Steve Ditko was an amazing artist, and an example to be followed as a professional.
He grew up loving Batman comics, perhaps because it was a hero whose superpower was his mind. He grew up to study drawing under one of the guys who drew Batman. He eventually got fed up with the classical hero, and tried to do something better.
He was essential in creating the smart, nimble hero. While most comic book heroes were strong man who beat up the bad guys, Ditko went on to create Spider-Man and Dr. Strange - heroes who relied on their mind and skill, not brute strength, even when fighting. He eventually got fed up with the altruism of those heroes, and tried to do something better.
He was essential in creating the gritty, selfish, black and white hero. His The Question was groundbreaking in how he dealt with evil, putting justice above mercy, and killing the hell out of them - instead of sacrificing himself for evil's sake. This led to legal backlash by the Comics Code Authority, and paved the way for characters like The Punisher.
After DC bought the company he worked for and turned his creation into a hippie mockery of itself, Ditko learned his lesson, and kept the rights to his masterpiece: Mr. A. A regular man, with steel gloves, steel mask, an acute intellect and a keen sense of justice - all that's needed for a superhero.
He constantly improved his work, while consistently succeeding in his artistic endeavors. He innovated enough to get harassed by parasitic bureaucrats, and did not give in to them. He valued the integrity of his own creation over a few extra bucks.
Today has no particular relationship to Ditko. It just occurred to me how awesome he is, and that you should know him, if you don't already. Maybe, in a more rational world, we will be watching his characters on high budget movies, instead of the SJW fiascos we're presented with every once in a while.
- February 16th, 2020