Saturday, September 22, 2007

I Actually SAW Steve Ditko...

...for all of 30 seconds when I was just starting out as an assistant at DC. I had to drop off a script for "Batman Black & White" at his studio in Manhattan.

It was just this nondescript, ordinary-looking little office in a nondescript, ordinary-looking part of town. He had a little brass sign on his door that said "Steve Ditko."

The door opened a crack -- okay, really like a foot or so -- and he stuck his hand out and took the script.

Later, I found out that he rejected the script on the grounds that it had a supernatural basis, and that he didn't do stories with supernatural elements in it...


Anyway, enjoying the BBC documentary on his life.


  1. Just finished the documentary. I suspect that his desire not to do stories with a supernatural basis are based on his Objectivism, but I of course can't be certain.

    Excellent documentary though, despite our lack of knowing what his side was, though I suspect someday we'll know. While the universe may abhore a vacuum and time abhores a paradox, I think the universe abhores a secret even more. ^_~

    Hearing what he thought about Rorshach was fantastic, though. "He's like Mr. A... except he's insane."

  2. Steve Ditko and Peter Bagge are some of the most interesting artists in the field - both are top notch writers, and their libertarian politics also make them stand out from the rest of the crowd.

  3. Alan Moore performing an excerpt from his song "Mr. A." alone justifies watching the documentary. "There is black, and there is white, and there is nothing in between," indeed. Chills.

    It's also very interesting to see Stan trying to be both honest and diplomatic, and I was surprised that Ross actually managed to get that out of him. I think that Stan was being as sincere as I have ever seen him when he said he believed that coming up with the idea was good enough to be the creator. "What if someone else did the design and it didn't do as well?" "Then I would have been the creator of something that didn't succeed." It's hard to blame Stan for thinking that, and I think that Ditko seemingly rejecting the "considered" is a reflection of his inability to compromise.

    Which brings to mind Rorschach. Not even in the face of Armageddon indeed.

  4. It's also an Objectivism thing, Terence. Words mean exactly what words are supposed to mean, concepts are what they are based solely on their definitions - hence A is A. As such, adding the word "considers" there opens up the idea that he's not really granting him the true rights, it's just an opinion of his.

    Mind you, IMHO until I see Ditko's full side of the story, I'm going with this explanation as Stan Lee being the creator, since I thought this was just very classy of him. ^_^

  5. Anonymous7:48 PM

    Of course, the problem is that especially when it comes to interacting with other people, words do not have set meanings; A can very much end up being B.

  6. You'd have to ask an Objectivist, since they'd know more about it, but it "A is A" is more than just the definitions thing, Universal. ^_~

  7. Yeah, I thought Stan Lee's explanation was very fair and I can honestly see both sides as equally valid arguments.

    And any time Alan Moore starts talking about one of his bands is always a good time.

    Plus, Neil Gaiman referenced Etta Candy.

  8. I work in that same building, and since the bathrooms are actually shared by all the offices, I see him from time to time. Its kind of a weird place to have conversations but we do talk when we see one another.
    I asked him about this documentary and he just said it wasn't about him, and something along the lines of "I'm just a passenger on this ship of life." then he started laughing and disappeared up the stairs back to his floor.
    I haven't seen the documentary though as YouTube has taken the videos down. :(