Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 first look!

Well, I was going to do an update on why you should purchase "Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives vol. 2" (on sale now directly from Fantagraphics; in stores in the next 2 weeks), but how about your first look at the new cover for "Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives vol. 4!" (At a book a week, maybe you'll get news on our "Secret History Of Marvel Comics" book next!)

You click on the image above, or to see the entire wraparound cover, click on the image below. This latest volume of Ditko goodness - continuing the exhibition of his 1957 work - should be available in early October! Fantagraphics always gets their mail-order copies out first, so you can pre-order from them right now at this link on their website.

Five years before Steve Ditko began work on his co-creations for Marvel Comics, the Amazing Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, he was producing his best work in near anonymity for Charlton Comics. “Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives V4” features over 200 full-color pages of Ditko in his early prime. These are stories that have never seen a proper reprinting until now; thrilling stories of suspense, mystery, haunted houses, and unsuspecting victims all led into Ditko’s web of artistic mastery over the comic-book form.

This fourth volume ranks as the most superior in the Archives series to date because of the inspiration Ditko took from comics related to old radio shows and that had hosts who narrated the tales. This Magazine is Haunted and Tales of The Mysterious Traveler saw an explosion in Ditko’s ingenuity with manipulating the traditional comic-book page layout. This level of excellence was also present in his work on other books like Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds, Out of This World, Strange Suspense Stories, and Unusual Tales, marking this fourth volume as the best example yet of the Steve Ditko that later crafted iconic classics with Stan Lee at Marvel Comics in the 1960s.

(Click on the image below to enlarge)


  1. Looking forward to this volume! The SDA's have openned up a new area of comic book appreciation for me. Thanks for continuing this labor of love.
    Why did you make the decision to change covers from the 'man trapped in the lightbulb' look? My personal preference was for that image.
    I also noticed Amazon has an entry for 'Dripping With Fear' TSDA vol 5. Before I preorder I wanted to confirm this was in fact the next volume in the series.
    Finally, will volume 4 contain stories from the St.John publication Do You Believe in Nightmares? Thanks!

  2. There's no cover you could have for the book that would make me not buy it, but like the correspondent above, I far prefer the earlier pictured cover. I don't know what percentage, if any, of the sales on this project are to people only casually or not at all aware of Ditko who pick up the book attracted by the cover, but I can't imagine that this one would attract many.

  3. I know you've likely been asked this question, Blake, but how many volumes of the Ditko archives do you anticipate publishing? Are you close to exhausting the material available for reprint?

  4. Given that volume four is work Ditko was doing in 1957, and that he was doing about 450 pages a year in 1957 and 1958, we may have a volume or three to go! :)