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  1. #31
    Super Amalgamated! Alan2099's Avatar
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    I'll grant that Black Widow, Hawkeye, Kingpin, and the Falcon are Lee's (along with Heck, Romita, and Colan), but I wouldn't call those characters more popular/enduring than Captain Atom, Shade the Changing Man, Hawk & Dove, The Question, or Speedball.
    I would. ... Well, maybe not Falcon but defintly Kingpin.
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  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by rick View Post
    It never ceases to amazes me that people like to portray Ditko as some kind of nut simply because he wished to retain what he saw has his moral, ethical and most of all artistic integrity.
    I'm not claiming Ditko was crazy for leaving Marvel, I'm saying he left Marvel because he was crazy, which is something totally different.

    And no, I don't actually think he's literally crazy, but I do personally think his political and personal belief system is silly at best, irrespective of how it affected his decision to leave Marvel. As it happens, I do also think it was a major part of his decision to leave Marvel and not in terms of some nebulous desire to take a moral stand for artistic freedom, but rather on a nuts and bolts level -- he wanted more of a platform to espouse his beliefs and when Lee wouldn't give it to him, he left.

    One reason I think I think it's unlikely that Ditko left Marvel just because he was unhappy with the amount of artistic freedom that he was being given in general is the fact that he had been working for Stan Lee at Atlas and Marvel for years before Spider-man came along. And while I don't know exactly what kind of system they used at the time, I haven't heard anything to suggest that Lee had yet developed the Marvel Method.

    My assumption, then, is that by the time Ditko left Marvel he was actually receiving far more creative freedom at that point than he either had at any previous time in his career or would receive at any other major publisher, Charlton excluded; not to mention the fact that he was receiving both artistic leeway and credit that were not being given to any other creator in the industry, Jack Kirby included. After all, at the time he left, he was basically being allowed to do anything he wanted on Dr. Strange and was getting full credit for it as well.

    To my mind, then, the real problem had to be with Spider-man and the fact that Stan was apparently editing the comic -- you know, like editors do. I don't know if it's apocryphal or not, but I've read more than one place that Ditko's political belief system was intruding more and more into his Spider-man work at the time he left and that Stan was, when he got a hold of the finished pages, doing damage control by outright changing those elements to both fit Stan's more liberal sensibilities -- and not incidentally to keep the character more marketable to kids who I think it's fair to say weren't interested in Spider-man turning into Mr. A.

    Frankly, I think that if Lee had let Ditko do what he wanted on Spider-man in terms of the character's development, it's likely that Spider-man would never have become the popular, worldwide icon he is today because Ditko's agenda would have curtailed and limited his appeal. The proof of this for me is the simple fact that when Ditko did leave and Lee brought Romita on board to draw his stories, sales reportedly went up significantly. For me, Lee earned his credit on Spider-man by overseeing the book the way a good editor does -- he was hands off when Ditko was great and hands on when the series needed guidance.

    As a result, I think Ditko's departure from Marvel was both inevitable and quite possibly the best thing for everyone involved. I know I wouldn't really have wanted the Ditko of later years to have free rein with any characters I like. Would it have been interesting? Unquestionably. But would it have been good? That I seriously doubt.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    I'm not claiming Ditko was crazy for leaving Marvel, I'm saying he left Marvel because he was crazy, which is something totally different.

    And no, I don't actually think he's literally crazy, but I do personally think his political and personal belief system is silly at best, irrespective of how it affected his decision to leave Marvel. As it happens, I do also think it was a major part of his decision to leave Marvel and not in terms of some nebulous desire to take a moral stand for artistic freedom, but rather on a nuts and bolts level -- he wanted more of a platform to espouse his beliefs and when Lee wouldn't give it to him, he left.

    One reason I think I think it's unlikely that Ditko left Marvel just because he was unhappy with the amount of artistic freedom that he was being given in general is the fact that he had been working for Stan Lee at Atlas and Marvel for years before Spider-man came along. And while I don't know exactly what kind of system they used at the time, I haven't heard anything to suggest that Lee had yet developed the Marvel Method.

    My assumption, then, is that by the time Ditko left Marvel he was actually receiving far more creative freedom at that point than he either had at any previous time in his career or would receive at any other major publisher, Charlton excluded; not to mention the fact that he was receiving both artistic leeway and credit that were not being given to any other creator in the industry, Jack Kirby included. After all, at the time he left, he was basically being allowed to do anything he wanted on Dr. Strange and was getting full credit for it as well.

