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Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 2 Hardcover – December, 2010


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

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; Reprint edition (December 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606993801
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606993804
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This second volume in an ambitious series reprinting the early work of legendary comic-book artist Ditko offers some three-dozen vintage short pieces. Even though he’d only been working in comics for a couple of years when he drew these 1956 tales, they already display Ditko’s distinctively cockeyed style and his characteristically powerful compositions. Most of the selections were done for low-budget publisher Charlton, which paid its artists the lowest rates in the industry but in return offered freedom from editorial interference. The company’s scripts—most in the then-popular genres of science fiction and watered-down horror, eviscerated by the introduction of the Comics Code two years earlier—are often hackneyed and contrived, but in Ditko’s hands they’re rendered somehow compelling. As Bell remarks in his insightful introduction, what makes Ditko’s early work notable is “the dichotomy between what he was given and what he was able to accomplish.” This volume also includes Ditko’s first efforts for Marvel, launching a relationship that would lead to his move into the superhero genre six years later when he and Stan Lee would co-create Spider-Man. --Gordon Flagg

Review

“Ditko is one of the most elusive and complex characters of comics’ golden age, but these volumes (…with illuminating forwards by Blake Bell) at least give a compelling glimpse into the creative development of the man behind the panels.” (Chris Mills - Magnet)

“Even if you’ve read the first volume [of The Steve Ditko Archives], Unexplored Worlds offers plenty more surprises.... As always, Fantagraphics’ top-notch presentation makes the publisher the go-to stop for comics preservation.” (Rod Lott - Bookgasm)

“Fantastic... Raw and grotesque and beautifully drawn and presented.” (Dave Gibbons, co-creator of Watchmen)

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Customer Reviews

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I wondered about the seemingly random order of the stories in volume one, now it might make a little more sense!
Hwy61Joe
Whilst the first volume has consistently great artwork, the stories, narrative and prose styles are really poor for the most part.
Red Eyes
I love Steve Ditko, I seriosuly reccomend him to anyone, you'll be treating yourself to a truly unique experience.
SALRUNARAT

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By grafdog on March 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me say that without a doubt vol 1 which includes a very diverse line up of stories and continuous experimentation by Ditko in art style, has much more zing than the pedestrian stories in vol 2 which were written under the comics code.
Similar to EC comics extra, are the post code ditko stories.
Nothing shocking or wild in the stories, and other than a couple of bold artistic masterworks, they are very mundane and downright forgettable.

That being said it provided a modest momentary diversion on occasion. But with the overall cookie cutter short story format I tended to start reading stories twice before I realized I had read them already.

Format wise its excellent, with nice paper(a bit thinner than in vol 1) and great reproductions right from the original comics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SALRUNARAT on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
the stories are very unique, the artwork will literally take you into another world. I love Steve Ditko, I seriosuly reccomend him to anyone, you'll be treating yourself to a truly unique experience. Get this and volume 1, volume 3 will be released soon. you'll enjoy them!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Red Eyes on October 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is far better than Volume One. Whilst the first volume has consistently great artwork, the stories, narrative and prose styles are really poor for the most part. In the second volume, all the stories are from the stage when comic books were under the thumb of the comics code regulations. Popular wisdom says that when the writers and artists had to give in to these conservative code restrictions, the integrity and value of the work was gone, to be replaced by 'safe', dull stories.

There is a lot of truth in that statement of course -- so much of the inventiveness and wit and art disappeared from comics when the new control mechanisms were in place.However, the opposite is true here -- clearly, Ditko did feel restrained -- but he reacts by producing some clever, thoughtful , reflective artwork for the stories here, to compensate for the limitations placed on him by the comics code and the authors,and the art work is astonishing on every page.

One to buy and value and read again and again. Looking forward to Volume Three for sure.
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