 

Ditko was in our fanzine FANZATION #3 that year put out by myself, Steve Johnson and Deryl Skelton - both also huge Ditko fans.

 

The world view is this Classics 107 story has Ditko in it

 

I have been wanting to have this discussion for a very long time - and i like the CGC boards which allows one to post scans along with the word thoughts we write

 

For me to have a coherent discussion like you suggest calls for some cutting and pasting of panels etc - which takes a little time - time i do not have tonight, but will make tomorrow

 

This all from me, the guy who informed Overstreet that BM 27 & 28 had Ditko, with an associate of mine a long time ago Mark Stichman who discovered the Ditko in BM #27 and i followed up with checking BM #28 - that was a long time ago - back in my Berkeley store on Telegraph Ave over 25 years ago.

 

Overstreet parlayed Bruce Hamilton's story about the Ditko in FF #5 (that's Fantastic Fears to you youngsters in the audience) (Jan 1954) being his first drawn

 

but even that falls to the way-side, cuz this May 1953 CI #107 has Ditko in it

 

plus other guys hands drawing as well

 

that is what i said in the beginning

 

and my story has not and will not change

 

best o the evening to you, Blake

 

bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Robert Beerbohm   
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i think you should re-write your book to be correct in all things Ditko

 

but that is just my advice - and i welcome any one and every one to enter the art-ID fray here

 

The more opines the merrier and better

 

who knows, maybe i am wrong, and maybe my other Ditko-loving comic art friends are wrong as well, but i doubt it

 

 

 

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Aman619   
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I only see one or two small areas that remoteluy look like Ditko: the turbanned guy under the word Khyber and the blue colored woman on the left edge of the splash page. Everything else is just plain GA artwork, none of the flourished or inking or shapings of early or late Ditko.

 

I know nothing of any historical Diko research projects: just going by my eye in ferreting out artistic styles. A Hole in the Head is pure Ditko: pencilling and inking sty;e. 90% of all of it is Dtkoesque. But only 5% of the Khyber story looks ta all Ditko. You do the math.

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Moondog   
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In early 1953 Gilberton, in an effort to keep their costs down, canned most all their regular creators and went to the cartoonist art school Steve Ditko was then a student at. They hired students to do their comic books at much lower rates, there is an approx ten issue run

 

This is from Classics Illustrated #107 May 1953 - it is clear Ditko did not do the entire book, but his hand is quite evident (to many of us) in some of the pages, about one third the book.

 

Daring Love #1 is cover dated Sept/Oct 1953

 

Classics0107-01.jpg

 

Classics0107-07Ditko.jpg

 

Bob:

 

I don't understand how anyone who looks at those green girls cannot see that Steve Ditko was the artist - especially the closest one looking at the girl playing the instrument and the one furthest in the background. They are both pure Ditko. No one else ever drew women's faces that way.

 

--Gary

 

 

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ajaxfarrell   
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Too bad we couldn't just ask Mr. Ditko himself. I just don't get that guy. Oh well.

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