Steve Ditko, the comic book artist who co-created Marvel & # 39; s Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, was found dead in his New York apartment on June 29, according to The Hollywood Reporter . He was 90 years old.
In a statement, Marvel Entertainet president Dan Buckely said that Ditko "transformed the industry and the Marvel Universe, and his legacy will never be forgotten," while the company's creative director, Joe Quesada, said that the artist "He blessed us with beautiful art, fantastic stories, heroic characters and a mystical personality worthy of some of his greatest creations." Other writers and artists have paid their own tributes, from Neil Gaiman to Mike Mignola to Alex Ross has paid his own tributes online.
Born in 1927 in Pennsylvania, Ditko grew up during the Great Depression. According to Blake Bell in his biography of the artist, Strange and strange: The world of Steve Ditko those circumstances led his working-class family to "make money with the cheap forms of pop culture," including the newspaper comic strips. Ditko picked up his love for his father's comics, an interest that deepened with the publication of comic books like Bill Finger and Bob Kane Batman and Will Eisner The Spirit in the 1940s , which inspired him to pursue a career as a comic artist. After the end of World War II, he enlisted in the US Army. UU And he drew comics for the army newspaper in Germany.
After his discharge from the Army, he attended the School of Illustrators and Illustrators in New York City, where he studied under the Batman artist Jerry Robinson, and eventually sold his first comic in 1953. For the next couple of years, he developed his style by drawing horror comics for small publishers, before being discovered by Stan Lee of Marvel Comics where he wrote for titles like Marvel Tales and Worlds of Suspense ] The couple finally began working in close collaboration, with Lee writing and providing ideas, and Ditko illustrating them. According to Bradford W. Wright in his story Nation of the comic: The transformation of youth culture in the United States their association "seemed to instill enthusiasm in Stan Lee". After years of derivative gender hackwork, Marvel comics finally assumed distinctive qualities. "
His most famous collaboration became Marvel's biggest hit: Spider-Man. While Lee commissioned his colleague Jack Kirby the art, Dikto soon took over: Wright says Lee" he appreciated Ditko's ability to emphasize the weakness and fragility of his characters "and that the artist" brought out the humanity of the adolescent hero. "Ditko redrew the character, creating his iconic red and blue suit. When the character first appeared in A mazing Fantasy # 15 in August 1962, it was an unexpected blow, and defined Marvel's approach to superheroes.
Ditko continued to draw for a comic line dedicated to the character, The Amazing Spider-Man, and helped create some of Peter Parker's iconic villains, such as Doctor Octopus, Sandman and Green Goblin. He would continue to develop another famous Marvel hero, Doctor Strange, through which he was able to put into practice some of his most surrealist styles. Ditko left Marvel abruptly after he and Lee had a fight in 1966, and ended up working for DC Comics for a short time, before working independently for a number of independent publishers (as well as freelance work for Marvel and DC), becoming influenced by the objectivist works of Ayn Rand. He was known as a reclusive figure, who rarely provided interviews, signed autographs or appeared in public.
In recent years, superheroes took over the Hollywood box office, led in part by Ditko's creations: Spider-Man, who has seen three different incarnations in recent years, while Doctor Strange, received your own big budget treatment. Dr. Strange's director Scott Derrickson noted that he never contacted the artist, saying The Hollywood Reporter that Ditko is "like J.D. Salinger." He is private and has kept himself intentionally out of the limelight. "Ditko retired in 1998, but continued working in his apartment in Midtown.
With his death, Ditko leaves an incredible and complicated legacy far from the showman who is Stan Lee, silently devoted himself to his art and stories, creating some of the best-known characters in the industry.