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Old 16-09-2007, 23:33   #1
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In Search of Steve Ditko (BBC Four)

Don't know if anyone else caught this tonight on BBC4 but it was a Jonathan Ross fronted programme that featured as part of the Comics Britannia series. Lots of people interviewed - Neil Gaiman, Ralph Macchio, John Romita, Alan Moore, and Stan Lee to name a few - as Ross tries to find out more about the elusive artist, Steve Ditko.

If you saw the show then you'll know:


Interesting though - or at least it was once some people had explained the universal appeal of the Spider-man character for the hundreth time.
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Old 17-09-2007, 05:33   #2
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Doh! I missed this - anyone know when it's repeated?
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Old 17-09-2007, 06:03   #3
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Thursday 20th September on BBC 4 at 00.30.
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Old 17-09-2007, 07:08   #4
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Cheers Alan
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Old 17-09-2007, 07:16   #5
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Got this to watch tonight on my pvr, been looking forward to this since the Comics Britainia season was first announced.

(BBC4 mini site : http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/comicsbritannia/ )

Anybody who knows even a little about the enigma Ditko is, shouldn't be expecting a long interview on camera with him, or anything like that. However, it's good to see a documentary devoted to the man. A fascinating figure, a superb artist, and anything thatfinally brings more recognition to him and his works is good to see.

Hopefully this will finally pave the way for Ross to get a documentary commissioned on Jack Kirby as well.

Last edited by LIGHTRAY; 17-09-2007 at 07:18.
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Old 17-09-2007, 08:07   #6
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The piece with Stan Lee was very good television, JR trying to pin Stan down on giving Ditko co-creator credit (which he appeared willing, after a fashion, to do) but not able to shift the Man from his belief that the guy who thought up the character is always the creator. Jack Kirby used to feel that he didn't get sufficient credit, as well. I'm with Stan on this. Nice to see the focus on issue 33 of the Amazing Spiderman as one of the best comic books ever.
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Old 17-09-2007, 08:51   #7
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Very good TV

Was obvious for the first time the JR was passionate about a subject and treated it with respect

Now BBC how about letting the man have a regular comics series
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Old 17-09-2007, 09:20   #8
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Thought it was a fantastic documentry and quite touching when Ross and Gaiman finally found Ditko.

Nice to see Moore looking as strange as ever.
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Old 17-09-2007, 19:23   #9
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I enjoyed the documentary too. It was the weirdness of Ditko's artwork (especially in Dr Strange) rather than its down-to-earthness (e.g. in the Peter Parker bits of Spiderman) that appealed to me. One thing was rather glossed over - it's all very well for Stan Lee to say that he considers Ditko the co-creator of Spiderman, but who actually owns the rights to the character, i.e. who gets the money from the movies and merchandise? Is it just Stan Lee?
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Old 17-09-2007, 20:18   #10
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I think Marvel owns the rights - I.e. the company, not just one person - although I'm sure Lee gets a generous percentage...

Just watched this myself and agree it was one of the best comic programmes I've ever seen - with Ross showing a clear love of the subject matter, and you couldn't help but be happy for him that he met his idol.
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Old 18-09-2007, 12:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinhanly View Post
I think Marvel owns the rights - I.e. the company, not just one person - although I'm sure Lee gets a generous percentage...

Just watched this myself and agree it was one of the best comic programmes I've ever seen - with Ross showing a clear love of the subject matter, and you couldn't help but be happy for him that he met his idol.
Lee probably has to be careful in the legal sense over what he says.

Actually the Comics Britannia series is pretty damn good as well, biggest relief being the lack of snide commentary, and next week's, the last, should be partucularly interesting.
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Old 18-09-2007, 13:34   #12
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Agree this was a great show and I hope Ross does more in the same vein. Kirby and Eisner would be next on the agenda.
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Old 18-09-2007, 14:13   #13
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I don't think Lee gets anthing from the Spiderman profits. He probably get's some sort of pension like Shuster and Siegel got for Superman after the Donner film came out and everyone realised they got completely screwed out of any money for the character. He probably also gets money for the 'Stan Lee presents...' line on most Marvel comics.
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Old 18-09-2007, 15:44   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summerisle View Post
Actually the Comics Britannia series is pretty damn good as well, biggest relief being the lack of snide commentary,
That's actually the only problem I have with Comics Britannia. Even if Armando Ianucci isn't being snide, his voice just naturally sounds like he is. Guess I'm just too used to hearing him in his comedy shows.

It would have been better with someone else doing the narration, IMHO.


But back on topic, loved the Ditko doc. Wanted to see more of Ross's colection though!
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Old 18-09-2007, 15:50   #15
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I don't think Lee gets anthing from the Spiderman profits. He probably get's some sort of pension like Shuster and Siegel got for Superman after the Donner film came out and everyone realised they got completely screwed out of any money for the character. He probably also gets money for the 'Stan Lee presents...' line on most Marvel comics.
No idea about money from the comics, but he successfully sued Marvel to get 10% of the profits from any movies made about his characters. He certainly hasn't got any money worries.
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Old 19-09-2007, 15:51   #16
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No idea about money from the comics, but he successfully sued Marvel to get 10% of the profits from any movies made about his characters. He certainly hasn't got any money worries.
I hear Marvel actually gets a very small cut of the profits from it's movies that's the main reason they are now producing their own films.
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Old 20-09-2007, 00:50   #17
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Just saw the repeat of this, a superb bit of tv! Utterly fascinating.
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Old 20-09-2007, 09:57   #18
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Its a real shame we didn't get to see Ditko speak. I always prefers his art work over Kirbys when I was a kid (I read the reprints, not that old!)

It was all a bit vague on Ditko, and how much he got. Some were making it sound like he was living in a bedsit or something. Did he actually create Spider-man's costume from scratch or was Stan Lee peering over his shoulder giving him instructions?

Sad that Ditko and Lee have never spoken again.
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Old 20-09-2007, 11:23   #19
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I thought it was standard practice, much like being a graphic designer working for any company, that you don't have any/much claim for what you create when you worked for Marvel, DC or any other imprint back in the day? Shuster and Siegel didn't really get a penny for creating Superman outside of their regular salary, and even when they sued NAP/DC they got a relative pittance for creating DC's biggest property.

Much as I appreciate Steve Ditko, although I'm not much of a Spidey fan, it's hard to take anyone seriously who believes in the infantile pap of objectivism. Like, read a proper book on philosophy, dagnammit. Any proper book.
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Old 21-09-2007, 00:09   #20
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I think its unfair for stan lee to not give ditko the credit as comics are a visual medium and like ross said spiderman may not have been as succesful if not for the look which was created by ditko.
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