Does anyone know if there has been a collection of either "Amazing Adult Fantasty" (just the pure Ditko issues) or the entire 14-15 issue run of "Amazing Fantasty"?   I've been reading the praises of Steve Ditko's monster work, and thought I might pop for a collection, if it was cheap.   What are the odds?

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Marvel put out a hardcover Omnibus of the entire 15-issue run, apparently in 2007. There are a mix of Ditko and Kirby stories in issues 1 -6, when the book was titled Amazing Adventures. . Issues 7 - 15 are all Ditko. This includes the oft-reprinted Spidey origin in #15, but also the overlooked non-Spidey stories in that issue. As far as I can tell there is no softcover version.

Ditko also did horror/monster work for Ajax-Farrell and Charlton early in his career (as well as more work for Charlton later). Collections of some of his work for these companies have been published, but many of the issues are apparently in the public domain and can be found at the Digital Comic Museum or Comic Book Plus.

 

One of his first published stories - I'm not able to say if it was his very first - was "Stretching Things" in Ajax-Farrell's Fantastic Fears #5. It's a memorable pre-Code horror tale. According to the GCD it was written by Bruce Hamilton, which I didn't know.

I recall seeing occassional Ditko monster stories reprinted on a sporatic basis in Marvel Tales, and Fantasy Masterpieces.

Stan's hype always refered these types of reprints as "Steve Ditko's 'Tim-Boo-Bah'" or "Those Who Change" or Kirby's
I, Grotto"  or similar types of billboarding, but usually mentioning the artist's name as a particular draw.

Does anyone know if these pieces were selected in any logical manner, or was it just all hap-hazard, or a by-guess-by-golly intern or secretary picking the stories for this next issue?

I'm discovering that it might be easier and cheaper to pick up poor to low grade copies of the originals...and just read #7-14 as I find them.  I'm NEVER going to find a cheap copy of Amazing Fantasy #15...due to the Spider-Man connection.  But, I 'm curious if the additional back-up stories were ever reprinted in any of those.

Marvel reprinted a lage number of its monster/horror stories in newsstand comics in the early to mid 70s. Sometimes the stories were pre-Code, sometimes they were from Marvel's monsters comics era. If you could find them you might be able to get those issues cheaply. The GCD tells me Ditko stories were reprinted in Where Creatures Roam, Where Monsters Dwell, Fear, Monsters on the Prowl, Creatures on the Loose, Weird Wonder Tales, Journey into Mystery, Supernatural Thrillers, Crypt of Shadows, Vault of Evil, Dead of Night, Uncanny Tales, Chamber of Chills and Tomb of Darkness. Also, some were reprinted behind new stories in other titles or in giant comics with superhero reprints.

I have that Omnibus, and if you're any kind of Ditko fan, it's worth the money.

Come to think of it, Kirk, if you just want to read them cheaply you could probably find a number of Ditko's monster comics stories in Marvel's paid access online digital library.

I'll bet there's no master list to track what went where.  Nobody cared at the time, eh?

 

Frankly, I think I'd like to see and hold the originals. I have strong childhood memories of reading "Those Who Change" in Fantasy Masterpieces #2 and smelling the damp, moldy original comics and niffing the ink, ya'know?

Luke Blanchard said:

Marvel reprinted a lage number of its monster/horror stories in newsstand comics in the early to mid 70s. Sometimes the stories were pre-Code, sometimes they were from Marvel's monsters comics era. If you could find them you might be able to get those issues cheaply. The GCD tells me Ditko stories were reprinted in Where Creatures Roam, Where Monsters Dwell, Fear, Monsters on the Prowl, Creatures on the Loose, Weird Wonder Tales, Journey into Mystery, Supernatural Thrillers, Crypt of Shadows, Vault of Evil, Dead of Night, Uncanny Tales, Chamber of Chills and Tomb of Darkness. Also, some were reprinted behind new stories in other titles or in giant comics with superhero reprints.

In case you missed it, there was an episode of "American Pickers" airing on the History Channel late last night that featured the boys picking at a combination antique shop, toy store and comic shop.  They saw key silver age marvels under glass, including FF #1, Amazing Fantasy #15, Avengers #4 and Spider-Man #38.  But they zeroed in on the first appearance of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15.

 

Though Mike claims that he and his buddy are great spider-man fans, they seem very unknowledgable about the origin and conditions of silver age books. While they discuss the relative merrits of the book and it's collectibility with the owner/proprieter, they ultimately settle upon a price of $4500 for the copy.  The owner graded the book at 2.0 on the 10 point scale but this didn't phaze them.

They take the copy with them to get it appraised, and after learning a great deal about condition and flaws in a copy and how it impacts price, Mike gets impatient and asks multiple times how much his copy is worth. The expert makes a qualified answer..."To the right buyer, I would estimate this copy to be around $5500."  Mike breaks out in a dance that he's MADE MONEY on the deal.

To my mind, they just spent $4500 on a copy that is rare, but not in desirable condition, and they have no willing buyer, so they are out $4500.  I don't think that's anything to dance around about.

 

By great coincidence, my copy of Marvel Visionaries: Steve Ditko arrived in the mail this morning. The book is used, but in Mint condition and showcases a lot of Ditko's pre-superhero work, and a smattering of his art from each of the various bronze age books that he filled in when somebody missed a deadline....HULK, DD, Speedball, Squirel Girl, etc.  But it has the complete three parts of the Master Planner and a Chameleon story from Spider-Man #1 in it.  I'm extremely pleased with it, as so many of the monster stories are from Amazing Adult Fantasy and includes the seminal "Those Who Change" and "Why Won't They Believe Me!"

I find American Pickers fascinating mostly because they "freestyle" around on back roads and find guys with multiple gigantic barns full of rusty junk. America apparently is FILLED with these guys!

To my mind, they just spent $4500 on a copy that is rare, but not in desirable condition, and they have no willing buyer, so they are out $4500.  I don't think that's anything to dance around about.

They have a self-fulfilling prophecy, because they say stuff like, "I picked this for $100, and I'm gonna ask $250." Not bad, but that doesn't mean he ever actually SOLD it, much less at that price. When you appraise your own buys, you can't lose.

Mike and Frank love, love love anything having to do with wheels and oil, and after that, their interest fades. Watching them buy old gas-station signs each week gets pretty predictable. From what I've read, most of their Spidey knowledge seemed to come from the movies. But at least it would be interesting to see them deal with it, so I'll keep an eye out. Gee, I hope they rerun the episode.

I would argue with your assessment that AF #15 is rare, though, At conventions I go to, many dealers have multiple copies on their racks. If I have the money, buying a copy is really easy. I seriously doubt some of those copies will ever sell of those racks.

I think the market for those mid-range, not-Mint-but-not-reading-copy copies is pretty small. It's not a good investment, and there are lots of options in reprints if you just want to read it. OTOH, they aren't actually copies of AF #15, with all the ads and the backup stories, and that's still worth something to have.

I still have the copy I bought off the rack, which I would grade at a 0.03 on a scale of 10, due to its lacking a front cover and first page. But I consider it pretty priceless. So I picked it for 12 cents, and I'm asking $3000 for it. *Happy dance!*

-- MSA

 

You made me smile today.

I agree with everything you said.

Cost:  A few seconds of my time

Value: Priceless

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Profit:  Enjoyment on the forum.... again!

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