Robot 6

An 8-year-old fan wrote Steve Ditko a letter, and here’s how Ditko responded

steve ditko

Steve Ditko isn’t known for being a chatty fellow with the press, but one 8-year-old just nabbed the exclusive of a lifetime.

A young comic reader named Carl runs the blog Carl’s Comix! with help from his father. Although Carl is a big fan of Spider-Man and Batman, he more frequently talks about the old-school stuff, like ’60s Flash comics and early Amazing Spider-Man stories. That’s why he took it upon himself to write to the legendary Ditko.

Carl wanted to know whether any of Ditko’s teachers made him want to get into comics, and also what he had the most fun drawing. He capped it off by thanking the artist for inventing Spider-Man. It was a fan letter anyone might’ve have written at one point or another in their lives, but Carl’s actually received a response.

Earlier this week, Carl received a handwritten reply from Ditko, answering the young reader’s questions. He wrote that there wasn’t a particular teacher who inspired him to draw, and noted that, “A teacher comes after one thinks or would like to draw comic book stories.” He also said his favorite things to draw are characters in action. “One of the hardest things to learn to do well are the mechanical things,” he added, “like cars, buildings, etc and animals – horses, etc. but they can be fun like with Gorgo and Konga.”

Carl admitted he’d never heard of those two monster characters, but he’ll be sure to read up on them now. Check out pictures of both the letters below.

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That’s awesome for a young fan to receive. Here’s hoping he realizes the rarity of such a response and treasures it for the unique gift that it is.

That’s my customer. He knows his stuff. Great kid!

that is a priceless thing for a fan to receive espically from steve ditko himself given the legend is reclusive .

Ditko is a top-to-bottom class act.

My heart jumped when I saw Mr. Ditko on the front-page. I thought he may have passed away! Thank goodness it was this great story. Nice to hear children being fans of classic creators.

Thanks so much for covering this story about my son. He is so excited to see this (and his site) get so much attention. It’s been hard for him to fall asleep at night since he got the letter, but tonight he is sitting up way past his bedtime asking me how many people have liked it now.

He’s a permanent resident at our local comic book store (Thanks, Jeff!) and hits every local comic book show he can. He found his way to comics when he was almost 4 and gets a real thrill out of the sense of community (not that he would put it that way). Something like this is a major event in his life – both the letter from Steve Ditko and your story. So thanks for that. This is huge for him and we both really appreciate it.

Your son has excellent taste. Very cool story.

Yeah. Carl can take pride in Sturdy Steve Ditko’s classy answers to his questions.
Very cool.

Chris Schillig

June 29, 2015 at 2:59 am

Good for Carl. I’d be surprised if this story doesn’t get picked up by the Associated Press or another media outlet. Given Spider-Man’s continued popularity and Ditko’s legendary reclusiveness, it’s really newsworthy.

I expect to see this letter show up on a future episode of Comic Book Men, lol.

Great story! Very thoughtful of the legendary Mr. Ditko to respond to Carl.


I’m glad to know Ditko has an eight year old fan in your son. I’m sure he is thrilled by the letter and the attention (I was thrilled when I received my first letter from Steve a few years back)

I should point out that Ditko responding to fans is actually far from unusual. In truth he has been corresponding with fans for decades and has likely written hundreds of letters over the course of his career. There is a difference between being “reclusive” and wanting your privacy.Ditko does not give interviews or attend conventions, but he does correspond with fans.

Wow, a response from the elusive Ditko! I wonder if he still does any work? The last thing I remember was his Speedball series from the 90s. I didn’t get it then, but it’s amazing how much like the early Spider-Man it looked and felt like.


Ditko continues to write, drawn and create new stories and characters on a regular basis for publisher Robin Snyder. You can find what is available here:

Nick is correct. There’s a difference between ‘reclusive’ and ‘selective’.

Very classy indeed. Great stuff!

Great story! Nice to read Mr Ditko does care about his fans.

This is fantastic. Wonderful to see Mr. Ditko corresponding with the fans.

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