COMIC FAN #2, Summer 1965
Published by Larry Herndon

When I wrote to Mr Ditko I had no idea whatsoever that he would be so generous as to mail me a history of himself besides answering my modest questions. And so, onward into the world of Steve Ditko
- Gary Martin

STEVE DITKO - Born 1927, Johnstown, Penn.

1950 - Came to New York to enter comic book field. Enrolled 'Cartoonist & Illustrators School', greatly influenced by instructor Jerry Robinson.
1953 - Regularly made rounds of comic publishers and was just as regularly turned down. 1st job for comics was with a very small publisher. This job led to 'Headlne Pub' (Black Magic). This was a period of short lived 3-D. Worked (inking) wth others on Harvey's 3-D books & on Simon-Kirby's 'Capt. 3-D'. Started with Charlton Press and became a regular in their line of fantasy books (Thing, This Mag is Haunted).
1954 - early in the year had to leave NY and gave up comics.
1955 - late '55, returned to NY and did first work for Stan Lee and Marvel.
1956 - drifted away from Marvel & back to Charlton Press (Mysterious Traveler, Dr. Haunt).
1958 - Stan Lee asked me to do some work, returned to Marvel, but continued to doing some CP work.
1959 - Marvel, CP - started 'Capt. Atom' - who went nowhere.
1960 - Marvel, CP - started doing 'Gorgo & Konga" based on movies of the same names. Did the same work in 1961-62, but '62 was the year started doing 'Spiderman'.
1963 - stopped doing 'Gorgo & Konga". Started "Dr Strange'. Now doing 'Spiderman' and 'Dr. Strange'.

GARY - Do you prefer inking to pencilling?

STEVE - Like both, each has its own fascinating problems.

GARY - Do all Marvel artists work twice-up?

STEVE - I think so.

GARY - Do you use blue pencil for your rough sketches?


GARY - Would you prefer to draw and ink or do you prefer other people to ink your pencils?

STEVE - Rather do it all myself.

GARY - What type of pen do you prefer? Do you prefer a pen to a brush?

STEVE - I change off from one to another. I use different ones, depending on how I feel. I like a Hunt 102.

GARY - Does Marvel allow their artists anything in the way of supplies?

STEVE - Nothing supplied.

GARY - Do you use some kind of opaque color to erase mistakes?

STEVE - Sometimes. Also use razor blade or ink eraser.

GARY - Have you ever considered syndicating a strip?

STEVE - Yes, but not seriously.

GARY - Do you have any personal dislikes in comics?

STEVE - Have them about everything.

GARY - What is your favourite TV show?

STEVE - Don't watch TV.

GARY - How long does it take to complete a page of art?

STEVE - Depends on how I feel and interest in the story and deadline.

GARY - Who originated Capt. Atom?

STEVE - Someone at Charlton Press. Don't know exactly who as I just worked out costume etc.

GARY - Why was he discontinued?

STEVE - Don't know.

GARY - Who originated Spiderman?

STEVE - Stan Lee thought the name up. I did costume, web gimmick on wrist & spider signal.

GARY - Would you enjoy continuing on him?

STEVE - If nothing better comes along.

GARY - About your art, have you ever attempted painting or any other field of art?


GARY - Is there a chance of a revival of Captain Atom?

STEVE - Only Charlton Press can answer that.

GARY - Do you/did you ever draw from models?

STEVE - Once, when studying.

GARY - Do you stick to your assigned script or do you someimes drift?

STEVE - I'm allowed to drift.

GARY - Other than practice, practice and practice, what other advice to 'budding' young artists do you offer?

STEVE - Learn what is right & wrong about drawing or art. Practicing bad habits is an awful waste. Study anatomy - you should know what is under the skin and how it moves.

Study people to see how the muscles & bones cause various shadows, bumps & shapes - their gestures, emotions, habits - everything about them. Study other artists to see how they interpret anatomy, people etc. Everything today, whether its a light bulb or the English language - or a car - is the result of people building on the knowledge of people before us. Everyone adding something of their own.

That is why you must study -
1. The basic anatomy, composition, drapery and even storytelling.
2. Then see how this basic anatomy, or basic drapery looks on human beings in various poses, lighting or conditions - wet clothing is different than dry.
3. Studying other artists to see how they interpret the basic anatomy, composition, drapery etc. This does not mean you copy what they do - but help you understand how it is done and why. To show a man laughing means definite muscles must move, yet 10 different artists can draw 10 different pictures and all be right and no two drawing be alike. Basically, yes, they're all the same - since smiling action must conform to anatomy - but the artist's individual approach to how to show it sets him apart.
1. So study the basics.
2. See how it appears in life.
3. How others interpret it.
4. And from it all, do it in a way that you personally feel is right or good.

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