I’m very proud and excited to be able to offer some current Steve Ditko publications to DOMINO readers in our store today. Ditko is both an iconic figure in comics and a genuine master of the form. He has worked in the field for over half a century, producing hundreds and hundreds of stories. Of the many that I’ve read, there is always a creative and intellectual idea expressed that is totally unique to Ditko’s language of imagery. No story is wasted. His early superhero stories left such a mark on me as a young reader. The storytelling was crisp and inviting in a way that many other early superhero comics never were. Something about the inward inkiness of it all made Ditko my favorite. The language of his marks and hand gestures suggested the potential of comics subconsciously to me: something can be expressed within the template of comics that is greater then the story itself—by maximizing all the tools that the form offers for expression, the language of cartooning becomes a versatile tool. That seems like an obvious conclusion to an adult, but as a kid I first felt that with Ditko’s Spider Man. His superhero stories were well told but there was a seething world of thought and emotion hovering around every line.
Despite always brimming over with ideas both visual and language-based at once, Ditko’s work is never self indulgent. Characters hand gestures, the placement of text—all of it is utilized purposefully and no area is wasted for expressing ideas and concepts, but Ditko’s work (and this is rarely discussed) is incredibly elegant. If his work is to be described as poetic, it’s not skronk jazz but rather composed and restrained containers with something often jabbing out at you to punctuate the refined nature of it all.
Ditko is approaching his 90th birthday and for decades now he has been producing work in comic book format editions with black and white covers, black and white interiors. These volumes, published by Robin Snyder, are a mixture of short stories, visual essays, continuing sagas, and so much more. It is rare for a legendary artist to produce some of their most thrilling work in their later years but I believe these volumes by Ditko are beautiful works of art with with few rivals. They are not easy reads—the dialogue functions almost as notes for things people would say rather than things actual human beings say (a good observation by comics critic Bill Kartalopoulos). And, fair warning, the content of all the stories is colored by Ditko’s extreme Ayn Rand influenced worldview. The combination of avant garde artistic tendencies and highly conservative messaging is a rare one, and might catch readers off guard. But I’d urge all readers to look into these books—they are some of the most incredible comic books being made today.
I also really, really want to encourage people ordering Ditko books from Domino to check out our entire store. I think Ditko’s work offers a very important dialogue between the formative years of mainstream comics and the more avant grade work Domino mainly works with. Ditko and contemporary art comics are antagonistic and sympathetic all at once—I’m excited to fill orders with Ditko’s work and other offerings from our shop together.
Here are the Ditko books we are currently offering:
Hey we have 7 amazing new comics in the shop today, go get em!
Hey, I’m excited to be able to offer some very unique comics today from Richard Alexander. I’ve long been intrigued by Alexander’s cartooning, and I’m proud to be able to share it with DOMINO readers. What makes Alexander’s work so compelling to me is its embrace of totally original formalist ideas (every page is drawn on paper plates, and the drawings bend into themselves, all the while maintaining a strong aesthetic pull) combined with a frankly honest, sometimes shockingly so, chronicle of a persons life. The emotions and attitudes expressed in these comics are strong and might be off putting to some readers. But if viewed as an account of one’s mental life, they are strong examples of comics ability to be used as a pure tool of interaction between author and reader. And, viewed on their own, they are filled with beautiful compositions and inventive drawing.
Here are the issues we have available:
Domino likes to add items faster than you can wrap your head around them, and today is no exception….look at this beautiful crop of books available now (and, as always, 100+ other books available in the main store):
Hey, we are happy to serve up 5 fresh new zines today—have at ’em!
Hey, we’ve got some great new items in the shop today—go get em!
and back in stock….