“Just Pay Ditko!” Part Five : The Wisdom Of Those Who Have Been At This Much Longer Than I

Posted: August 8, 2013 in comics
Tags: , , , , ,

fanzdm91

Rob Imes is a guy I’ve mentioned in this series a few times now. Rob puts out a magazine called “Ditkomania,” and runs a yahoo group and a facebook group of the same name. If you want to check out the yahoo group, you can access it  via http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ditkomania/ . If you want to patricipate in the facebook group — which, frankly, is where most of the “action” seems to be occurring these days — just look up “Ditkomania” next time you’re on there since I don’t think I can provide a direct link that doesn’t require a prompt for one’s facebook email, password, etc.

Both groups are great. Rob has a very mature sensibility when it comes to his editorial and participation guidelines that ensures free-flowing exchange of all ideas as long as everyone remains “above-the-belt” in terms of their posts and responses to same. The facebook group, in particular, has been “ground zero” online for the continuing Ditko reprint debate, and Rob’s handled a touchy situation with strong feelings being expressed on all sides with even-handedness and class. Sometimes I don’t know how he does it, but he does.

Still, that’s not the reason I mention Rob specifically in this latest installment of our little ongoing mini-opus here. I mention Rob — who you can contact via his groups for ordering info his magazine, which I highly encourage all interested parties to do, or just send him paypal payment for $10.00 for a four-issue subscription to robimes@yahoo.com, you won’t regret it! — because, unlike some publishers discussed in previous entrants to this series who have been slow to use their respective “bullu pulpits” to promote Steve Ditko’s current Robin Snyder-published work  — the only work being published by anyone that the artist himself directly profits from, to my knowledge — Rob’s been a tireless champion of this unique, challenging, and highly personal creative output for a good many years now. I don’t know if Rob makes any money off his magazine — if so it can’t be much — so think about that for a minute : Rob’s been not only willing, but enthusiastic, to promote these efforts for little or no money while certain reprint publishers who have been profiting off Ditko’s name and works have been — let’s just say extremely hesitant to do that very same thing.

Fortunately for Rob — and all of us who wish to see Steve Ditko be able to continue generating at least some income — he hasn’t been alone. Steve Bissette is another guy who needs no introduction to those who’ve been following this series so far — or who have been following comics and horror for the past few decades. Steve’s been in on the ground floor of battling for compensation, in at least some form,  for Ditko, and all creators in a similar position, for as long as he’s probably been breathing, but his first (to my knowledge, at any rate) electronically-“published” thoughts on the various issues that would go on to become central themes of the Ditko reprint controversy specifically can be found here : http://www.cartoonstudies.org/schulz/blog/steve-ditkos-konga-the-lonely-one/ , and further ethical questions he laid out in relation to the Yoe Books/IDW  collections The Art Of Ditko and The Creativity Of Ditko are here : http://srbissette.com/?p=7553 and here : http://srbissette.com/?p=15764 , respectively. All of his commentary is essential reading for those concerned with these matters, and proves, once again, what a latecomer to the party your humble (and occasionally humbled) author here today is.

Finally, one more name to be added to the mix here today is that of Dave Sim, legendary creator of Cerebus and a guy who’s never shied away from speaking his mind over the course of his long career. I’ve got plenty of areas of profound disagreement with Mr. Sim on various subjects, sure, but he hits the nail right on the head in this fine review he wrote of the first volume of the Blake Bell-edited Steve Ditko Archives back when it came out in 2008 : http://fourrealities.blogspot.com/2008/09/dave-sim-on-strange-and-stranger.html . I agree with more or less every word Dave writes here — including that Mr. Bell is, indeed, a very nice guy, and has been nothing but honorable with me in our own personal communications. I like Blake Bell a lot. I like the fact that he’s going to be taking an in-depth look at/promoting the Ditko/Synder work vigorously in the introduction of volume four of his Archives series, And I wish he’d done it much earlier.

So if  you want to know the folks who I think have consistently “done right by Ditko” from day one, those are the people I’d mention — Sim, Bissette, Imes, and add the name of veteran comics editor and artist Mort Todd —who’s currently engaged in a very cool project with direct involvement from Ditko himself, — to the list, as well. These are people who either feel so strongly about these important creator’s rights issues that they spoke up about them ages ago. know and care about Steve Ditko , specifically, themselves, or both. Whenever it feels like nobody apart from Robin Snyder has ever advocated for Ditko’s best interests, rest assured — these gentlemen all have, consistently.

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