    To my mind, then, the real problem had to be with Spider-man and the fact that Stan was apparently editing the comic -- you know, like editors do. I don't know if it's apocryphal or not, but I've read more than one place that Ditko's political belief system was intruding more and more into his Spider-man work at the time he left and that Stan was, when he got a hold of the finished pages, doing damage control by outright changing those elements to both fit Stan's more liberal sensibilities -- and not incidentally to keep the character more marketable to kids who I think it's fair to say weren't interested in Spider-man turning into Mr. A.

    Frankly, I think that if Lee had let Ditko do what he wanted on Spider-man in terms of the character's development, it's likely that Spider-man would never have become the popular, worldwide icon he is today because Ditko's agenda would have curtailed and limited his appeal. The proof of this for me is the simple fact that when Ditko did leave and Lee brought Romita on board to draw his stories, sales reportedly went up significantly. For me, Lee earned his credit on Spider-man by overseeing the book the way a good editor does -- he was hands off when Ditko was great and hands on when the series needed guidance.

    As a result, I think Ditko's departure from Marvel was both inevitable and quite possibly the best thing for everyone involved. I know I wouldn't really have wanted the Ditko of later years to have free rein with any characters I like. Would it have been interesting? Unquestionably. But would it have been good? That I seriously doubt.

    ...If Sturdy Steve had gotten his way with Spidey in '66 , then , do you think we would've had full pages of Spidey gripping the Sandman by his hair , twisting it , as he lectures him on how we must impeach Earl Warren , unleash Chaing Kai-Chek , and bomb Vietnam back to the Stone Age ?
    ( Oh , BTW , while Stan was/is a Democrat and I'm sure in basically all ways would be called " more liberal in personal politics that SD " , Stan was , in that 1960s division , a " hawk " , not a " dove " on Vietnam - I imagaine he kept that on the DL when he did all those " campus appearances " he boasted about then !!!!!!!!!!! )

  4. #34
    Junior Member AmazingPancake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Asperger View Post
    ...If Sturdy Steve had gotten his way with Spidey in '66 , then , do you think we would've had full pages of Spidey gripping the Sandman by his hair , twisting it , as he lectures him on how we must impeach Earl Warren , unleash Chaing Kai-Chek , and bomb Vietnam back to the Stone Age ?
    ( Oh , BTW , while Stan was/is a Democrat and I'm sure in basically all ways would be called " more liberal in personal politics that SD " , Stan was , in that 1960s division , a " hawk " , not a " dove " on Vietnam - I imagaine he kept that on the DL when he did all those " campus appearances " he boasted about then !!!!!!!!!!! )
    Sturdy Steve's Spider-Man would be a non-parody version of Affable Al's Rorschach, methinks.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    And no, I don't actually think he's literally crazy, but I do personally think his political and personal belief system is silly at best,
    I'm not all that crazy about Objectivism either, but I have to give Ditko credit for the one noble alteration he made to his version of it, which was to insist that defending the truly weak and truly helpless was a proper and ethical thing to do. And helping the helpless was also something worthy of the individual choosing to put themselves at risk over.


    This difference places Ditko far ahead of Rand and her normal followers.

  6. #36
    world of yesterday benday-dot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    And no, I don't actually think he's literally crazy, but I do personally think his political and personal belief system is silly at best, irrespective of how it affected his decision to leave Marvel. As it happens, I do also think it was a major part of his decision to leave Marvel and not in terms of some nebulous desire to take a moral stand for artistic freedom, but rather on a nuts and bolts level -- he wanted more of a platform to espouse his beliefs and when Lee wouldn't give it to him, he left.
    How is the desire to create your own Spider-Man stories, and after your own vision, not the very desire to exercise creative freedom?

    That is precisely what it is. Ditko's vision was, for better or worse, at odds with Lee. Differences were apparently irreconcilable and Steve stuck to his guns and walked in favour of an independent and self-directed course. I agree with much of what you say Scott, but you seemed to have reached a conclusion at odds with your premise.

  7. #37
    Junior Member AmazingPancake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rick View Post
    I'm not all that crazy about Objectivism either, but I have to give Ditko credit for the one noble alteration he made to his version of it, which was to insist that defending the truly weak and truly helpless was a proper and ethical thing to do. And helping the helpless was also something worthy of the individual choosing to put themselves at risk over.


    This difference places Ditko far ahead of Rand and her normal followers.
    Alan Moore knew nothing of Objectivism outside of Ditko's beliefs, yet still created a pitch-perfect satire of it. If Ditko is better than typical fare, how can Affable Al formulate this:



    And be so accurate, with only having Ditko as a guide?

