Out now: "Ditko Shrugged: The Uncompromising Life of the Artist Behind Spider-Man"

Available now from Amazon, 'Ditko Shrugged: The Uncompromising Life of the Artist Behind Spider-Man" is billed as the first in-depth of Steve Ditko, the artist who co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange among many other characters.

Details from the publisher:

Steve Ditko was the last of a sturdy generation of American comic book artists who produced iconic, modern day mythology and was among the most influential and original creators of the 20th Century. 

A prime architect, together with Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, of a universe of heroic characters that took Marvel Comics from an underdog New York publisher in the 1960s to the world-recognized brand of comic book superheroes and multi-million-dollar movies of today, Ditko co-created Spider-Man but walked away from the character he designed over 50 years ago, to never again return to the enduring superhero and retreating completely from the public eye thereafter. 

Seeking his own individualistic paths for creative and personal expression would lead to condemnation from some, restricted work opportunities from others and a reclusive life peppered with memories of interfering editors; original artwork that had been stolen from him and a life-long adherence to his Objectivist convictions. 

With the book sourcing a decade-long correspondence between Steve Ditko and its author David Currie, the history of the formative years of American comic books and the rise of Marvel Comics is revealed, illuminated further by interviews with many other comic book creators from all periods. It's an intrigue-filled story of heroes and villains, both fictional and real; visionary artists on zero-hour contracts and one man's artistically productive and diligently uncompromising life.

Pop Pic: Greta Garbo


"EC Covers Artist's Edition" gives fans a close-up look at classic comic book art

Another of IDW's large-format art collections, the "EC Covers Arists' Edition" is out in June and available for pre-order now from Amazon.

Details from IDW:

EC Comics, under the guidance of publisher Bill Gaines, was--according to the editor of this collection--the greatest line of comics ever done. This once-in-a-liftime Artist's Edition collects more than 140 EC covers by their best and brightest talents. The luminaries included in this gigantic (15 x 22 inches!) tome include:

Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Graham Ingels, Al Williamson, Johnny Craig, Frank Frazetta, Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, and more! To make a baseball analogy, this is a Murderers Row every bit as noteworthy as the '27 Yankees!

Also includes an Introduction by noted EC scholar Thommy Burns.

Each cover in this collection has been scanned from the original art While appearing to be in black and white, these images were scanned in COLOR, enabling the reader to see all the subtle nuances that make original art unique. Blue pencil notations, zip-a-tone, Duoshade, whiteout--all of these and more are clearly visible. Honestly, the only better way to see these covers is to be holding the original art in your hands!

Hardcover, 160 pages. 

Pop Pic: Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward


Third Bronze-Age Justice League of America Omnibus moves into the latter 1970s

More fun stuff from the "satellite years" coming in July. The 880-page book is available for pre-order from Amazon now.

The Justice League moves into the second half of the 1970s with adventures guest-starring the Justice Society of America, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and a group of heroes from the long-gone past, including Jonah Hex, Viking Prince, Enemy Ace, and more. Plus, the League's mascot, Snapper Carr, turns against the team, the Phantom Stranger helps the team battle a returning pantheon of ancient gods, the Martian Manhunter faces Despero for the lives of the League, and the Secret Society of Super-Villains swap bodies with the World's Greatest Super-Heroes. Plus, Black Lightning is invited to join the JLA--but he turns down the invitation for mysterious reasons.

Collects Justice League of America #147-181.

Pop Pic: Jonathan Frid


New music out today: Brian Eno - Film Music 1976-2020; Mayer Hawthorne - Rare Changes; The Kinks - Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Pt. 1 - Box Set

Click the links to order from Amazon.


Comic Art: 1980s Marvel Comics portfolio art by Steve Fastner and Rich Larson

The Fastner-Larson team did a series of print portfolios back in the 1980s. Here's a look at, I think, all of them. I had the X-Men set (actually still do, just not sure where).

Vintage Mickey Mouse animation art


Pop Pic: Lost in Space


"Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 9" coming in June

Nearly 700 pages of 1950 Batman adventures out this summer. Available for pre-order now from Amazon.

Details from DC Comics:

These stories from the early 1950s feature alternate versions of the Caped Crusader, as well as Batman's foes The Joker, Two-Face, the Penguin, and Catwoman. Along the way, the Dynamic Duo travel back in time to meet "The Batman of Yesterday," and encounter another Batman in modern-day Gotham City. Plus, Batman joins the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Catwoman stalks a beauty pageant, The Joker directs his own movie crimes, and more.

Collects Batman #76-84, plus stories from Detective Comics #192-208 and World's Finest Comics #63-70.