Comic-book artist Steve Ditko, who was "best known for his role in creating Spider-Man, one of the most successful superhero properties ever," died June 29, the New York Times reported. He was 90. Ditko was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 1994.
Along with artist Jack Kirby and writer/editor Stan Lee, Ditko "was a central player in the 1960s cultural phenomenon known as Marvel Comics, whose characters today are ubiquitous in films, television shows and merchandise," the Times noted. "Though Mr. Ditko had a hand in the early development of other signature Marvel characters--especially the sorcerer Dr. Strange--Spider-Man was his definitive character, and for many fans he was Spider-Man's definitive interpreter."
Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment, said "the Marvel family mourns the loss of Steve Ditko. Steve transformed the industry and the Marvel universe, and his legacy will never be forgotten."
Neil Gaiman told the Washington Post: "The Doctor Strange stuff was brain-bending. It was glorious... and it was pure Steve. What Steve brought was grandeur and a view to other dimensions.... I just find myself thinking with enormous pleasure about the afternoon [British TV/radio host] Jonathan Ross and I went up to Steve Ditko's office in New York in 2007. We just walked up, knocked on the door, and he came out and chatted in the corridor for 25 minutes. He answered all of Jonathan's questions and went in and got us a bunch of comics. I just remember him as so very, very gracious and at the same time so very private."