Lurky McLurklurk (ionlylurkhere) wrote,
Lurky McLurklurk

Stan Lee on that Jonathan Ross Steve Ditko thing

So I finally got round to watching my tape of Jonathan Ross In Search Of Steve Ditko off of BBC4. I enjoyed it overall, though some bits felt a bit patronising (and it's not as though I know that much about comics, it's only two years since I first picked up Watchmen and got my socks blown off by it) and Wossy could have done what he did at the very end without seeming quite so smug that at least he'd got what he wanted. And it needed more Doctor Strange. Obv. Everything needs more Doctor Strange. (Though it was really cool that they had cat yronwode on there. I had no idea she pronounced it "Ironwood", though, that was a big shock.)

But anyway, I've been thinking about the Stan Lee interview. Or rather, I should be scrupulous and say "the clips from what was probably a much longer interview that were shown". There's an entertaining bit where Ross essentially tricks him into saying he created Spidey and then he tries to backtrack, but then he starts giving it all this stuff about how Ditko was being unreasonable, because he'd said he "considered" Ditko to be the co-creator, why wasn't that good enough for him, etc. etc.?

Now, the thing is, the one thing that everyone knows about Steve Ditko if they've heard of him at all is that he's an Objectivist{*}. And of course in the Objectivist worldview what people consider is of no consequence at all. The whole point of Ayn Rand's nonsense is the idea that nothing is subjective, everything is objective, and so in Ditko's view (which he would naturally identify as the true, correct, only view) there is some sort of standard out there somewhere for "being a co-creator" that he either meets in the case of Spider-Man or doesn't, and that's the only important question. What anyone else considers is irrelevant.

And if I can figure that out at n removes from the situation (where n is a very large number indeed, and always assuming that I am right in my reading of Ditko's response to the "consider" thing), whereas Smilin' Stan worked closely with him for quite a long time, I can't help but wonder: is Stan Lee just very clueless, or was he deliberately trying to wind his former colleague up with that wording? (Or, the third alternative, were there some Marvel lawyers who advised against actually saying outright that Ditko was the co-creator in case it led to "where's my money, honey?" shenanigans?)

{*} It's very odd how there are some people whose belief in some daft philosophy that I find repugnant affects my appreciation of their work (there is a musician I can't listen to since discovering he's a Scientologist, for example, but I won't name him in case the knowledge has the same effect on someone else out there) and others where it doesn't bother me at all (Ditko, most Scientologist actors outside of films they've made to try and promote Scientology). Some day I will work out a way of rationalising some sort of consistency out of it.
Tags: ancient gossip, comics

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