Everybody is talking about Steve Ditko these days. But nobody is singing about him!
Between the two books by Blake Bell, and the upcoming volume The Art of Steve Ditko from our very own Craig Yoe (available now for pre-order from Amazon) there’s been a lot of people singing the praises of Steve Ditko, the J.D. Salinger of comics, whether it’s for his seminal work on Spider-Man and Dr. Strange or his early horror comics for Charlton. But let’s not overlook one of DC’s weirdest super-characters, The Creeper.
From his very first appearance in Showcase, it was clear that The Creeper was not cut from the same cloth as DC’s other long-underwear guys. For one thing, he wore this flamboyant red feather boa which clashed with his yellow tights, clearly a fashion faux pas for any crime-fighter or cross-dresser.
Costuming aside, The Creeper was just a little creepier than, say, Matter-Eater Lad or Bouncing Boy, and we have to credit Steve for that. To get in the right mood to read Ditko’s Creeper, you have to put on some eerie mood music to set the tone.
Enter, The Ventures! Possibly the group with the most comic book records to their credit, they recorded a suitably creepy record called – you guessed it – The Creeper! The link to listen is down below.
The Ventures made an alarming number of records with plenty of hits along the way. And as much as I love The Ventures, I don’t know much about them, so I’m just going to make something up.
On a lovely spring day in 1960, four guys were waiting on line for a bus. They were each wearing pastel sweaters in coordinating colors and happened to be carrying their musical instruments with them. Then and there they decided to form a band and buy a car, so they’d have room to carry their axes and not have to take mass transporation to gigs. The Ventures were born! Right away they started recording catchy instrumentals which instantly began climbing the charts.
In 1964, with amazing foresight, one Venture turned to another Venture and said, “I know Steve Ditko isn’t happy with the whole Green Goblin thing and he’ll probably leave Marvel and go back to Charlton. But I predict that by 1968 he’ll end up at DC and create a character called ‘The Creeper.’ In fact, I’ve already written a song about it.”
Of course, on that fateful day some 45 years ago, The Ventures had no idea that their song would find its way onto the ITCH blog for all you ITCHers to enjoy. You just never know.
So open up your dog-eared copy of The Creeper and listen to “The Creeper.” You’ll be glad you did. (Simply click the link below.)
— DJ David B.