|Doctor Strange, Hawk and Dove, The Creeper, Spider-Man, and The Question all spotlight Steve Ditko's genius for comic book hero design.|
|A painted portrait of Steve Ditko by Drew Friedman.|
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Stephen J. "Steve" Ditko (born November 2, 1927) is an American comic book artist and writer best known as the artist and co-creator, with Stan Lee, of the Marvel Comics heroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.
Ditko studied under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonist and Illustrators School in New York City. He began his professional career in 1953, working in the studio of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, beginning as an inker and coming under the influence of artist Mort Meskin. During this time, he then began his long association with Charlton Comics, where he did work in the genres of science fiction, horror, and mystery. He also co-created the superhero Captain Atom in 1960.
During the 1950s, Ditko also drew for Atlas Comics, a forerunner of Marvel Comics. He went on to contribute much significant work to Marvel, including co-creating Spider-Man, who would become the company's flagship character. Additionally, he co-created the supernatural hero Doctor Strange and made important contributions to the Hulk and Iron Man. In 1966, after being the exclusive artist on The Amazing Spider-Man and the Doctor Strange feature in Strange Tales, Ditko left Marvel for reasons never specified.
Ditko continued to work for Charlton and also DC Comics, making major contributions, including a revamp of the long-running character Blue Beetle, and creating or co-creating the Question, the Creeper, Shade, the Changing Man, and Hawk and Dove. Ditko also began contributing to small independent publishers, where he created Mr. A, a hero reflecting the influence of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. Since the 1960s, Ditko has declined most interviews, stating that it is his work he offers readers, and not his personality.
Ditko was inducted into the comics industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1990, and into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994.