Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books, 2008. First edition. Hardcover. 216pp. 31 cm. Black and gray illustrated boards with black and green illustrated dustjacket. As NEW. Item #14300
From front inside flap: "In the wake of the astonishing success of Sam Raimi's three Spider-Man movies, Steve Ditko has become known as the co-creator, with Stan Lee, of the early 1960s character that helped propel Marvel Comics' popularity on college campuses and gave the company much of its cultural cachet throughout that decade. But, in the context of Steve Ditko's 50-year career in comics, his creative involvement with Spider-Man is merely the tip of the iceberg.
"Ditko is known among the cartooning cognoscenti as one of the supreme visual stylists in the history of comics, as well as the most fiercely independent cartoonist of his generation. His unique visual approach and innovative designs moved from the imaginatively hallucinatory landscapes of Dr. Strange to the almost plebeian earthiness of the Amazing Spider-Man to the diagrammatic insistence of his character Mr. A.
"Ditko began his career in the 1950s drawing comics for the notorious low-budget Charlton Comics where he developed his craft on various genre titles. He started working for Stan Lee at Marvel Comics in 1958, churning out monster-horror stories, until he was hired to work on Marvel's new superhero line, for which he provided the visual conceptions of The Hulk, Spider-Man, and Dr. Strange, and plotted and drew these characters' adventures between 1962 and 1966. By 1966, Spider-Man had become a pop culture icon, and it was then that Ditko quit drawing the character.
"He immediately created his Ayn Rand-inspired character, Mr. A, whose first story appeared in Witzend, a black-and-white pre-underground independent comics magazine edited and published by Wally Wood, another talented cartoonist who chaffed under the constraints of the mainstream comics publishers of the time. Ditko went on to work at various publishing companies such as DC Comics, Warren Publishing, and even Marvel Comics (albeit steadfastly refusing to ever draw Spider-Man again), writing and drawing Mr. A stories that extolling the philosophical precepts of Ayn Rand, and, more recently, bitter visual jeremiads challenging the moral status quo of the comics industry.
"Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko traces the artist's life and career, his unparalleled stylistic innovations, his strict adherence to his own principles, with lush displays of obscure and popular art from the thousands of pages of comics he's drawn over the last 55 years."