Why Steve Ditko left Spider-man/Marvel
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Growing up I was always curious as to why Steve Ditko left Spider-man. With the rise of fanzines and hobby 'enthusiasts' in general, speculation for those reasons begin to circulate and at some point Stan and others began stating that Ditko just stopped talking to everyone and then one day quit. It was assumed that Ditko never discussed this or talked about it or anything having to do with Marvel. After he passed away, i figured we'd never get his side of the story.

BUT, having found some of his writings from Robin Synder's 'The Comics' fanzines, I did start to read previously unknown (to me) essay's by Ditko about the creation process at Marvel (which I've posted here before) and now... I've found... that Ditko DID actually discuss, in writing, his departure from Marvel. This was published in the Fall of 2015, a little under 3 years before his passing away. 

It's great to be able to hear both sides of the story finally, and... as to be expected, they conflict. But it's a cool piece of comics history I'm glad to have finally read.

Ditko 100.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

So it was because both of them were being childish.  I would have told Flo I have the pages have Stan call me when he wants to meet and discuss them.

Edited by kav

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Posted (edited)

Ditko wanted to make Ann Ryan the secret identity of The Green Goblin.

Lee said no. 
 

Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct answer. 
 

Stop trying overthink everything thing guys. 

Edited by NoMan

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13 hours ago, NoMan said:

Ditko wanted to make Ann Ryan the secret identity of The Green Goblin.

Lee said no. 
 

Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct answer. 
 

Stop trying overthink everything thing guys. 

Who is Ann Ryan?  Do you mean Ayn Rand?

And do you have a link to back this up?

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4 hours ago, Sweet Lou 14 said:

Who is Ann Ryan?  Do you mean Ayn Rand?

And do you have a link to back this up?

Obviously that's not correct.

 

With both sides of the story it's pretty easy to see - and pretty simple. 

Ditko and Lee had a collaboration.

At some point Lee stopped talking to Ditko.

At a certain point Ditko thought, "Why am I doing extra work that someone else is getting paid for?"

And he left.

 

If we go simply by Lee's version - that Ditko stopped talking to HIM, then his reasons for leaving seem mysterious and unanswered. 

If we go by Ditko's version, it seems pretty basic. It makes sense. 

He no longer wanted to do all the work that someone else got credit/paid for.

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2 minutes ago, JazzMan said:

If Ditko rambled on aimlessly and scatterbrained as the passages show, it's no wonder that Stan wouldn't let him write his own stories. 

But Stan did. It's long been common knowledge, verified by staffers and even Lee, that at a certain point Ditko turned in completed issues without any collaboration. If I remember correctly, from around #26 on through the rest of his run, Ditko did complete story and art, with no editorial direction, and then Lee added the dialogue from his notes.

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1 hour ago, Prince Namor said:

If we go by Ditko's version, it seems pretty basic. It makes sense. 

Well, except for the part that Ditko's version (in which Stan Lee stops speaking to him) offers no explanation of why that happened.  Regardless of who stopped talking to whom, there are unanswered questions.

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25 minutes ago, jason4 said:

Cant we just let this rest? RIP both of them.

You're free to let it rest, but in no position to tell anyone else what they can and can not discuss.

Not interested in it? Then why come into a thread that is for people who ARE interested in it, and the history of comics in general and tell us we shouldn't?

25 minutes ago, jason4 said:

I think we can agree that we love their contributions and the world is thankful. 

No one is disputing that.

25 minutes ago, jason4 said:

People disagree with one another at the workplace every day. 

Correct. But not everyone creates Spider-man.

25 minutes ago, jason4 said:

They both went on to do what they wanted. Its hard to get along with and work with everyone you come across. Neither deserves any blame imo. 

No one's blaming anyone.

If you're not interested in this topic, coming into it and making points is pretty much in contrast to that.

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Posted (edited)

(shrug)

Edited by Prince Namor

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41 minutes ago, Sweet Lou 14 said:

Well, except for the part that Ditko's version (in which Stan Lee stops speaking to him) offers no explanation of why that happened.  Regardless of who stopped talking to whom, there are unanswered questions.

See, here's someone that wants to discuss it.

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I guess these 2 guys took the truths to their graves. And each had their own version of their truths leaving us to side with one or the other.

From the above read, communication just stopped without really giving a reason why. Ripple effects were described in detail but it's still a blank panel as to why. My take is they were just being childish with pride taking over until they both forgot/blurred what they fighting over.

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Let's look at some other clues direct from the creator's own words:

In January 1966, Stan Lee gave an interview with the New York Times Herald (see below). In it, he doesn't sound happy with Ditko. I suppose the feelings behind the printed wording is subjective, but it certainly makes Lee-was-ignoring-Ditko more a plausible happening than Ditko-was-ignoring-Lee, which is the story that was told for decades.

I can't find a quote where Ditko sounds angry at Stan.

Ditko pretty much accepted the Marvel Method as his agreed upon work relationship with Stan and abided by it until... whatever happened, happened, and then HE was doing all of the actual story work, but only getting part of the byline, as a plotter. He didn't like that change in agreement, and Stan wouldn't talk to him, so he left. 

image.png

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Remember though... previous to this, when they were still collaborating, Ditko asked Stan for 'plot' credit. 

And how does Stan react to people who ask for story credit? 

Here's an example of it happening, where the artist DID elaborate:

Wally Wood 

Wood: I enjoyed working with Stan [Lee] on Daredevil but for one thing. I had to make up the whole story. He was being paid for writing, and I was being paid for drawing, but he didn't have any ideas. I'd go in for a plotting session, and we'd just stare at each other until I came up with a storyline. I felt like I was writing the book but not being paid for writing.

Evanier: You did write one issue, as I recall--

Wood: One yes [Daredevil #10]. I persuaded him to let me write one by myself since I was doing 99% of the writing already. I wrote it, handed it in, and he said it was hopeless. He said he'd have to rewrite it all and write the next issue himself. Well, I said I couldn't contribute to the storyline unless I got paid something for writing, and Stan said he'd look into it, but after that he only had inking for me. Bob Powell was suddenly pencilling Daredevil.[Later on in the interview] ... I saw [Daredevil #10] when it came out, and Stan had changed five words---less than an editor usually changes. I think that was the last straw.

 

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