DKW: Ditko Kirby Wood (Fantagraphics)

CREDIT: Fantagraphics

Rating: 5/5 – A Must Read For Every Comics Fan.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Sergio Ponchione has distilled the essence of three of the greatest creators/artists that the comics medium has ever known into a 27 page tribute that every fan of comics should read.  The fact that I read this the week it came out I credit to my fabulous LCS, Comics Toons’n’Toys in Tustin, CA.  This was a title that “Flew Beneath My Radar” when it was originally solicited but it WAS on the rack at the shop to catch my eye, and Wow!  Am I glad it was.

Inside a framing sequence of an experience artist reviewing the portfolio of an up-and-comer, we get three stories focusing on each of the masters: Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, and Wally Wood.  The individual vignettes are very different from one another but are wonderfully tied together by the experienced artist letting the novice know that he should be aware of and learn from the masters who helped define the art form.  Along the way, he plugs 3 books with much more material on each artist, lending them to the novice so he can continue his study of these giants: Strange and Stranger: The Worlds of Steve Ditko; Kirby: King of Comics; and Against the Grain: Mad Artist Wallace Wood (which is currently out of print).

Ponchione has created a beautiful homage to three of the greats.  Each of the three spotlight pieces is evocative of the style of the master he’s focusing on without directly copying their style.  This is just as suitable for those of us who have been aware of these comics gods for most of our lives as it is for people who are only somewhat familiar with them, or who (gasp) don’t yet know who they are or why they’re important to comics.  I will say it again because it bears repeating: This comic is a must read for all fans of comics.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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