Topic: Comic Books - New
Earlier this past week I noticed a few of my Facebook Friends posting comments about the DitkoMania fanzine issue that was just published. Well, I quickly sent a 'Friends Request' to who I thought was the publisher of that fanzine, asking if he was indeed that Rob Imes who was now publishing Ditkomania.
That he was, and in short order, I plunked down my PayPal payment and purchased a copy online. Just received it in Saturday's mail, and was so thrilled to see it arrive, I just had to read it last night!
After reading this fanzine, cover to cover, I just have to tell you it was the Best $2.50 I've spent on comics related material in a long time! Granted there isn't much you can purchase about comics, or even comics for that matter now for $2.50, as many comic books have gone up to $3.99 each just recently!
Yet, receiving this fanzine, 32 pages with cardstock covers, and stapled in the middle, reminded so much of the fun I used to have when fanzines or catalogs came in the mail to me!
Yeah, I'm still a holdover fan from the 'old days' before I started getting a lot of my info online. There's something about receiving a zine in the mail that I can hold that is exciting! Similar to the 'rush' I got from receiving the first Overstreet Price Guide in the mail, or the catalogs from Robert Bell, Howard 'M' or 'D' Rogofsky in the early days.
I was going to run a photo of the publisher with this blog post, but Rob Imes would prefer to let the work speak for itself, and any reviews be done on the issue, not on himself...
Before I blog my thoughts on this issue, I want to post a little about the history of this DitkoMania fanzine...
First of all the fanzine DITKOMANIA is devoted to the work of comics artist Steve Ditko. In case you aren't aware of what Steve has done so far in his lifetime, I suggest you view the documentary promoted by Blake Bell at the 2008 SDCC, 'In Search Of Steve Ditko', which I have blogged about earlier.
DITKOMANIA (DM) was founded by Bill Hall, who published the fanzine from 1983 to 1999. However it was in 2001 that Bill announced that he would no longer be publishing DM. Fortunately for Steve Ditko fans it wouldn't stay defunct for long.
Just recently, in 2008, DM was revived by the new editor/publisher Rob Imes with Bill's permission. This 'new' DM picked up where the first series' numbering ended, with its' first issue, (#64), being released on March 1st, 2008. Since then there have been nine issues released. (DM issues #65-73.)
As stated above, the issue I just received was #73. At the top left of this blog you can view the front cover which was drawn by Fred Hembeck, who I've blogged about a few time before, (click here). This new issue just 'hot off the presses', has a Doctor Strange theme, with articles about the Marvel Comics character from Nick Caputo, Winston Blakely and Christoph Melchert. Additionally there is artwork by Larry Johnson and Winston Blakely, among others.
What I found right off the bat when opening the fanzine, was that I was holding edition #182 of 200 copies printed by Rob Imes. What I found out afterwards is that Rob has "decided that all new issues of DM will now be hand-numbered. My intention is to print 200 copies of DM #64, leaving a space in the indicia for the individual copy’s number, which I will then write by hand in pen. Those 200 copies would be DM #64’s “First Printing” and noted as such. When/if those 200 copies are gone, I’ll go back and do a “Second Printing,” and so on, the same way."
I found that this issue had struck my interest from the get-go. Of course being a fan of Fred Hembeck's works, I initially ordered it because of the cover. Well, the interior pages, (all black and white), were just as much fun to look at and read!
The 'EDITKORIAL' laid out what was happening with the fanzine, and a quick mention about the next issue 'Ditko at DC'. This was written in a manner that was not 'dry' yet being informative as to what was going on.
A short article along with an illustration by Winston Blakely started off the fanzine. That was enjoyable.
A six page article by Nick Caputo about 'An Examination Into The Beginnings of Dr. Strange', was informative and not a re-hash of the history that goes back to the 1962/63 period. A one page 'sidebar' was also included by Nick regarding 'The Genesis Of Dr. Strange's Hand Gestures'.
Following that was a feature by Christoph Melchert on 'What Doctor Strange and Spider-Man Have In Common'. This was a treatise style article that reminded me of the early fan days. Good Job on this article!
Then came the section titled 'Ditkotomy'. Which was a review of 'Ditko Once More'. Interesting point of view by the reviewer Michael Aushenker.
A little blurb at the end of 'Ditkotomy' followed, called 'Ditko In Your Future'. Nice to see Steve Ditko's upcoming publication being mentioned in advance so the reader could make a note of it for possible purchase.
The Letters section followed. This was the only section of the fanzine that my attention strayed away a little.... There had been an earlier issue printed that had included a Steve Ditko / Alan Moore 'comparison', which since I had not seen that issue, I didn't really get 'into'. This wasn't the fanzine's fault, just that I hadn't seen the article several of the letters were referring to, so I felt a little 'left out'.
This reminded me back in the early days of Marvel Comics when they first started coming out with 'continued stories'. With newstand distribution a little spotty where I lived in Kodiak, Alaska, and San Diego, California, I had to really search for a missing issue by going to several newstands, or just plain missed buying that issue. Which ended up with me buying a subscription to each comic I enjoyed reading. Which is probably what I'm going to have to do here with this fanzine!
Talking about subscriptions... Here's what you can do! You can try a sample issue like I did, by going to the below mentioned web site and using PayPal to purchase one for $2.50 postpaid. Heck of a bargain! Or since DM is meant to be a quarterly zine, a one-year subscription would be 4 issues for $10.00 postpaid.
Like I said near the beginning of this blog, the $2.50 I pulled out of my PayPal account for this issue is the Best $2.50 I've spent in a long while! No Kidding!
For more info on the DitkoMania fanzine, please see the web site at: http://www.ditko-fever.com/dmreturns.html
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