- You'll save an extra 5% on Books purchased from Amazon.ca, now through July 29th. No code necessary, discount applied at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2 Hardcover – Dec 2010
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Even if you ve read the first volume [of The Steve Ditko Archives], Unexplored Worlds offers plenty more surprises.... As always, Fantagraphics top-notch presentation makes the publisher the go-to stop for comics preservation. --Rod Lott"
Ditko is one of the most elusive and complex characters of comics golden age, but these volumes ( with illuminating forwards by Blake Bell) at least give a compelling glimpse into the creative development of the man behind the panels.--Chris Mills"
Fantastic... Raw and grotesque and beautifully drawn and presented.--Dave Gibbons, co-creator of Watchmen
About the Author
Steve Ditko continues to create comics in his studio in New York City.
Blake Bell is the author of Strange & Stranger (a retrospective of Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko); The Secret History of Marvel Comics, Fire & Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics; Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives; and Strange Suspense and Unexplored Worlds (two volumes in The Steve Ditko Archives). He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his son.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Similar to EC comics extra, are the post code ditko stories.
Nothing shocking or wild in the stories, and other than a couple of bold artistic masterworks, they are very mundane and downright forgettable.
That being said it provided a modest momentary diversion on occasion. But with the overall cookie cutter short story format I tended to start reading stories twice before I realized I had read them already.
Format wise its excellent, with nice paper(a bit thinner than in vol 1) and great reproductions right from the original comics.
There is a lot of truth in that statement of course -- so much of the inventiveness and wit and art disappeared from comics when the new control mechanisms were in place.However, the opposite is true here -- clearly, Ditko did feel restrained -- but he reacts by producing some clever, thoughtful , reflective artwork for the stories here, to compensate for the limitations placed on him by the comics code and the authors,and the art work is astonishing on every page.
One to buy and value and read again and again. Looking forward to Volume Three for sure.
The saving grace is the purpose for the book's existence: Ditko's art. This early in his career he had already developed his unique style. Do you ever freeze frame an athlete in action? A pitcher just after a throw, a boxer about to punch, a hurdler in mid-jump? We see heroic leaps and gestures and poses in the photos that get published, but if you ever see the rejected pictures taken of the transitional moments between "poses", or the still frames in a video, you'll see a human body under exaggerated exertion look all distorted, awkward, and just plain wrong, and yet for the instant that image shows, that person had that position. Jack Kirby's art gives us the glorious classical, powerful poses. Steve Ditko's focus is on illustrating that awkward moment, even when power is exerted. Fingers splay, arms flail, eyes are wide. The only characters who move with confidence are the villainous ones shortly before their newly-inflicted Comics Code-mandated comeuppance.
Another strength is his characters' faces and features. Distinctive, unusual hairstyles--no Toth glamour here--especially women's hairstyles and men's facial hair. For perhaps a hundred lead and supporting characters in dozens of stories cranked out in roughly a year's time, I don't think he ever repeats a single face in different stories. Every one is a new face. Compare to (for instance) several of the EC artists who seem to have casts of recurring players in different roles in their comics.
In those faces Ditko powerfully illustrates people in the midst of desperation, obssession, paranoia, panic, maniacal glee--so much so that when he draws someone happy, as in the occasional romantic conclusion in some of these stories, it actually looks forced. His approach to using the face and eyes to express a character's degree of anxiety as they weigh events and motives to make decisions to action is an aspect that is key to so much of his work.
Then there are the strange worlds he takes us too. In this collection there's not a whole lot of that but it is there is some stories and we see creative attempts to suggest invisible events in "this" world as well as impossible things out-of-this-world environments. Ditko's imagination in creating these places and images is unforgettable, a lasting contribution to comics art.
But the stories for which this art was created are a waste of time. It's difficult to justify even the Amazon discount price for this book, let alone the full cover price, for a book that works best if you can ignore the words. The art is well-reproduced, including the coloring, though I wish many of the off-register bits copied from the originals had been tidied up. I am curious about the other volumes in this series but I can't say I really want to pay for them, though I do believe this series is important for archiving Ditko's early and easily disposed Charlton work.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > Cartooning
- Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > Horror
- Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > Superheroes
- Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > Publishers > Fantagraphics Books
- Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Graphic Novels