Comics Alternative, Episode 157: Steve Ditko’s Self-Published Comics

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An Avenging Mind

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On this special episode of the podcast, Andy and Derek take a look at a variety of Steve Ditko’s self-published comics. Since 2008, Ditko, along with Robin Snyder, has been putting out original work on a fairly regular basis. These comics are created and distributed independently — and for the past few years have been crowdfunded by Kickstarter campaigns — and as such, they have fallen below the radar of most comics readers. Beginning with The Avenging Mind, Ditko has sporadically produced superhero stories, crime/noir narratives, psychological allegories, and comics that reflect his socio-political ideas and philosophies. Among the ongoing serials in these self-published comics, Derek and Andy discuss “Miss Eerie,” “The Cape,” “The ?!,” “The Grey Negotiator,” “The Madman,” “Outline,” and “E (e) and I (i).” There are several themes that rise to the surface of these stories, such as traditional heroics, the use of masks, and the tenants of Objectivism. And of course, there are the Mr. A. strips that have come to define much of Ditko’s later work. Of particular interest to the Two Guys are those comics that reflect Ditko’s complicated attitudes toward, and perhaps relationship with, his fans. At first glance, the stories that revolve around Eye Inquire and The Anti-s (AKA, Fan Man and Fan Boy) may seem dismissive and even condescending, but Andy and Derek point out that there is a deep history underlying the tone of these comics and part of their allure are the industry-based questions they open up.

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Of special note: this is the 300th episode of The Comics Alternative that the guys have produced. Although, and as the title suggests, this may be the 157th weekly show — those regular review episodes that come out every Wednesday — it is part of the larger body of podcasting work that has included over three-year’s-worth of interviews, on-location shows, specials, and monthly series devoted to webcomics, manga, and young adult/children’s comics. Celebrate the occasion by telling others about the podcast!

MissEerie

Be sure to visit Steve Ditko’s blog!
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