  8. #38
    world of yesterday benday-dot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmazingPancake View Post
    Alan Moore knew nothing of Objectivism outside of Ditko's beliefs, yet still created a pitch-perfect satire of it. If Ditko is better than typical fare, how can Affable Al formulate this:

    And be so accurate, with only having Ditko as a guide?
    Just curious AP, but how do you know Alan Moore knew nothing of Objectivism outside of what he got from Ditko? Given Moore's prodigious reading it would seem most unlikely he was previously wholly ignorant of Rand. Fountainhead was after all a phenomenally huge seller at one time.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanboyStranger View Post
    Yeah, but the question was what Lee character created without Kirby and Ditko is as popular than Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Hawk and Dove, or Speedball, and She-Hulk is probably more popular than any of those characters. Ditko's Blue Beetle was a revamp of a character as well.

    I'm not saying that She-Hulk was a particularly inspired character by Lee, but she has proven an enduring one.
    But I think we can surmise that given the business reasons for trademarking that character, She-Hulk would have been created with or without Stan Lee.

  10. #40
    Junior Member AmazingPancake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benday-dot View Post
    Just curious AP, but how do you know Alan Moore knew nothing of Objectivism outside of what he got from Ditko? Given Moore's prodigious reading it would seem most unlikely he was previously wholly ignorant of Rand. Fountainhead was after all a phenomenally huge seller at one time.
    Well not wholly, but Rorschach was designed as a Ditko character:

    "[I wanted to] come up with this quintessential Steve Ditko character—someone who's got a funny name, whose surname begins with a 'K,' who's got an oddly designed mask"."

    Tho' you are right, I misremembered, this is what he said about it (Google the source if you want):
    [Alan Moore:]
    During the '60s, I learned pretty quickly about the sources of Steve Ditko's ideas, and I realized very early on that he was very fond of the writing of Ayn Rand.

    I had to look at The Fountainhead. I have to say I found Ayn Rand's philosophy laughable. It was a "white supremacist dreams of the master race," burnt in an early-20th century form. Her ideas didn't really appeal to me, but they seemed to be the kind of ideas that people would espouse, people who might secretly believe themselves to be part of the elite, and not part of the excluded majority. I would basically disagree with all of Ditko's ideas, but he has to be given credit for expressing these political ideas. I believe some feminists regard Dave Sim in much the same light; they might disagree with everything he says, but at least there is some sort of sexual-political debate going on there. So I've got respect for Ditko.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmazingPancake View Post
    Alan Moore knew nothing of Objectivism outside of Ditko's beliefs, yet still created a pitch-perfect satire of it. If Ditko is better than typical fare, how can Affable Al formulate this:



    And be so accurate, with only having Ditko as a guide?
    I'm not so sure Rorschach was meant to be strictly a comment on objectivism or even Ditko's personal version of it. I think the target was a little more broad than that and would include any violence-prone, morally self-righteous hero who saw things in black and white - like Batman, for example, or at least some versions of that character.

  12. #42
    Junior Member AmazingPancake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    I'm not so sure Rorschach was meant to be strictly a comment on objectivism or even Ditko's personal version of it. I think the target was a little more broad than that and would include any violence-prone, morally self-righteous hero who saw things in black and white - like Batman, for example, or at least some versions of that character.
    Not strictly but it most certainly a main factor.

  13. #43
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    I don't really have too much to add... so just some bullet points and questions?

    Didn't Martin Goodman pay the salaries? RT seemed to confirm as much in his essays in Chronicles of Conan?

    Stan Lee - Comics Genius, Jack Kirby - Comics Genius, Steve Ditko - Comics Genius. Somethings got to give!

    Somehow, some way, the genesis of the overall method, theme and style of the Marvel method begins and ends with these three men.

    We don't have the same complaints about Stan from Don Heck, Dick Ayers, The Severin's, John Romita, The Buscema's, RT, Joe Sinnott, Vince Coletta, George Roussous... Do we have accounts where they feel ideas were 'stolen' from them?

    The theory that Stan edited and dialogued plots and drawings into classic, archetypal, comic books for sale and profit seems a reasonable enough argument for his collaborative input.

    Kriby and Ditko arguably achieved their creative zenith collaborating with... Stan Lee...

    Jolly Jack, Rascly Roy, John 'Blood n Guts' Buscema, these were names burned into my childhood memory. Meanwhile, the 80 page giants at the distinguished competition made nary a mention of the creators. Wasn't this an example of Stan promoting his creators, giving them credit?

