According to the Hollywood Reporter, the New York Police Department confirmed Ditko’s death on Friday. Officials believe he died two days before he was found in his Manhattan apartment.
In 1961, at Lee’s request, Ditko designed Spider-Man’s red and blue costume, plus his web shooting, as they first appeared in Marvel Comics’ Amazing Fantasy No. 15. Ditko also had a hand in the creation of The Amazing Spider-Man characters like Doctor Octopus and Green Goblin. In 1963, he created Doctor Strange.
Ditko left Marvel Comics in the late 1960s after a dispute with Lee believed to be over Ditko’s credit in the creation of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. He worked at Charlton, DC Comics, and other indie publishers before returning to Marvel in 1979. Known to be private and reclusive, he stayed on as a freelancer there until the 1990s.
On Twitter, tributes poured in for Ditko following the news of his death.
Sad to hear of the passing of the legendary artist and creator Steve Ditko. Beloved for generations– his work was the Quirky to Kirby's Majesty and helped provide the early visual vocabulary in counterpoint to Kirby's power and influence. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/GvH8Mcrxg6
— Jim Lee (@JimLee) July 7, 2018
I spoke to Steve ditko on the phone once. I’ve talked about it often. I got to thank him for creating Spider-man and putting food on my table. I hope he really heard me
— BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (@BRIANMBENDIS) July 6, 2018
RIP to comic book legend Steve Ditko, beyond influential on countless planes of existence. He never truly profited from his comic creations that have lasted for decades, but his work will never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/UBZQWpF79i
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) July 7, 2018
Steve Ditko was true to his own ideals. He saw things his own way, and he gave us ways of seeing that were unique. Often copied. Never equalled. I know I'm a different person because he was in the world. pic.twitter.com/2GFSA86Btj
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 7, 2018
Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were practically the architects of what superhero comics would evolve into. Neither got their proper due.
— Jamal Yaseem Igle, #BoycottJohnBoltonsbook (@JAMALIGLE) July 7, 2018
Thank you, Steve Ditko. Thank you for creating some of the greatest characters the world has ever seen. Thank you for all you've done to contribute to the comics industry. You will be missed more than you know. <3 https://t.co/UDPyRfxeWz
— Heather Antos (@HeatherAntos) July 6, 2018