Six-And-A-Half Seconds Of Steve Ditko

steve_ditkoAbraham Riesman of Vulture went to Doctor Strange creator Steve Ditko's office to interview the man, on the occasion of his comic created fifty years ago for Marvel filling the cinema screens.

While knocking, and ringing and waiting, we got a neighbourly anecdote about money.

"One time, about ten years ago, I accidentally got a piece of his mail," she said, her eyebrows rising scandalously. "I opened it and then realized it wasn't mine because that check had too many zeroes." My body jerked up with shock — that contradicted Ditko's claim that he doesn't get a cut. I asked for more details. She said it was from a movie studio, and that when she gave it back to him, he just took it and said nothing. "That's probably why he can work in that little office," she said, and laughed. "He's doing all right."

And after hours of waiting… Ditko answers his door.

He looked directly into my eyes, his expression sharp and preemptively irritated.

"Mr. Ditko?" I asked.

Before I could finish the second syllable of his name, he furrowed his brow, pursed his lips, and narrowed his eyes. He turned his head down and to his right at a 45-degree angle, and then shook it in what I assume was disgust. The door swung back into its frame and the deadbolt slammed in. The whole interaction lasted about six and a half seconds.

Glad Jonathan Ross and Neil Gaiman popped by when they did. They, at least, got comics out of it.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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