The Steve Ditko Reader
by Greg Thomaston
(Pure Imagination, 2002)

If you only know Steve Ditko from his work on Spider-Man, then you don't really know Steve Ditko.

An extremely prolific creator, the man birthed many other comics projects outside of the famous wall-crawler, and some of that work is equal to his most famous co-creation. This truth is nowhere better displayed than in the compilation, The Steve Ditko Reader, amassed by comics historian extraordinaire Greg Thomaston.

The Reader begins with "The Road to Spider-Man," an entertaining account of how the character ultimately (no pun intended) came to be; it may be no small surprise to many fans that Spidey's roots go all the way back to the Golden Age of comics, and involve another phenomenal creator, Jack Kirby.

Recountings of comics work, relationships between key professionals and workplace politics combine to create an enthralling read for any individual interested in the history of comics. It serves as a fitting introduction of sorts to some of Ditko's most awe-inspiring work from the Golden and Silver ages.

Ditko is largely remembered so fondly because of his style of art. Apparently adaptable to nearly every genre, yet consistent in its individual style, it is as distinctive as it is conducive to great storytelling. Science fiction, horror, fantasy, mystery ... they all seemed to be come naturally to him, as he proved he could master each of them.

The Steve Ditko Reader is suggested for anyone who enjoys simple, straightforward comic book entertainment, as well as those interested in the history of the genre.

- Rambles
written by Mark Allen
published 12 June 2004