It’s Tuesday, which means it’s Joe McCulloch talking about the new comics day. This week, he’s also takes a long look at the latest comic book from Stammerin’ Steve Ditko:
Tucked away in the midst of all this meaningful mayhem is a six-page chiller that could have come straight out of The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves, had that august forum abandoned the supernatural entirely for a hardcore focus on psychological distress. Nobody in American comics has ever mastered the art of people freaking the fuck out like Steve Ditko, and that’s what we get in this Poe-like flyover of a thief who can’t stop believing that all eyes are upon his guilty brow.
I tend to find these kinds of stories the most humanizing of Ditko’s works; for all his invocation of the excellent potential of the human mind, the visceral kick of his art comes from his profound sensitivity to anxiety, obsession, self-loathing: the mess of human living in a damned fallen world. Looks at that guy’s head *splitting in half* in panel 4 – is that a photocopier effect? Definitely it seems like a foreign technological incursion; all those broken sentences read otherwise like the collapse of language in the face of unutterable realizations, words transformed into marks in perfect parity with the lines that compose the bodies of every Ditko hero and villains. These are stories where everybody says what they mean, and… what they mean… is…
Well, you can read it, right? Can’t you see? With your own eyes?
And again, we’ve added another round of tributes to the Spain Rodriguez post. If you haven’t checked it out for a while, it’s worth doing so. New contributors include Sharon Rudahl, Craig Fischer, Charles Dallas, and M.K. Brown.
Also, Fantagraphics has a post giving us all a sneak peek at the upcoming print issue of The Comics Journal, and it looks pretty amazing.
Elsewhere on the internet:
—Speaking of Steve Ditko, he’s still corresponding with fans.
—Steven Weissman goes comics shopping with Mario Hernandez.
—And I haven’t had a chance to listen to this yet, but it’s got to be good on some level: Josh Simmons interviewed by Dean Haspiel.