Named one of the 10 Best Horror Comic Releases of 2010 by Fangoria
This is where Steve Ditko became Steve Ditko.
1954 and 1955 were tough years for the fledgling cartoonist: A life-threatening bout with tuberculosis sidelined him for almost a year, and his main client, Charlton Comics, suffered a devastating flood that forced it to shut its doors temporarily. Yet Ditko's enforced time off and subsequent need to seek out new clients (most particularly Marvel Comics, for whom he would go on to create Spider-Man), as well as his stubborn devotion to his craft, brought about an astonishing series of quantum leaps in his work as displayed in this volume (following the best-selling Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1) of more than 200 pages' worth of never-before-collected horror and science-fiction stories from the early career of a comics great. Introduction by series editor Blake Bell.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 18-page PDF excerpt (8.5 MB) containing three thrilling tales!
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"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
Praise for Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1:
"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
"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