Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - LOCAL PERSPECTIVES - — From wire re­ports

Steve Ditko, the Marvel Comics artist who gave the world the wo­ven webs and soar­ing red-and­blue shape of Spi­der-Man and the other-worldly shim­mer of Doc­tor Strange, has died. He was 90. Ditko was found dead June 29 in his Man­hat­tan apart­ment, New York City po­lice Lt. Paul Ng said Fri­day. No fur­ther de­tails were avail­able. Ditko, along with writer Stan Lee, in­tro­duced the world to Peter Parker and his al­ter-ego Spi­der-Man in 1962. A year later, Ditko in­tro­duced surge on turned-su­per hero Doc­tor Strange. The ad­ven­tures of both have been turned into block­buster films. While Lee em­braced his sta­tus as a cre­ative god among comics fans, ap­pear­ing at con­ven­tions and film cameos, Ditko was a recluse who won the wor­ship of the most hard­core comic-book fans. The son of a steel mill worker, Ditko was born in Johnstown, Pa., in 1927. He served in the Army in Europe af­ter World War II and be­gan work­ing in comics in the 1950s in New York, even­tu­ally land­ing a job with Marvel fore­run­ner At­las Comics. Elvis Pres­ley’s Rolls-Royce, the suits the Bea­tles wore on their first tour of Amer­ica, Bruce Spring­steen’s sleeve­less faded denim jacket and col­or­ful head­band, and Michael Jack­son’s glove are among the items of mu­sic mem­o­ra­bilia on dis­play at the new Hard Rock casino in At­lantic City, N.J. There are out­fits worn by Lady Gaga, Cher, Bar­bra Streisand, Whit­ney Hous­ton and Mariah Carey, and shoes from El­ton John, Buddy Holly and Gene Sim­mons of Kiss — if dragon-scale boots count as shoes. Gui­tars in all shapes, sizes and col­ors, in­clud­ing ones played by Tom Petty, Bob Dy­lan and Slash, are there, too. When the Hard Rock opened June 28 in what used to be the Trump Taj Ma­hal — the casino opened in 1990 by Don­ald Trump — it brought many items from what it calls the world’s largest col­lec­tion of mu­sic mem­o­ra­bilia. Still to ar­rive at the casino are items in­clud­ing a Jimi Hen­drix gui­tar and Frank Si­na­tra’s pi­ano.


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