Sunday, August 22, 2010

How Steve Dikto all but ruined ROM for me as a kid

Click on image to enlarge

Steve Dikto started taking over as penciler in ROM # 59. Fortunately his influence wasn't too pronounced thanks to the assistance of contributing finishers up until issue 64. I think of Steve Dikto as having been a man/artist for his time which was back in the day when Marvel was just getting started. But those days of Steve Dikto had long since passed as of the early 80's as far as I'm concerned. As a kid, to see the transition of the visually dynamic style of Sal Buscema ( original ROM penciler ) to Steve Dikto which to me was goofy by camparison almost broke my heart at the time. Feel free anyone out there to weigh in on this issue of mine. Also, there is a great youtube video about the career of Sal Buscema which has a mention of ROM in the narration and also features the first page of ROM # 1 and later the cover of ROM # 36 in the video's conclusion.


  1. No I totally agree. THE art team for Rom will forever be Buscema, Akin and Garvey.

  2. By the way, instead of writing links whole, you can create a clickable link in Blogger rather simply by selecting text and clicking the little "chain link" icon in your post-writing interface and putting the URL address in that. Makes it easier for readers to browse to and from your site.

  3. Thanks for the advice Siskoid. I took your suggestion and went into the post edit mode to create an actual link to that url.

  4. Dave,
    I can't seem to post to your blog for some reason, so feel free to post my responses.

    I agree with the Ditko art. Ugh, it was not a step forward for Rom.

    My love of Rom began when I was about 10 yrs old. I first read the story or Rom and the character Serpentyne and it was instant love. For me, Rom is one my "Big 3": Thor, Iron Man and Rom. His humanity, sense of purpose, and self-sacrifice of his life and love on Galador made a real impression on me and still does today.


  5. It's nice to see that so far at least two other ROM fans out there feel the same as I do about Steve Ditkto's less then stellar pencil work to the tale end of the ROM series.

  6. I'm a little late to this party, but I suppose I should defend Ditko's work. Is it like Buscema's? No. Do I enjoy it? Yes. I think his style was added a lot of pathos to the final run. Though I do understand how it may have came as a shock to those who were accustomed to another artistic team.

  7. Like the blog-host here, when Steve Ditko came on board performing the pencil work on ROM it nearly broke my heart.

    Not that I don't love Ditko's work on other titles...
    His DR STRANGE and SPIDER-MAN are among the best work ever for those characters.
    He invented the visual narrative style for those and other characters.

    A Jack Kirby pencilled Dr. Strange or Spider-Man don't work so well (the few times he did draw such characters) but a Jack Kirby ROM would have rocked!

    The difference is that Steve Ditko is all about soft, supple MOVEMENT.
    His figures bend and contort, are sleek and expressive.
    All things which one should NOT really do with ROM.

    Sal Buscema, while a fairly "basic" styled artist just knocked ROM out of the park.
    Hand's down his best work on ANY title for which he ever put pencil to paper.

    In the first few issues where Sal was inking his own work, while rough and course, the work STILL stood as dynamic with well-designed pages and action-packed panels.
    Once aided by the incomparable inking team of Ian Akin and Brian Garvey... the title rose to heights above much of what Marvel was putting on spinner-racks.

    I had just shortly before the Ditko run, started to lose my taste for the ROM comic - for multiple reasons; Akin and Garvey had long since left, leaving some fill-in inkers who just didn't match up... the storyline started to be less "intrigue" and more "guest-star hit-parade"...

    When Ditko came on board I was done.
    I picked up the occasional issue here and there; my direct-mail subscription having run its course by then. I only later grabbed the issues I missed after the final issue was out and I figured that I really should complete the run.

    The Ditko era on ROM was only highlighted by the special-guest INKERS who were lining up in droves to get a chance to work with the legendary master.

    As an artist myself, I can totally understand that.
    Even so, they must have noted that this was a shadow of his best work.
    But still, a shadow of great work is still something to appreciate... especially now, as an adult.

    But as a teenager reading the comic back then? Oh, hell no.