Saturday, March 30, 2013


review-DITKO MONSTERS:GORGO published by IDW/YOE BOOKS. Edited by Craig Yoe.

YOE BOOKS has been at the forefront of bringing high end hardcover reprint books to the market for several years now. Forget the Marvel and DC glossy, thin-papered, "prestige" hardcovers that digitally "correct" artwork and colors. These books are printed on heavy stock paper with true scans of the art and books they reprint. They LOOK like comic books, not some magazine pages in your dentist's office.

This new volume, the first in a bookend with KONGA, is easily one of the most attractive books to grace my shelves in quite some time.
The cover art- printed directly on the binding-  is absolutely jumping off the front, nearly exploding in your face with excitement. The perfect image to showcase this collection.

As with many of Yoe's books, extra attention to detail and little touches are added that many others would never think to put in (or ON) their books. Although the photo above doesn't do it justice, the entire binding is rippled with a textured lizard skin relief, giving it a unique look and feel.

Weighing in at an impressive 237 pages (not the 224 as stated on Amazon), what we get is the entire output of Steve Ditko's tenure on GORGO. All his covers and interiors are here, lovingly reproduced (faithfully--just like they should be--, and not "restored"!), along with several pages of Yoe's introduction, various production stills, and other ephemera from the film.

sepia-toned front and end pieces,essay, and interior detail:

Yoe's essay is light hearted and whimsical, as usual,and a pleasure to read through. He made mention of a possible Eric Stanton collaboration with Ditko on one of the stories. I had never noticed before, but after looking closely I most assuredly saw it!
The stories themselves are classic Joe Gill of the era. Commies, monsters,sweethearts and more. Even a rather hilarious black-humor diatribe on the film industry! Surprisingly , nearly all of them still hold up very well, and in some cases possibly even more so than when first published. At the end of the day, though, GORGO is about a child (albeit a monster child) just trying to get along in this crazy world-- with a little help from his mamma!
Ditko's work is absolutely stunning, and considering he was also producing art for Spider-Man and Doctor Strange at the same time, he never let his art waver for his much smaller paycheck at Charlton. A true professional.

I would be remiss if i didn't mention the rather clever ISBN box on the back cover: Gorgo laying waste to the scanner-code bars represented as a cityscape! Wonderful! (The cityscape theme is echoed in the column layout in the essay, as well!)

You can find Craig Yoe/Yoe Books at the link in the first paragraph, and on facebook:
and be sure to hit the International Team  of Comics Historians collective blog: SUPER I.T.C.H.


  1. Yum.

    This is a gorgeous book, and I'm eager to get my mitts on the Konga one too. It should be even better.

    The UPC trick is hilarious.

    One thing that I missed on too, but was pointed out by Stephen Bissette in his review of this same volume is that The Return of Gorgo cover is likely by Dick Giordano. It's apparently been mistakenly identified a few times.

    Rip Off

  2. I'm on the fence about that Return Of Gorgo cover...I can see elements of both artists at play!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. That cover is totally Giordano. He never failed to fail to inject dynamics in his compositions, although I'll grant that this is one of his better attempts. ;)


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