Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cannon With Ditko

Copyright Wallace Wood Properties, LLC


  1. During the Wally Wood panel at Boston's 1978 Newcon (the artist's last convention appearance), moderator Martin Greim asked Wood who was his favorite artist to ink. Woody answered, "Steve Ditko."
    Marty seemed surprised, stating, "But Ditko's pencils are very simple." Wood's succinct response: "Yeah... but I like them."
    Michael Draine

  2. Ditko knows the value of keeping things simple. It's a visual asset because sequential art comes down to CLARITY. Without visual clarity is key in comic book art because readers need to be able to follow the events of the story. You can't do that if your eyes are busy jumping all over the place. Ditko is a storyteller, first and foremost. So was Wally Wood. Early in Wood's career he overloaded his panels with extraneous detail, but as his work progressed, it became simpler and more to the point. I would argue that his EC artwork was beautiful, but the work he did for Warren and for DC in the 1970s--with or without assistants--is superior work from a storytelling standpoint. The old EC stories are well drawn, but they are sometimes just a little stiff. Wood's MY WORLD and DOWN TO EARTH are two of his best from WEIRD SCIENCE stories, his work seems to be very balanced as far as details and clarity are concerned. By the time Wood is drawing CLEAN START in INCREDIBLE SCIENCE FICTION though, you can see a change in his rendering style. He is doing less feathering and line work, and there is a cleaner look to his work that I find to be very impressive. It's still beautifully drawn, but it's also simplified somewhat. THE CURSE story that Wally Wood illustrated for Warren's VAMPIRELLA #9 is one of his very best works, IMO. It's clean, it's simple, and absolutely a thing of beauty! Many fans of Woods earlier EC works probably prefer his TO KILL A GOD story though, because Wood decided to show his doubters that he could still do all the detail, etc that he used to draw back in the '50s. In my eyes TO KILL A GOD is actually visually more exciting and has a BETTER balance of detail than many of the EC stories from the '50s. That's because Wood was a better artist in the '60s. He did take more shortcuts, perhaps, but his skills were superior in every way, and when he was so inclined to give maximum effort, no one could touch his artwork. Just my thougths, anyway.