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Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives (Vol. 3) (The Steve Ditko Archives) Hardcover – May 28, 2012


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Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives (Vol. 3)  (The Steve Ditko Archives) + Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2 + Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4
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Product Details

  • Series: The Steve Ditko Archives
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (May 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606994980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606994986
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The latest entry in the series reprinting the early work of celebrated comic book artist Ditko is devoted to horror stories done in 1957 for bargain-basement publisher Charlton Comics. The tales, with titles like “The Thing from Below” and “The Forbidden Room,” are mostly hackneyed stuff, but that barely matters, since the whole show here is Ditko’s distinctly off-kilter drawings and boldly potent compositions. Charlton’s comics suffered from muddy printing on cheap paper, but meticulous restoration means that the stories look far better here than they did upon their original appearances. --Gordon Flagg

Review

“Fantastic... Raw and grotesque and beautifully drawn and presented.” (Dave Gibbons)

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 Onion A.V. Club)

“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)

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Customer Reviews

I loved this collection of stories by the amazing Steve Ditko!
Lee H. Watkins
I bought this book to support getting more Steve Ditko reprint books done despite the fact the last page of "The Forbidden Room" was missing.
Lewis Forro
As the saying goes, "you can't judge a book by it's cover"...be it impressive or not!
Bill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lewis Forro on August 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book to support getting more Steve Ditko reprint books done despite the fact the last page of "The Forbidden Room" was missing. I've just started reading the book and discovered so far that 2 Ditko covers are missing. "From All Our Dark Rooms" is missing the Ditko cover to the issue this story appeared in, "Out Of This World" #4. Also the story "Menace Of The Maple Leaves" is missing the Ditko cover to that issue, "Strange Suspense Stories" #33.

Maybe the publisher, Fantagraphics, didn't think veteran Ditko fans like myself would notice mistakes like that. I sent Fantagraphics an email asking if a corrected edition of this book is going to be published but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a reply.

In the future, I am going to very careful about ordering any more Fantagraphics books until the Amazon reviews indicate the book is complete. Take heed Fantagraphics, you are doing yourself a great deal of damage with this type of sloppy work on your books.

Lewis Forro
Virginia Beach, VA
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By reading guy on July 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is missing two pages!! Fantagraphics will gladly send you a pdf of the missing pages. Gosh that's swell of them!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Socrates2 on December 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love mid-1950's comic books, especially suspense/horror/sci-fi. The stories were never great but they captured an era and the art-work sometimes tended to be quite clever. That said, I was seriously considering purchasing this volume, but several reviewers complain pages are missing! That is a mortal sin in publishing--especially at these prices. Recall: When initially published these comics old at a dime apiece. The reprints may be worth the price for sentimental reasons, but I expect a COMPLETE reprint. Otherwise, the reader is ripped off!
Now I am hesitant about purchasing Vol. 4 unless this problem is solved.
Can anyone at Amazon advise the publisher they are losing money (not to mention credibility)?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Cunningham on April 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I want to thank all the readers who wrote in to point out that the book was incomplete. I was planning to buy because the Traveler was one of my favorite characters. But all the omission of pages and covers prevented me from doing so. Agree with the critic that all incomplete copes should be remandered and a real complete issue released,. Then I would buy it. Those who did should all receive new complete companies. It might be expensive for publishers but it was creative thinking like that which saved Tylenol from marketplace disaster.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Hal Jordan VINE VOICE on May 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before his glory days at Marvel illustrating Spider-Man, Steve Ditko worked for poverty-row publisher Charlton. Toiling long hours for low page rates, he produced some amazing work, including the stories reproduced in this volume. According to Blake Bell's introduction, Ditko turned out a staggering 500 pages of art -- both pencils and inks!-- and 26 covers during 1957 alone. This volume reproduces about half of those pages.

The stories are in the fantasy/sci-fi genre that will be familiar to readers of the pre-super hero numbers of Marvel's "Tales to Astonish," "Strange Tales," and "Tales of Suspense," to which Ditko also contributed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. As near as I can tell from Bell's introduction, Ditko was probably not responsible for most of the scripts for these stories; Bell believes that Joe Gill probably was. But given the very loose editorial control exercised by Charlton, my guess is that Ditko had free rein to do pretty much what he wanted with Gill's scripts. The result is some really quite striking visual images -- the equal I would say to anything he did later in his career with Marvel, DC, or back with Charlton. The stories differ in quality, with some being pretty weak, but Ditko's art is uniformly superb.

The stories vary in length and some come to rather an abrupt conclusion. Bell offers the opinion that it sometimes appears that "the writer just ran out of pages to finish a story and figured the editors at Charlton wouldn't notice." As I write this, there is only one other review and the reviewer is upset that the final page appears to be missing from the story "The Forbidden Room." The story does seem to be missing a conclusion, but it is eight pages long, so maybe this is a particularly bad example of abruptly ending a story.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Martin Kasdan Jr. on July 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
To publish a book and to leave out a page is absurd. The publisher should DRASTICALLY reduce the price of this book. Who wants to buy a book with a missing page at full price? This should be remaindered and then reprinted in full.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hwy61Joe on September 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
These Ditko archives continue to impress! I can't get enough and will be in line for volume four! Great format to collect these mostly very short (4-6 pages) stories that showoff the development of Ditko's skills.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. Arndt on November 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Besides the missing pages from two of the stories (The Menace Of Maple Leaves is missing page 7 & The Forbidden Room is missing page 9) somebody should have copyedited Blake Bell's introduction. He writes a puzzled remark on how the last panel 'reveal' on 'I Made A Volcano' simply shows an old man. Bell is apparently unaware that the old man is intended to be Adolf Hitler, which makes a bit more sense in terms of what the story is about. He also references several stories that aren't in the book--judging by the dates he mentions they're probably going to appear in the next volume of the Ditko Charlton stories. Still, the sloppiness of this volume is a bit sad, as the stories and art themselves are pretty darn cool.
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