Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Reading Room: OUTER SPACE "His Own Little World"

After co-creating Spider-Man and Dr Strange, Steve Ditko left Marvel Comics... a dispute over credits and royalties for reprints and licensed merchandise based on his co-creations.
He continued to work for almost everyone else in the industry, including one of his early haunts, Charlton Comics, where, besides co-creating the new Blue Beetle and The Question, he revamped his first super-hero co-creation, Captain Atom, and also illustrated numerous sci-fi and horror one-shots, like this one!
If you compare this tale from Charlton's Outer Space V2N1 (1968) to Ditko's earlier work, you'll see it appears to be less-detailed.
But that's actually an optical illusion!
Before 1967-68, comic book art was usually drawn twice as large (12 1/2" x 18 1/2") as the size it was printed at.
In '67-68, the primary comic color separation company, Chemical Color Plate, changed the original art size to the smaller 1 1/2 times printed size (10" x 15") so more pages could fit on their photostat cameras' platen at a time in order to both speed up the production process and reduce costs.
The major comic companies, who provided paper to their artists free of charge, quickly began providing the smaller-size stock, to encourage the transition.
It appears this story was done on the smaller-size paper.
So, while Ditko was still inking at the same detail-level he had done previously, because the art wasn't reduced as much as it was earlier, the final product looked less-detailed!

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