No matter where you are, you can enjoy this visual lecture on that most enigmatic of comics creators…

The coronavirus lockdown has made large gatherings impossible — unless you’re incomprehensively stupid — but that doesn’t mean you can’t get together with like-minded fans and enjoy an afternoon of comics history and discussion.

So dig this: Historian Arlen Schumer is hosting The Strange Worlds of Steve Ditko webinar, thanks to the New York Adventure Club, on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 3 p.m.

Here’s the official info:

Comic book artist Steve Ditko was the unlikeliest artist to become best known for drawing a superhero—and yet that’s exactly what he became, thanks to the success of Spider-Man!

Prior to his co-creation of Spider-man with Marvel Comics’ writer/editor Stan Lee in 1962, Steve Ditko’s artistic milieu mirrored the struggle between good and evil, ugliness and beauty, age and youth, the weak versus the strong. Thus, his groundbreaking depiction of Spider-Man went against type by portraying the everyman, the loner, the underdog — i.e., the teenager — as superhero, and hence super- antihero, the Silver Age’s most popular. Yet, somewhat paradoxically, Ditko made Spider-Man a tour- de-force of the superhero genre itself, featuring creatively choreographed fight scenes and acrobatic derring-do that took full advantage of the traits inherent in the hero’s arachnid namesake.

With his creation of the super-sorcerer Dr. Strange, Ditko explored the darker worlds of mysticism and the occult. To a generation weaned on American pop culture’s more mundane depictions of reality, a step into the pages of Dr. Strange proved to be a surrealistic journey through the wondrous worlds of Ditko’s artistic imagination, in which form was given to bizarre dimensions and alternate realities that can be seen as precursors to the San Francisco psychedelic rock poster school of the late-‘60s.

After Ditko left Marvel in 1966, he created the Creeper and the Hawk and the Dove for DC Comics, that, if not on the same level of popularity as his previous Marvel heroes, have nevertheless endured to entertain new readers — as have his iconoclastic, enigmatic twin antiheroes, Mr. A and the Question, who remain as controversial in concept today as they were when Ditko first created them.

So come join New York Adventure Club and comic book art historian Arlen Schumer (author/designer, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) as he presents an overview of Ditko’s illustrious Silver Age career, dynamically displaying his comic book panels, pages and covers so that you’ll feel like you’re seeing them for the first time, covering:

—  How the legendary TV series The Twilight Zone factored into the creation of Spider-Man!

— The influence controversial author Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged) had on Ditko’s antiheroes the Question and Mr. A!

— Why Ditko left his two most popular comic book creations at the height of their success!

— And more!

Tickets are $10 a pop but here’s what’s cool: If you can’t make the two-hour webinar live, buying a ticket allows you to watch a recording of it for a week after. (Click here for tickets.)

And that’s not all — webinars on Carmine Infantino and Joe Kubert are planned for later in August.

Right on.


— STEVE DITKO: A Fountainhead of Creativity. Click here.

— I MET STEVE DITKO. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Thanx for this INCREDIBLE plug and kudos, Dan! Peeps can check out all my works at: arlenschumer.com

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