Monday, July 12, 2010

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Unusual Tales #6

While many of Steve Ditko's covers for Charlton in the 50s were quite sinister, some were downright goofy. This 'we're gonna need a bigger boat' cover falls into the latter category. It's still a lot of fun, though, and Ditko's creature design is quite unique. It is also a relatively early example of 'Ditko water', something we'd become more familiar with during the 60s. I find it interesting that Ditko did not sign this work, as he had often done so on Charlton covers of the era. One of the aspects of Ditko's covers that really stands out is the coloring. The nearly fluorescent orange used here serves as a stark contrast to the grey background. You see some really interesting color choices on many Charlton covers. It was a very different approach than those taken by DC and Atlas/Marvel at the time, and we really would not see these colors again until the Myron Fass magazines.


GarBut said...

It's actually impossible to get a sense of scale for that demon fish. It could be huge, could be tiny.

benday-dot/craig said...

That is a nice colour scheme isn't it Scott? The orange tint in the waves enhance the sense of the fantastic in this cover. Different indeed from Atlas and DC, just as those two are so very different from each other. I have always found it interesting how each publisher adopted its own house colour style no less than it did a house art style. There is no mistaking a 50's Atlas cover, full of grays and deep reds and neat stipple and cross-hatching effects. Always full of mood. DC went for both softer and brighter looks from the pastel hues of the Adler direction to the welcoming and ubiquitous purples, sky blues and yellows. Surely this is a subject deserving of thorough scientific investigation! Glad to see the Ditko love keeps on coming through. Thanks Scott!

Scott M said...

Gary - you're quite right. Perhaps that's what makes this one so 'unusual'.

Craig- I'll keep the Ditko covers coming as long as I can!