There’s not much point in me critiquing Ditko’s work here. It’s all been said better already (by Bell, for one) so I’ll just add that when I was voraciously consuming Marvel Comics the way modern kids do Twilight and alcopops, the official line had Jack Kirby as king of the artists - but, for me, Ditko always had the edge.
To this day, no other comic artist is so breathtakingly cinematic in his storytelling, nor as visually inventive and consistently surprising. I loved seeing Thor knock chunks off rock trolls with his uru hammer, but it was Ditko who kept coming up with new ways to amaze. You know in the Spider-man movie, when you first see Spidey swinging from building to building? The way the sheer momentum flings his limbs into extreme poses? That’s pure Ditko.
So, look: the guy was a genius. Blake Bell’s book is a large-format, lavish production on quality paper, so not cheap. But it’s a glimpse at genius. And it’s cheaper than a bottle of flavoured vodka. So go ahead and treat yourself. Me, I’ve already put in my order for the follow-up.
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