Friday, June 28, 2013

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #19

Steve Ditko drew a lot of very 'busy', multi-panel covers for Charlton's Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds but this one may be my favourite. If you can mange to look beyond the giant logo and the intrusive sweepstakes advertising along the bottom, you will note some very atmospheric underwater artwork. Ditko and water have always worked for me. While Charlton was often guilty of choosing rather garish colour palettes, this one is not too bad at all. I particularly like the green and yellow hues at bottom left, and the shadowy figures in the panel above. I have owned some books from this series, but never this one. The more I look at this issue, the more I want to get my hands on it.

3 comments:

Four-Color Kid said...

Do you know if this was an original Ditko cover, or if it was one of those typically cheap way of Charlton of recycling panels from inside art in a montage?

I also Wonder if this issue was published during that scuba-diving craze of the late 50's and early 60's? They were quite a few shows on tv that featured scuba-diving such as SEA HUNT, FLIPPER, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, THE AQUANAUTS, etc. (all of them had comic adaptations by Dell) and also in movies such as the early James Bond.

Scott M said...

I don't own this book, but the stories may show up in our of those Ditko collections - so I will keep an eye out. I don't know when the panel recycling started, as many of the 50s covers are actually originals but this may not be.

M W Gallaher said...

This comic is dated July, 1960, F-CK, so yes, it falls during that scuba craze era. And I can confirm that the cover is indeed a montage of 5 interior panels (the first panel on the cover, the one with the speech balloon, is constructed from two separate interior panels, with a head shot removed that was originally to the right of the shadowy swimming figures). The panels have all been recolored, too.
The story itself is one of the slightest I've ever read in a Charlton, and that's saying a lot.