(Stephen John Ditko), 1927–2018, American comic-book artist, b. Johnstown, Pa., studied early 1950s Cartoonist and Illustrator School (later School of Visual Arts), New York City. Much of his early work consists of science fiction, horror, and mystery stories for Charlton Comics. In 1955 he was hired by Stan Lee
, writer-editor at Atlas Comics, a precursor to Marvel Comics. At Marvel, Lee, Ditko, and Jack Kirby
created a series of iconic superheroes. Spider-Man, Lee's idea, was given to Ditko to develop, and first appeared in 1962. Ditko adeptly showed the moodiness, sly humor, and grace of the character as well as his human flaws and the insecurities of his alter ego, Peter Parker. The crippled sorcerer-surgeon Dr. Strange, another notable character Dikto created with Lee, appeared in 1963. Ditko also helped develope the Hulk, Iron Man, and other Marvel superheroes, but left Marvel in 1965 after a royalty dispute and again worked for Charlton. In 1968 he joined DC, where his creations included the Hawk and the Dove and a sinister crime fighter called the Creeper. He did little work in the 1970s but then worked at Marvel, DC, and Eclipse, an independent publisher. He retired in 1998.
See Ditko Unleashed! (museum catalog, 2016); B. Bell, Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko (2008).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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