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  #1  
Old 02-Nov-15, 21:04
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Post A Tangled Web, an article by Amber Stanton (Eric Stanton's daughter)

Eric Stanton's influence on Steve Ditko, the creator of Spiderman, with whom he shared a studio in Manhattan for many years, has been discussed on the forum on several occasions. A book published in 2012 about Steve Ditko, called "The Creativity of Steve Ditko" includes an article by Amber Stanton, Eric Stanton's daughter, in which she discusses Eric Stanton's role in the creation of Spiderman, and the fact that her father never received the recognition that he deserved.

I scanned and attached the relevant 11 pages from the book, including Stanton and Ditko's selfies.

Here's the full text of the article:

A TANGLED WEB
by Amber Stanton

It was November 26, 1987. We were all sitting in the living room watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. A giant balloon of Spider-Man suddenly appeared on the screen.

"Would you believe that... I never would have thought," my father said with amusement.

"What dad? What don't you believe?" "You know... I co-created Spider-Man with a fella named Steve Ditko..."

That is what my father told me when I was nine years old. Whenever my father, the artist Eric Stanton, mentioned Steve Ditko, it was with a great deal of admiration and respect. My father said that Steve was the best ink artist in the world. In the 1950s, they met at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School (known today as the School of Visual Arts) in cartoonist Jerry Robinson's class. For a number of years. from the late 1950s through the early 1960s, they shared a studio in Midtown Manhattan, not too far from Times Square. As colleagues, they had a competitive exchange that brought out the best in each of them, but my father acknowledged that Steve was always the best when it came to pen and ink. My father was grateful to have learned so much from him. When they collaborated, my father did the pencil work and Steve would ink over it.

Steve was hired by a guy named Stan Lee to create a comic book super hero who was part man, part spider. My father contributed to the costume, the idea of the web shooting out of Spider-Man's wrist, and the movement which he made with his hands to release the web. In the early stories, Spider-Man had an Aunt May who was named after my father's own favorite Aunt May Cerniglia from his mother's side. She was a full blooded Russian, like his mother Anna Telesewski. Aunt May married an Italian and lived in New York.

My father seemed sad when I asked him why I had never met Steve. He said Steve had a very black-and-white view of the world, much like his pen-and-ink drawings. Later, my mother explained that when my father told Steve he had fallen in love and was going to have a family, Steve reacted with anger and disapproval. Steve believed people should not have children because the world was an awful place.

Recently, I asked a neighbor and close family friend if Steve had ever come to visit my father. He said yes, he remembered the last time Steve came around, and my father and Steve were reminiscing about their Spider-Man days.

About a year after my father died, I found Steve Ditko's telephone number in the Manhattan phone directory and called him up. I began the conversation in a friendly way, explained that my father had died and I wanted to know if he had any memories he could share with me. He said he didn't remember anything. When I asked again, he replied with frustration that my father liked hot dogs and baseball. When I asked what it was like creating Spider-Man together, Steve said my father had nothing to do with it. I thanked him for his time and hung up.

My father never asked for recognition or money for his contribution to Spider-Man. I once heard that Steve did not want to be publicly associated with my dad because of my dad's erotic art. My father was an honorable, generous, and respectful man. He was never one to fight over money. Once, when I asked him why he didn't seek some royalties, his response made it clear that it was something he would never even consider because the ideas were freely given.

Steve's and Eric's friendship was centered around creating art. Each of them contributed to the other's art as part of the friendship between two artists. While each was the driving force behind his own work, there was significant overlap. Steve contributed to the erotic stories my father worked on and my father contributed to Spider-Man and probably other stories. Neither one of them ever expected any recognition or money from the other.

In a 1988 interview about his involvement with Steve and Spider-Man, my father said:

"Steve doesn't like me to talk about him."

The interviewer, comic historian Greg Theakston, asked, "So you were there when he first got the Spider-Man strip?"

"Yes, I know how it was created. My contribution to Spider-Man was almost nil..."

I remember this interview. My mom was very upset that my father belittled his contribution. My dad reminded her that he wanted to protect the family by keeping a low profile. He explained that since Spider-Man was so famous, it might draw attention to him as an artist if people knew he contributed to the creation of the character. Many people, for example, the talk show host Phil Donahue, wanted to interview my father about his erotic work. He usually declined because he wanted to remain underground to protect the family, mostly my brother and me. We were children and in school, and he feared that it could negatively effect our lives if people knew he was an erotic fetish artist. Even so, my mother was very upset and felt that this interview might come back to haunt us one day and that we might miss out on an opportunity. She was proud of his involvement with Spider-Man and wanted people to know the truth. She told my brother and I that, if anyone ever asked us whether or not my father contributed in the creation of Spider-Man, we should tell them the truth, that he did. I remember it clearly and I remember telling myself not to forget this. And so I haven't!

I believe my father was comfortable leaving the past in the past. In addition to the reasons he gave my mother, I'm sure he also wanted to respect Steve's wish to remain disassociated from him in the public eye. My father told few people of his involvement with Spider-Man, only us and some of his close friends. It wasn't until my brother and I were both adults that he began to share himself with the public.

It is interesting that Spider-Man, more than all the other popular comic book super heroes, has an erotic S&M quality. He wears a full body suit covering every inch including his entire head and face, much like a fetish latex body suit. Spider-Man is into bondage. He captures villains and binds them with his webs.

I still remember my father's beautiful, strong, broad hands as he showed me the movement that makes Spider-Man's web release from his wrist. It was just like my dad to come up with something like that. If you knew my father it would make sense that he had a hand in Spider-Man.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-01.jpg (1.08 MB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-02.jpg (1.15 MB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-03.jpg (1.09 MB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-04.jpg (1.36 MB, 145 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-05.jpg (1.32 MB, 188 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-06.jpg (1.11 MB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-07.jpg (1.13 MB, 78 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-08.jpg (1.16 MB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-09.jpg (1.25 MB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-10.jpg (1.00 MB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg MaleVsFemaleForum-A-Tangled-Web-Amber-Stanton-11.jpg (931.9 KB, 56 views)
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Old 04-Nov-15, 18:33
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Default Re: A Tangled Web, an article by Amber Stanton (Eric Stanton's daughter)

BIG thanks to Amber, Eric, Steve & Zweig. :
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Old 21-Nov-15, 01:44
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Default Re: A Tangled Web, an article by Amber Stanton (Eric Stanton's daughter)

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Old 01-Nov-16, 16:29
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Default Re: A Tangled Web, an article by Amber Stanton (Eric Stanton's daughter)

I never knew this! We are all connected somehow in the small world, thank you for sharing.
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Old 01-Nov-16, 19:29
elliebi001 elliebi001 is offline
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Default Re: A Tangled Web, an article by Amber Stanton (Eric Stanton's daughter)

Thank you very much for all this. We both love his work as well as Glen, Bilbrew and others. What talent.
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Old 30-Nov-16, 12:28
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Default Re: A Tangled Web, an article by Amber Stanton (Eric Stanton's daughter)

Very interesting. I never met Eric Stanton although I did correspond with him towards the end of his life.
I knew of his friendship with Steve Ditko but hadn't realised he'd downplayed his influence regarding Spiderman.
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Old 30-Nov-16, 16:08
scissorme2tight scissorme2tight is offline
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Default Re: A Tangled Web, an article by Amber Stanton (Eric Stanton's daughter)

Thank you for sharing. This is very interesting to learn about.
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