Along Came a Radioactive Spider: Strange Steve Ditko and the Creation of Spider-Man (Hardcover)
If you know me, it shouldn’t take much to see why this book struck such a chord with me. For the rest of you (Let’s face it, all), this is the story behind the lesser known (and he preferred it that way!) creator of our favorite Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. In a world and industry that’s so enamored with fame, with the big names and lots of recognition, it’s truly a relief to see that some people remember those that create for the sake of it.
— From Arresting August Staff Picks
Spider-Man’s web of stories began far before the first drawing of nerdy teenager Peter Parker. They started with Steve Ditko, a kid who loved comics so much that he would brave blizzards to get new issues. Steve was strange—he was introverted, his art was shadowy, and his characters didn’t fit the mold of handsome heroes like those crafted by Marvel legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. But it's not so strange that the traits that made Steve different were what made his characters stand out.
Swing into the life of Steve Ditko and discover how he transformed a brawny, super-powered Spiderman into the perpetually awkward teenager who we know and love: Spider-Man, a character who relies on his inner strength more than super strength, who got his powers not through magic but through the bite of a radioactive spider…
This biography takes the mask off the famously reclusive artist and shares the story of how his wall-crawling hero became a friendly neighborhood icon.
About the Author
Annie Hunter Eriksen realized while writing With Great Power: The Marvelous Stan Lee (Page Street Kids) that she, like most people, was overlooking Steve Ditko’s role in the Spider-Man origin story, which inspired her to create the biography he deserves (even if he would totally hate the attention). In addition to comics, Annie loves cats, true crime, and running trail races. She lives in a small town in Ohio with her husband, two cats, and a hedgehog.
Lee Gatlin is the illustrator of With Great Power: The Marvelous Stan Lee (Page Street Kids), among other books for kids and many, many comics. Spider-Man has always been his favorite superhero, so he loved drawing the behind-the-scenes on the guy who made Spidey the hero he is. Lee lives with his wife and three children in Georgia.
"Spider-Man soars thanks to an unconventional illustrator [...] Die-hard comics aficionados will appreciate getting tangled up in this diverting web."
"Gatlin's striking illustrations, carrying a nostalgic vibe of their own, present Ditko himself as a wiry, elusive figure. Back matter fills in a little detail about his time at and departure from Marvel [...] Spidey fans will no doubt be intrigued."
"Mixed media art blends both the cartoony style of newspaper comic strips with the more dynamic movement of superhero comics [...] this would make an easy sell to superhero fans, especially kids aspiring to work in the comic world biz."