For Comic Book Junkies Only

A new book tries its best to ‘splain us the biggest mystery man in the Marvel Universe: The Incredible, Elusive Steve Ditko. And we’re definitely buying it to see if this terrific collection of writers succeeds at its dangerous mission

Steve Ditko – Creativity Just Beyond Reality – by Mike Gold

The Creativity of Steve Ditko  • Craig Yoe • With essays by Mykal Banta, Mike Gold, Jack C. Harris, Paul Levitz, and Amber Stanton • IDW/Yoe Books • $39.99 retail

It’s only fitting that I start a review of a book about Steve Ditko by raising an ethical question. Is it proper for a critic to review a book in which he has an essay, no matter how brilliant, poignant and vitalthat essay might be?

I don’t care. The latest tome from YoeBooksThe Creativity of Steve Ditko is so magnificent such petty concerns such as objectivity do not matter. Anything I can do to help direct the masses towards this effort is in service to a greater cause and, besides, I don’t get royalties.

There have been a number of books about Ditko, one of America’s most important comics creators who is as reclusive as he is gifted. In fact, this one is a sequel to Yoe’s The Art of Ditko, which I haven’t read – not because I’m not in it, but because I’m a cheap bastard. Creativity runs over 200 over-sized pages and weighs over three and one-half pounds, supporting my argument for electronic publishing as I suspect the majority of its audience consists of aging baby boomers who can only keep the book on our laps for a short period before reaching for Depends. I’m hard-pressed to suggest what Yoe could have cut.

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