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Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko

Details for this: Book
Author: Blake Bell
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 216
Dimensions: 9" x 12"
Colors: full-color
Year: 2008
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-56097-921-0
Additional Details: illustrated

Price: $39.99


Steve Ditko is best known as the co-creator, with Stan Lee, of Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and other classic Marvel and DC characters. 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. Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko is a coffee table art book tracing Ditko's life and career, his unparalleled stylistic innovations, and his strict adherence to his philosophical principles, with lush displays of obscure and popular art from the thousands of pages of comics he’s drawn over the last 55 years.

Download an EXCLUSIVE 10-page PDF excerpt (7.4 MB) from Chapter 3, "Marvel Comics and Stan Lee." Plus, click here to read Blake Bell's Introduction in its entirety.

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

"The book is an extremely satisfying archive of the artist's work, both famous and obscure, and... it intensely documents the twists and turns of his career." – Los Angeles Times Book Review

"An essential tribute to one of pop culture's most essential creators. [Grade] A+" – SciFi

"This is one handsome book. Handsome like the lead hunter character in a safari movie handsome." – The Comics Reporter

"[A] glorious celebration... beautifully designed. [Grade] A-" – Entertainment Weekly

"Wow wow wow wow!!!!... an engaging and riveting read, covering ground virtually unknown heretofore. I want to pull it off the shelf and start reading it over again already. I will state right now, that this book will easily end the calendar year 2008 in my Top Five books of the year, if not Number One. Very highly recommended." – Brett Warnock

"Insightful... excellent... [Grade} A" – The Onion A.V. Club

"One of the most interesting (and visually stunning) biographies I have read all year." – Largehearted Boy

"Masterful... With passionate yet unremittingly objective scholarship, Bell chronicles the life and work of this notoriously reclusive and stubborn artist." – Barnes & Noble Review

"Bell has inpeccable taste when it comes to his assessment of the high points in Ditko's art and career... Steve Ditko at his best is magic, and The World of Steve Ditko is filled with Ditko at his best... the book [is] a must for the old grouch's many fans, and should convert some new ones, too. Recommended and then some." – Minneapolis City Pages

"In Strange and Stranger, Blake writes the kind of feature journalism that usually ends up in a newspaper like The New York Times or a magazine like the New Yorker... This truly special book examines the quest for artistic perfection on a personal level, while it reveals the life of a fiercely independent man who has always lived in interesting times. Bell gives us a history of American comic books and the history of an exceptional American comic book creator – the complete package. [Grade] A+" – Comic Book Bin

Online Reviews & Features:
Library Journal
The Stranger
Alan David Doane, Comic Book Galaxy
The Toronto Star
Javier Hernandez
Planet Comic Book Radio interview with Blake Bell
Blog Talk Radio interview with Blake Bell
Wally Conger
The List
The First Post
Entertainment Weekly
The Oregonian
Rick Klaw
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Art Blog By Bob
The Onion A.V. Club
Minneapolis City Pages
Johnny Bacardi
Comic Book Bin
Recap of "The World of Steve Ditko" panel at Comic-Con 2008 by Comic Book Resources

2008 Critics' Lists:
Alan David Doane, "Comic Art Book of the Year" (tie)
Paul Gravett, "The Best of 2008 - Books About Comics"
The SF Site, Rick Klaw, "Nexus Graphica: Top Ten Graphic Novel or Comics Related Publications" (#5)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Best Books of 2008: Graphic Literature"

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