“Writing for Ditko” by Steve Skeates
As seen on the Charlton-L mailing list.
I’ve been away from my computer for a while (mainly because the snowy season is when my dayjob gits a lot of overtime attached to it), but now that the dayjob insanity is (at least for the moment) over with, I did want to get into your inquiry about writing for Ditko!
Actually, probably Robin would be better at providing some glimpses into a one-on-one writing relationship with Steve, seeing as I was always working with Steve through an editor; Ditko and I very rarely had any personal contact at all! Still, a rather interesting happenstance did occur when I scripted my one and only QUESTION episode (the one I wrote under the pen-name Warren Savin — “Kill Vic Sage!” it was called!)! I did a bit of dialogue in which The Question says to the villain of the piece “Now listen, my friend –” and therefore received a six-page letter from Steve detailing why the Question would never call a criminal “friend,” and even if he meant it sarcastically, why sarcasm was somehow beneath The Question!
This was a rather daunting and even rather scary letter for someone who was essentially still a “green kid” writing-wise to receive, to say the least! The offending “friend” reference was of course removed from the finished product — in fact, one can still see where that reference originally was, seeing as there’s one balloon in that story that strangely has a larger than usual amount of empty white space in it!!