Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Nukla #4

This is from the period where Ditko artwork was popping up everywhere, including ACG and Dell. Nukla was a short lived superhero title from Dell, and Ditko was brought in to draw the final issue, including the cover. I find the cover to be quite dynamic and nicely designed. Sal Trapani inked this one, and while I don't actually think he's the worst choice for Ditko inkers, he does seem to sap some of the Ditko energy out of the cover. The result is more of a toned down Ditko, much like what Ralph Reese did with Ditko's Magnus Robot Fighter in the early 90s. It's not bad, but I'd prefer it to be a little less clean looking. The word balloons are also a bit too intrusive and the garish color choices do not help. Overall, I like the overall design, and the figures but the final execution makes it feel too generic to be a great Diko cover.


Jeremy A. Patterson said...

This was a pretty darn good heroic effort from Dell!


Frank D. C. said...


I just discovered your blog and after speed-reading through a big chunk of it, I felt the warm-fuzzy rush of discovering a kindred spirit. Just had to write something.

I'm 35, lived in Toronto for the first 33 years of my life, love movies (Ed Wood is a favourite, too, but prefer Royal Tenenbaums), like Neil Young, Juliana Hatfield and Sloan and I've loved, loved, LOVED comics my whole life.

One of the great joys is learning about hidden/forgotten gems (just found out about the Evanier/Spiegle run on Blackhawk thanks to Back Issue magazine), and your blog is full of such info. Awesome! Great job. (Love You've Been Warned as well.)

Man of Bronze said...

Althought I prefer Ditko's own inks to most inkers, I like what Reese did on MAGNUS. His MAGNUS work wasn,t his much inspired anyway. Other inkers that kinda "cleaned" Ditko's stuff that were a good match (IMHO) were Craig Russell on ROM (again, late Ditko stuff is far from his best work) and I loved Wally Wood inks on Ditko's STALKER (when Ditko was in his prime).

Not a huge fan of Sal Trapani. He's okay but doesn't stand out among other inkers of that period. Then again, a lot of people prefer inkers that don't stand out and let the penciller's work stand out. I usually agree with this. But in Ditko's case (when he doesn't ink himself), he needs a strong inker.

Scott M said...


I'm glad you stopped by. As for the Royal Tenebaums, when I was decided to buy my current house, I told my Dad it had a 'Royal Tenebaums' feel. It is circa 1905, with Lots of little bathrooms and bedroom doors set at 45 degree angles. We've got a tiny linen close I plan on dedicated to board games.

MOB - I agree, Reese certainly made Ditko more appealing and accessible at that stage. Wood is a great example of someone who can 'clean up' Ditko while leaving in the charm.

Frank D. C. said...


I'm very jealous--I adore old houses; I've even got the "Old Toronto Houses' book. Board game closet=awesome!

Blair said...

You're probably going to do an article on it (I hope!)but have you read 'Strange Suspense' yet and if you have is it any good???
As ever,fab site!