Five years before his breakthrough as the co-creator of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and other classic super-heroes for Marvel Comics in the early 1960s, Steve Ditko, inspired by the freedom he found at the laissez-faire Charlton Comics, was turning out some of the best work of his career.
Mysterious Traveler, which collects stories from (among others) Tales of the Mysterious Traveler and This Magazine Is Haunted, reprints over 210 full-color pages of Ditko in his early prime. These are stories that have never been properly reprinted until now thrilling stories of suspense, mystery, haunted houses, and unsuspecting victims.
18-page excerpt (download 9.3 MB PDF):
Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):
ERRATA: Unfortunately due to human error we accidentally omitted two pages from this book. Click here to download a high-res PDF (7.9 MB) of the missing pages which you can print out and tip in to the book.
Praise for previous volumes in The Steve Ditko Archives:
Named one of the 10 Best Horror Comic Releases of 2010 by Fangoria
"Even though hed only been working in comics for a couple of years when he drew these 1956 tales, they already display Ditkos distinctively cockeyed style and his characteristically powerful compositions. [...] As Bell remarks in his insightful introduction, what makes Ditko's early work notable is 'the dichotomy between what he was given and what he was able to accomplish.'" Gordon Flagg, Booklist
"[In] Fantagraphics' second volume of Ditko's portfolio... Ditko moves away from gore to short sci-fi tales, yet his grasp at relaying natural character depth and dramatic heft is evident. His zealous work as the exemplar artist for Charlton Comics showcases his ever-blossoming abilities at setting scenes in stark relief to multi-hued characters. [...] This collection single-handedly erases memories of Ditko hacking Transformers coloring books during the '80s. [Rating] 8/10" Kyle Lemmon, Under the Radar
"Fantastic... Raw and grotesque and beautifully drawn and presented." – Dave Gibbons
"It's fascinating to see [Ditko's] nascent style coalescing as he tackles a variety of material, already starting to work out the design genius that would mark much of his work, including especially! Dr. Strange and Spider-Man, for the next 20 years." – Steven Grant, Comic Book Resources
"...[T]he tales in this tome are sheer pre-Comics Code Authority horror, complete with stabbings, decapitations, mutilations and disintegrations. ...Ditko's talent jumps off the page and one of the benefits of reading the stories in chronological order is seeing his art evolve and improve." – Pedro Cabezuelo, Rue Morgue
"This exhilarating collection of stories by the comic-book artist who co-created Spider-Man captures all the glorious chills and blood spills from the first two years of his career." Entertainment Weekly
"Strange Suspense offers page after lurid four-color page of Ditko’s weird monsters, rubber-faced crooks, and abstracted landscapes... The book is a white-knuckle trip through Ditko’s fevered imagination. [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club