Steve Ditko talks at last…sorta

tumblr metwovNmFl1qhmu4uo1 12801 Steve Ditko talks at last...sorta

Via Midtown Comics, A recent letter from Steve Ditko.

A recent letter from Steve Ditko to one of our customers. He asked Steve what he remembered about designing Spidey’s costume. #ditko #spiderman (at Midtown Comics)


50 years is a long time…and Stan Lee doesn’t remember anything either. The intensely private Ditko has long refused to give interviews about his work at Marvel, and at age 85, perhaps telling people he just doesn’t remember is the best way to lay the whole thing to rest.

Comments

  1. Bill Oppenheim says:

    Ditko’s been writing essays about Spidey’s creation for years. Check Robin Snyder’s site.

  2. SniktSnakt says:

    What a cranky old codger. Better to not get ANY answer then that…

  3. Horse pucky! That the guy responded with a handwritten letter is pretty amazing! Nothing is “cranky” about the letter – he’s being honest. Much of the stuff written by him about Spider-Man’s creation was done years ago and reprinted. Even if he wrote stuff about it a few years ago, the mind can change quickly at his age. This makes me want to write to him and ask about something more recent.

  4. Chris Hero says:

    Wouldn’t you be a mite cranky too if you created a character worth billions and all you ever got for it was a few hundred dollars and people hounding you about it after you’ve done everything to be private?

    Reading Sean Howe’s Marvel book was just heartbreaking, but there was nothing new there. All these people who never did anything except go to Ivy League schools and get jobs based on that made millions and millions by doing stuff like proposing new ways to manage debt. They didn’t create anything or invest a cent of their own money; they simply risked other people’s money. But fanboys will call the legends names and make fun of them all because the guys who created the characters they love have lived on very modest means and mention how they’re not thrilled about that.

    I’m also beyond sick of people thinking because they bought a comic book they also got a law degree with it and they bring out the, “Well, he signed a contract,” line of rationalization. As someone who’s gone to law school, fanboys who think they’re lawyers really upset me.

  5. SniktSnakt says:

    Sometimes the mystery is better then the reality.

    Better to THINK Ditko has/had some pearls of wisdom to share that he will always keep to himself then to realize he is just another crotchety geriatric who should be left well enough alone.

  6. Rich Harvey says:

    “As someone who’s gone to law school, fanboys who think they’re lawyers really upset me.”

    Lawyers usually upset everyone :-)

  7. Chris Hero says:

    @Rich

    Yeah, I hate lawyers, too, which is why I left the field. Their collective lack of ethics was just mind-boggling to me.

    @SniktSnakt

    Ditko has a ton of wisdom to offer. He’s done so with many, many people who have discussed craft with him. His current comics are master classes on how to construct pages. I think the only lesson here is don’t go asking people about unpleasant memories unless you want an unpleasant answer, but his answer was hardly unpleasant.

  8. >> perhaps telling people he just doesn’t remember is the best way to lay the whole thing to rest. >>

    Note that he doesn’t say he can’t remember. He doesn’t answer the question, but doesn’t say he doesn’t know. This isn’t the kind of thing he seems to want to talk publicly about, beyond his essays, though, and he probably wouldn’t want even this letter widely distributed (which may be part of why he doesn’t answer).

    But he doesn’t actually say he doesn’t remember.

  9. Steve’s a sweet, funny, smart guy who just hates fandom in general.

    Everybody should pick up his unusual and bizarre stream-of-consciousness underground comics that he still writes and draws regularly.

    http://ditko.blogspot.ca/

  10. I would get the letter framed.

  11. Al™ says:

    Speaking of elusive and reclusive, does Robin Snyder actually have a website? If so, it’s not popping up high in the search engine. Any hints?

  12. Interesting. Ditko has co-published 20 books in the last 5 years, including a substantial amount of new comic book work, reprints of some classic material and a book primarily made of essays, some of which deal with his history at Marvel in detail, plus published many additional essays in various venues. As far as I can tell with a quick search, The Beat has only covered that material once, with a post that contains what turned out to be erroneous speculation on the contents of that book of essays.

    Yet someone rather classlessly posts a private letter from Ditko, which doesn’t contain anything really newsworthy, and that gets your attention.

    Journimalism!

  13. Joe S. Walker says:

    It looks to me as if Ditko is saying he doesn`t trust his memory that well, which at 85 is hardly unusual. And since he doesn`t want to discuss the subject anyway…

  14. Synsidar says:

    Speaking of elusive and reclusive, does Robin Snyder actually have a website?

    Ditko’s had essays about his work on Spider-Man published–one was published in July–but they’re apparently not posted online. This Ditko-focused blog is one of a bunch with more info on how to get them.

    SRS

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