Steve Ditko, the artist best known as the co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange for Marvel Comics, has always been my favorite artist in that medium. He was the first artist whose work I came to recognize by sight. I've been a fan since before I discovered Spider-Man, when he was drawing the adventures of those transposed-from-the-screen movie monsters Konga and Gorgo for Charlton. So when my friend Mort Todd mentioned to me on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that Ditko was a Mario Bava fan, I decided then and there to make a gift to him of the Bava book, as a Thank You for all that he has given me throughout my lifetime.
I don't know why I was surprised; the evidence was always there in front of me - in the mannequin-like postures of his characters, and in the fog he drew encircling the likes of Mysterio, The Dread Dormammu and The Question.
Today I am thrilled because my gift has been answered.
I just received a hand-written reply (in pencil!) from Mr. Ditko,
acknowledging receipt of his gift copy of MARIO BAVA - ALL THE COLORS OF
THE DARK. It reads:
Dear Tim, Thanks for the MARIO BAVA book. It certainly is a massive work that can only be gone through in small time periods.
As your project demonstrates, one will, at some point become aware
of a new thought, experience, etc. that attracts and shapes one's
thinking, direction, vision for a future goal, and one is willing to do
what is needed to be done to achieve that desired end. Regards, Steve Ditko (signed) Steve Ditko (printed)