    Yes, Stan Lee was a PT Barnumesque self-promoter that would put a Hip-Hop artist to shame... but didn't this distinguish Marvel as well... our buddy, our pal, trying to get us some awesome comics? Stan knew they were awesome and wasn't afraid to tell us.

    Reading back over everyone's comments let me compliment Jesse Hamm and Scott Harris for making solid points where which the truth must lie somewhere in between.

    Subtract the FF and Spidey from Lee's CV, you still have some wonderful issues of Avengers, Did Don Heck make Kang pine for Ravonna?, some wonderful issues of the Hulk, did Marie Severin or Herb Trimpe envision that lonely behemoth?

    You'll never here me knock Stan. It's the Wordsworth-Coleridge argument, Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards, Bowie-Eno... You'll always have a half that appeals to your artistic sensibilities more than the other, perhaps the best way to appreciate though is to enjoy the final output of the collaborative effort?

  14. #44
    Junior Member AmazingPancake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie View Post
    I don't really have too much to add... so just some bullet points and questions?

    Didn't Martin Goodman pay the salaries? RT seemed to confirm as much in his essays in Chronicles of Conan?

    Stan Lee - Comics Genius, Jack Kirby - Comics Genius, Steve Ditko - Comics Genius. Somethings got to give!

    Somehow, some way, the genesis of the overall method, theme and style of the Marvel method begins and ends with these three men.

    We don't have the same complaints about Stan from Don Heck, Dick Ayers, The Severin's, John Romita, The Buscema's, RT, Joe Sinnott, Vince Coletta, George Roussous... Do we have accounts where they feel ideas were 'stolen' from them?

    The theory that Stan edited and dialogued plots and drawings into classic, archetypal, comic books for sale and profit seems a reasonable enough argument for his collaborative input.

    Kriby and Ditko arguably achieved their creative zenith collaborating with... Stan Lee...

    Jolly Jack, Rascly Roy, John 'Blood n Guts' Buscema, these were names burned into my childhood memory. Meanwhile, the 80 page giants at the distinguished competition made nary a mention of the creators. Wasn't this an example of Stan promoting his creators, giving them credit?

    Yes, Stan Lee was a PT Barnumesque self-promoter that would put a Hip-Hop artist to shame... but didn't this distinguish Marvel as well... our buddy, our pal, trying to get us some awesome comics? Stan knew they were awesome and wasn't afraid to tell us.

    Reading back over everyone's comments let me compliment Jesse Hamm and Scott Harris for making solid points where which the truth must lie somewhere in between.

    Subtract the FF and Spidey from Lee's CV, you still have some wonderful issues of Avengers, Did Don Heck make Kang pine for Ravonna?, some wonderful issues of the Hulk, did Marie Severin or Herb Trimpe envision that lonely behemoth?

    You'll never here me knock Stan. It's the Wordsworth-Coleridge argument, Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards, Bowie-Eno... You'll always have a half that appeals to your artistic sensibilities more than the other, perhaps the best way to appreciate though is to enjoy the final output of the collaborative effort?
    I think EVERYONE at Silver Age Marvel was awesome, including Stan Lee. So...yeah, any comments to the contrary was me trying to figure out Ditko's POV.

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by benday-dot View Post
    How is the desire to create your own Spider-Man stories, and after your own vision, not the very desire to exercise creative freedom?

    That is precisely what it is. Ditko's vision was, for better or worse, at odds with Lee. Differences were apparently irreconcilable and Steve stuck to his guns and walked in favour of an independent and self-directed course. I agree with much of what you say Scott, but you seemed to have reached a conclusion at odds with your premise.

    The distinction I was trying -- very poorly -- to make is one between a general stand on principle and a case-specific desire to tell a certain story. I see (only to a small degree in this thread, to be fair) a lot of people holding up Ditko's decision to leave Marvel as some sort of paragon of artistic freedom, as though he left in order to make a greater statement about creator rights. But it seems to me that he was perfectly happy working within the system right up until the moment it conflicted with his ability to promote his agenda.

    Which is fine and I don't have any problem with him leaving to gain that freedom; more power to him. I just think some people tend to make more of his decision than it actually was; he wasn't striking a blow for comic creators everywhere, he just wanted to turn Peter Parker into a douche is all (<-- exaggeration for effect).

    I mean, I don't think he was leaving to prove a point about how Jack Kirby was being treated, you know?
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