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Zack Kruse 
Mysterious Travelers 
Steve Ditko and the Search for a New Liberal Identity

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Cover of Zack Kruse: Mysterious Travelers (ePUB)
Steve Ditko (1927–2018) is one of the most important contributors to American comic books. As the cocreator of Spider-Man and sole creator of Doctor Strange, Ditko made an indelible mark on American popular culture.
Mysterious Travelers: Steve Ditko and the Search for a New Liberal Identity resets the conversation about his heady and powerful work. Always inward facing, Ditko’s narratives employed superhero and supernatural fantasy in the service of self-examination, and with characters like the Question, Mr. A, and Static, Ditko turned ordinary superhero comics into philosophic treatises. Many of Ditko’s philosophy-driven comics show a clear debt to ideas found in Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. Unfortunately, readers often reduce Ditko’s work to a mouthpiece for Rand’s vision.
Mysterious Travelers unsettles this notion.


In this book, Zack Kruse argues that Ditko’s philosophy draws on a complicated network of ideas that is best understood as mystic liberalism. Although Ditko is not the originator of mystic liberalism, his comics provide a unique window into how such an ideology operates in popular media. Examining selections of Ditko’s output from 1953 to 1986, Kruse demonstrates how Ditko’s comics provide insight into a unique strand of American thought that has had a lasting impact.
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About the author

Zack Kruse is a scholar of comics, film, and American literature. His essays have been published in Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, Studies in Comics, and Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. His comic strip, Mystery Solved!, appeared in Skeptical Inquirer, and he is a regular contributor to a number of comic book podcasts.
Language English ● Format EPUB ● Pages 286 ● ISBN 9781496830555 ● File size 24.4 MB ● Publisher University Press of Mississippi ● City Jackson ● Country US ● Published 2021 ● Downloadable 24 months ● Currency EUR ● ID 7729140 ● Copy protection Adobe DRM
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