Thursday, October 18, 2007

In Search Of Steve Ditko

About five minutes ago I finished watching the Jonathan Ross/BBC documentary, In Search of Steve Ditko and I have to say that I was entertained. After getting over the initial excitement of anybody making a documentary on Ditko I read through some of the internet responses and not all of them were positive. Many chided the interviewees, particularly Alan Moore, for considering Ditko to be a mad recluse when he's just a guy who wants to be left alone, not the next JD Salinger.

Personally, I found the interviews to be well done and had the distinct impression that the questions asked were suitably probing but not argumentative. The Stan Lee segment was the best example of that. The way Ross had him humming and hawing over the question of who truly created Spider-Man was something I've waited aloooong time to see. As a comic fan, a Spider-Man fan, a Steve Ditko fan and a historian, this is the moment I'd been waiting years to see. Having Stan Lee speaking publicly about that time at Marvel without all the huckster trappings was so refreshing, and the way he can't quite give Steve all the credit but willing to give him some credit if it'll make him happy but deep down believes the credit to be his, priceless.

After hearing the various theories on whyDitko left at Spider-Man's height and then seeing Stan asked some honest questions, I'm betting his reaction has a lot to do withDitko's departure whether it be spoken or just below the surface.

Oh, and just when I thought I'd seen something totally new, Ross and Neil Gaiman go to Ditko's place of residence and come out looking like two 10 year olds who just met the Lone Ranger or something. I've never seen Gaiman so giddy or dumbstruck before. For someone who used to be a gigantic Gaiman fan but hasn't connected with the guy's work for years, I was glad to see him acting just like one of us - a fan and a reader.

I just hope that everyone and their dog doesn't decide to show up at Ditko's place now, especially since Ross would not divulge any of the details of their conversation.

All-in-all I really liked this show and hope that it finds some life outside of
the BBC on DVD or one of our many cable networks.

Onwards and upwards!


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