SNYDER + DITKO= 25, 48 and 60
Many years ago we observed that there were a number of publishing anniversaries coming up, right around the corner, and thought it might be an interesting idea if we were to promote and celebrate those august occasions. We worked up, designed, planned and contributed to several. Perhaps you have seen and/or read a few of them.
One of the first was Detective Comics no. 512 March 1982. The 45th Anniversary number. Dick Giordano allowed me three pages in his comic. I wrote to four men, Creig Flessel, Sheldon Mayer, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, who had contributed to the first issue away back in 1937. They gave me one-of-a-kind, first-person testimony of what they accomplished in those far away days.
We spoke to Robert Kanigher of the 30th anniversary of his book, Sgt. Rock. As usual, he celebrated that signal event in his own unique manner. He wrote two stories. He wrote, Frank Redondo illustrated, “Thirty Year Man”, that he published in Sgt. Rock no 366 July 1982. He wrote, Joe Kubert illustrated, “30 Years of Dogtags”, that he published in no. 368 September 1982. RK had an unusual idea for that second story. The story would begin on the cover with writer and illustrator credits, continue on the inside front cover (in black and white. RK, as Rock, explained the transition from color to black and white by stating that the bullet that hit and killed the kid he was protecting “took all the color out of the world” for him. The story would pick up again on p. 1 of the comic and continue through to the explosive conclusion. Dick Giordano nixed the idea saying he needed the inside front cover for an advertisement. The idea was revised so that second page would contain the credits and would appear on the first page of the comic and in color. No one noticed, of course, that Production had failed to place one or both stories in the August number, the 30th anniversary date. I chose to publish a portion of my Men of Easy roster, a listing of every single soldier who had fought with Easy Company. This page appeared in the August number.
The veteran Murray Boltinoff, who went all the way back to 1940 in the company, had an office across the hall from mine. He had seen more history, edited more comics, than any other at DC. I told him what I had been doing in other comics and advised him that an anniversary of his title was not far off. He jumped at the opportunity to publish something distinctive. Boltinoff called in RK to plot a multiple chapter, 64-page epic, “Tomorrow’s War Today”. It was the biggest story in the series featuring The Haunted Tank and one of the most complex stories ever published by DC. E.R. Cruz was chosen to illustrate two chapters and the rest of the book was illustrated by Sam Glanzman. As he was working up a schedule for the production of this issue, Murray asked me to join him in the celebration. He offered me one page of his book and gave me carte blanche. In return, I gave to him a history of The Haunted Tank, its trek across Europe and through the years of the world war, a terrific mistake. Kanigher’s work did not, and was not intended to, follow a chronology. His characters remained true to themselves but not to history, chronology or biography. I ought to have known better. All of this and more is in the 30th anniversary issue of G.I. Combat no. 246, October 1982.
We put together a little celebration for the 10th anniversary of Ghosts, a title inaugurated by Boltinoff.
I thought I had contributed to an Archie anniversary title but cannot find such a book in my library.
There was one more special project in this period. Ditko produced a 20th anniversary cover for Martin Skidmore’s publication, Fantasy Advertiser, number 97, June-July 1986.
And, in the last several years, we have published the 20th anniversary edition of The Comics!, the 40th anniversary edition of Mr. A. no. 4, the 60th anniversary of Tales of the Mysterious Traveler and the 25th anniversary number of The Comics!
Javier Hernandez, Ole M. Olsen and others have been thinking about #25, the new issue in the 32 Series. Here at last is the book you have asked about.
The 25th entry in the 32 Page Series.
Wait, There is more.
We have another anniversary edition as part of this campaign, the 60th anniversary number of Out of This World.
The material is complete and ready to go but for the editorial pages. That's where you come in. That is where we thank you, in print, for your support for our work.
Risks and challenges
As we have written previously, this work is complete. We have been working on these books all through the summer. All we need now is your Pledge and your name to be added to the List of Contributors to this campaign. Yes, we are that close to printing and distribution.
We look forward to publishing these fascinating titles for you in this, Lucky Campaign #13.