STEVE DITKO and BASIL WOLVERTON are this ssue's focus, which is rounded out by the usual line-up of outstanding columns and features.
This issue's front cover by RON WILBER features a darkly humorous scene from his serial "Twilight of the Heroes." KERRY GAMMILL delivers a Ditko-inspired back cover. The inside cover is a full-page MARC HEMPEL illustration of Dr. Strange.
BLASTS FROM THE READERS is dedicated this issue to one lengthy missive from Marvel's ROY THOMAS.
Synopsis: A reprint of a five-page STEVE DITKO story.
Notes: Originally presented in FANTASTIC FEARS #5 (1953), this story is cited by some as being STEVE DITKO's first published comic book work. It is printed here in crisp black-and-white and magazine sized.
Synopsis: A thought-provoking memoir by a homosexual that focuses on the outcast element in Ditko's run on THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and how Ditko provided the author "a key to understanding myself and what I was up against."
Notes: From Van Hise's opening comments: "This is definitely the most unusual article I've ever published, and I think you'll find it's the most unusual article on comics you've ever read."
Synopsis: Van Hise writes an information-packed essay examining Wolverton's "straight" horror and science-fiction work (as opposed to his humorous work for MAD, etc., though Wolverton's cover to MAD #11 is pictured).
Notes: Features a never-before-published two-page spread Wolverton illustrated in the early 1930s for his unpublished text story, "Cloud Breaker."
Reprints, among other pieces, a two-page spread of a T-Rex and Bronto ready to rumble; the first page of the first STARKAWKS strip (from CIRCUS #1(1938)); and a page from the reprinted version of "Swamp Monster" (from SHOCK (1969)).
Synopsis: HOWARD P. SIEGEL provides a thorough look on the life and work of comic strip artist AL SCADUTO, best known for his strip, "They'll Do It Every Time." Siegel also writes some personal recollections of JOHN VERPOORTEN, Marvel's Production Chief, who died at only age 36 in December 1977. Shazam/Captain Marvel and Will Eisner are also touched upon.