Actors, filmmakers, and figures from comic book industry have been playing tribute to legendary artist Steve Ditko, who died this weekend at age 90. Ditko was best known for the Marvel characters Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, which he created alongside Stan Lee. It was Ditko who created Spidey’s distinctive blue-and-red costume, and the character remains one of the most popular superheroes of all time.
Tom Holland is the latest actor to portray Spidey on the big screen, and he paid tribute to Ditko’s legacy. “We all want to leave our mark on the world–this guy crushed it,” he tweeted. “He made so many people so happy and changed lives–most of all, mine! Thank you Steve–your life lives on man, thank you.”
Baby Driver and Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright also praised Ditko’s influence, and also acknowledged that while his creations changed popular culture, he personally never made much of a financial gain from them. “RIP to comic book legend Steve Ditko, beyond influential on countless planes of existence’” he said. “He never truly profited from his comic creations that have lasted for decades, but his work will never be forgotten.”
There was praise from other high profile filmmakers. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn described Ditko as “one of my very favorite comic book artists,” while Clerks director and host of AMC’s Comic Book Men Kevin Smith mentioned some of Ditko’s other creations. “Spider-Man. Dr. Strange. The Question. The Creeper. Shade the Changing Man. Hawk & Dove. He worked with @Marvel AND @DCComics,” Smith tweeted. “Such an astounding imagination and the awesome ability to back it up. Thank you #SteveDitko, for sharing your genius and enriching American Pop Culture.”
Other figures from the world of comic books also paid tribute to Ditko. Sandman creator Neil Gaiman said, “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.”
Award-winning writer and artist Brian Michael Bendis, who was one of the creators of the Ultimate Marvel Universe and wrote Ultimate Spider-Man, spoke about the time he made contact with Ditko. “I spoke to Steve Ditko on the phone once,” he said. “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.”
In related news, Holland recently revealed that the title of Marvel’s next Spider-Man movie will be Spider-Man: Far From Home. It hits theaters in July next year. In addition, Insomniac’s upcoming game Spider-Man launches September 7 exclusively for PlayStation 4.