Thursday, June 15, 2017

Reading Room STRANGE TALES OF THE UNUSUAL "Moving Stairs"

Finding a never-reprinted Steve Ditko tale is exciting...
...especially one with both an atypical illustration style and a Twilight Zone-type "gotcha" ending!
One of the reasons Stan Lee turned the Spider-Man assignment over to Ditko rather than Jack Kirby, was Ditko's knack for rendering individuals as less "idealized" and "heroic" and more "everyman" than Kirby.
Nowhere is that more evident than this never-reprinted story from Atlas' Strange Tales of the Unusual #4 (1956).
The people are more detailed and exaggerated than usual, almost to the point of caricature, but it works in context.
Though the writer is unknown, it's likely editor Stan Lee or his brother, Larry Lieber.

And, to answer an obvious question, no, the book is not Strange Tales, which ended up introducing both Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts and Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
Strange Tales began in 1951 and ran for 168 issues until 1968 when it became Doctor Strange.
Strange Tales of the Unusual began in 1955 and was cancelled in 1957 after only 11 issues.
Note for the completists among you: Strange Tales was revived in 1973, continuing from #169 onward for another 20 issues...
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...which features nothing but kool Steve Ditko art!

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