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Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 3 (Vol. 3) (The Steve Ditko Archives) Hardcover – May 28, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
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“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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Virginia Beach, VA
The art is practically hallucinatory in classic Ditko style. It's so wonderfully weird that it would make up for the worst writing in the world!
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.Read more ›
First, the physicals of the book. The cover is a sort of "soft: hardcover, with no dust jacket, not unlike some of Dark Horse's video game guides. As such, it damages easily; shelf wear shows pretty strongly on these books, so expect a corner crease in your lifetime. I think this book should have shipped with a slipcase. Further, the book has a permanent bar code on the back (again, not unlike Dark Horse's video game guides). It's unfortunate - it looks very ugly, and I think a sticker would have been just fine (the stickers come right off of this material, with no residue). Finally, you will notice in the image a man walking in what appears to be rain. As far as I can tell, the rain is actually not part of the drawing, but rather an added effect by the publisher; in particular, there are regular streaks of glue that, when they catch the light, look like raindrops. It's not a bad effect.
The book opens well (much better, e.g., than DC's archives). The pages are nice enough, although I immensely prefer the pages in the DC archives. The reproductions are pretty good. I would guess that the colors here more properly duplicate those found in the original comics, so if that's your thing, that's probably a plus for you.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ditko at the height of his powers!!! The writing on these stories is extremely uneven, as is the editing (there is one story that seems to have had one page cut, making it almost... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Arthur L. Fonseca
SOME OF DITKO'S BEST WORK! BUY THIS AND BLAKE BELL'S STRANGE AND STRANGER; THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO: THESE BOOKS ARE CHEAP TO BUY, AND GIVE YOU INSIGHT INTO THIS STRANGE,... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Michael Leone
A great book collecting Mysterious Traveler comic book stories by Steve Ditko. I never got very many of these when they were being published - now I have them!Published on May 7, 2014 by Richard Rogers
Best of the series. Great look at A great comic artists work. Beautifully printed and colored and bound. Good pricePublished on February 5, 2014 by creepy
this was an excellent purchase . the price was so cheap it was hard not to purchase this book. the book is in mint condition. Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Alphonzo Thomas
As the saying goes, "you can't judge a book by it's cover"...be it impressive or not! I have always loved good comic art which shows a colorful rendering by the artist of dark... Read morePublished on November 26, 2013 by Bill
Steve ditko was a drawing machine. He's one of the most original artists of all time. When he tries hard his work is outstanding. Read morePublished on November 5, 2013 by Michael Dobey
I loved this collection of stories by the amazing Steve Ditko! This contained a lot of enjoyable stories, as well as covers, drawn by Mr. Read morePublished on July 4, 2013 by Lee H. Watkins
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. Read morePublished on April 26, 2013 by Bill Cunningham