This is another for the "late-to-the-game" file.
Last night, I finally tracked down the BBC's terrific documentary "In Search of Steve Ditko" online. You can find it in seven parts here
Try to take a look at it soon, because the BBC never lets it stay online too long. The film follows a journalist named Jonathan Ross [cq], as tries to track down the still living and legendarily reclusive Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko. Along the way he interviews Alan Moore, Mark Millar, Joe Q, Neil Gaiman, and ultimately Stan Lee; who is, for the first time I've ever seen, not his chipper, carnival-barking self. Ross puts Lee on the defensive about whether he was the "true" creator of Spider-Man, and the usually unflappable Lee is... well… very visibly flapped.
You'll find a lot of bona fide treasures in here—like Moore performing a "dramatic reading" of a song he wrote about Ditko (!!), and some interesting studies into the creation of Ditko’s more paranoid characters like The Question (and by extension, Moore's Rorschach). But what I really walked away from this documentary with is a true sense of the raw deal Ditko got. He's renting an office in midtown Manhattan, so he must be doing okay. But still. Alan Moore once said that he’ll never go back writing the big comic companies' characters; not because of his own contractual issues with them, but because he can see a long line of disenfranchised old men lingering around every one of those trademarked characters like ghosts.