Steve Ditko's Toyland article


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Most of Steve Ditko's articles you need to read either in "The Comics" or some of the collections by Robin Snyder. Ditko recently allowed his article "Toyland" (from 2007) to be reprinted on-line. Here is a link to it:

The scans of the accompanying artwork aren't too great. The article deals with Ditko's take on the current treatement of heroes in the medium, mainly comics, but could also be applied to the various superhero movies based on comics.

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Quick, somebody in the comic books industry, make Steve Ditko an editor, an authority, to re-right super heroes in comic books! The article "Toyland"--once you let pass the awkward writing style--is a refreshing analysis of what is philosophically wrong with the American comic books industry. It affirms and gives voice to my decision long ago to stop buying and reading super-heroes comic books. My reasoning at the time was that it was as if all my favorite super heroes "jumped the shark." Well, Steve Ditko has a much better explanation, and it is an Objectivist one.

I like the way he introduces the readers to such notions as "standard of value"; values as either "intrinsic, subjective, or objective"; the distinction of the natural vs. the man-made; anti-concepts "the public," "the right to know," and the anti-hero "hero"; the philosophy of education, mentioning Montessori's teaching methods; the laws of identity, noncontradiction, excluded middle; free will and responsibility, versus determinism and passive wishing; and the primacy of existence. This is pretty substantial.

One thing I don't get fully is the inclusion of the two artworks. It is not clear to me what are the two contradictory "operating principles" that caused Mr. Laszlo Toth to strike his hammer.

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