Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fantastic Giants!

Steve Ditko

One of the great comic books of my time was this outstanding twenty-five cent 1966 masterpiece by Charlton Comics showcasing the talents of Steve Ditko. In the Silver Age, despite awesome talents galore, little was done to promote individuals.

The deification of Stan Lee was among the first. Comics were produced by nameless professionals who slogged away, some achieving a distinctive style or approach which elevated them above the crowd. Ditko coming off his success at Marvel on Spider-Man and Dr.Strange was one of those talents. His name apparently had selling power, or at least that's what Charlton, a company always on the prowl for some notion to sell a comic, believed.

One aside though -- who designed the logo of "Fantastic Giants"? It's simply outstanding!

Dick Giordano

Steve Ditko

This comic features two classic reprints, one of the debut of Konga, the early 60's adaptation of the clunky little King Kong wannabe movie starring Michael Gough. The odd numbering of the comic results from the fact it's a continuation of the numbering of the Konga series, and claims to be a quarterly comic, though this is a classic one-shot effort.

Dick Giordano

Steve Ditko

The other was of Gorgo, another British effort about two monsters tearing up London. Both are fun old-fashioned monster flicks and both make for dandy little comics under the hands of Steve Ditko's distinctive linework and Joe Gill's reliable scripting. To read the story see this link.

Steve Ditko

Two more new stories are included in this collection, two stories in Ditko's then-modern style. One was titled "Mountain Monster" and you can get a look at it at this link.

Steve Ditko

The other story was titled "With the Help of Hogar" and here is an awesome splash page from that tale.

It makes for a robust collection of comics in a day when such packages were relatively rare. Twenty-five cent comics were pretty much unheard of from Charlton and only from the other publishers as annuals usually. Marvel was just beginning to dabble in their reprints and the Tower Comics experiment was underway. But still the price point suggested something special, and this comic delivers.

For more than you could imagine knowing about Charlton's monster comics, check out this link.

One oddball final note. The splash pages by Ditko for the debut issues of both of these monster comics were later transformed into covers for the fourth issues of both series. Charlton never wasted anything.



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2 comments:

  1. A great post and a timely one as a friend of mine had recently been telling me of both these titles and Ditko's work on them - many thanks!

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  2. This is one of those gem books I always wanted to get hold of. It's just neat.

    You're very welcome.

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