Ditko Is… Amazing!

Ditko Is... Amazing King Size cover

Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #3, 11-13, 24, 31-33, Annual (1964) #1-2 and material from Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15. Steve Ditko is one of the most influential creative minds in popular culture. Steve Ditko is a one-of-a-kind visionary. Steve Ditko is the co-creator of Marvel icons including Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. Steve Ditko is…amazing! Now, Marvel proudly presents Ditko’s incomparable AMAZING SPIDER-MAN work in our massive King-Size format. From Spidey’s debut to the first appearances of villains such as Mysterio and Doctor Octopus, it’s like experiencing these classics for the very first time! Ditko’s Spider-Man adventures — including the Master Planner saga, an epic considered by many to be the greatest Spidey story — defined the spirit of a hero who has inspired millions. Also featuring a host of bonus material, including Ditko’s original AMAZING FANTASY #15 artwork!

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As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.

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Like Absolute Sandman: Overture, this book is about something else but happens to feature original art in a way that brings it to my attention. Ditko Is… Amazing! is a giant hardcover featuring selected issues of Ditko’s run on Amazing Spider-Man. You can catch a glimpse of those in the images below, but this book is being reviewed because it prints the original art from Amazing Fantasy 15’s first Spider-Man appearance and complete pencils/breakdowns to Amazing Spider-Man 31.

Editor Cory Sedlmeier was able to provide some insight into the original art pages. Amazing Fantasy 15 pages are scans from the Library of Congress circa 2008. The Ditko pencilled pages from Amazing Spider-Man 31 were provided by Marie Severin.

We know the Amazing Fantasy 15 pages are twice-ups and are printed here slightly reduced from their 15″ x 22″ size. The breakdown pages from Amazing Spider-Man 31 could be any size, and their edges are oddly cut.

The pages are clear and clean, with no artifacts or softness. Quite a bit of correction fluid use, especially covering over the old logo text on the first page. Blacks show gradients. A few margin notes. The Amazing Fantasy 15 pages have an odd grey tinge to them.

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Powell’s design pops with colour until it gets to these original art pages. For these, the art is bordered by light gray. Page notes and page numbers appear in black at the top and bottom. No mention of the original art in the table of contents. A chapter divider with some kind of background or introduction would have been helpful.

Production is excellent. A sewn binding of medium glossy paper. Because of the binding and paper type and size pages lay flat after smoothing the center. While its size and thickness appear about the same as a larger Artist’s Edition, the 328 pages make it quite heavy. The book comes as-is, no shrink wrap or packaging. I have seen it arrive from online retailers in a large plastic sleeve, but that may be the retailer’s choice or their distributor.

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You may see this solicited as Ditko Is… Amazing! King-Size, but King-Size doesn’t appear in the colophon, cover or spine. It appears to be a classification, like omnibus.