Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Beware the Creeper #2

I'm not sure that anyone has done more effective 'menacing faces' covers than Ditko. This design concept is evidence of the enormous impact Mort Meskin had on Ditko. This is one of his earlier covers after his move to DC, and he really fit right in with the changes happening over there in the late 60s. It is a very moody piece, announcing to readers that the Creeper is a very different type of hero. I am really disappointed that Ditko broke away from DC after such a short period of time. Under Jack Alder's guidance, the DC production department had become fertile ground for innovative covers. I truly think that Ditko would have produced his best covers ever if he'd been around from 1969 through to 1972 or so. It's too bad.

4 comments:

Robby Reed said...

According to “The Comic Book Heroes” by Gerard Jones and Will Jacobs, “Steve Ditko's abrupt departure from Hawk and Dove and Creeper was necessitated by a bout of tuberculosis.”

Man of Bronze said...

Thank you Robby for answering a question I've been wondering about for a long time: the reason why Ditko's stint was so short during DC's early Bronze Age when Dick Giordano tried to bring as many of Charlton's best artists and writers to work with him.

As far as I know he did only a few issues of CREEPER and HAWK & DOVE, then vanished from DC until the late Bronze Age when he came back to work on SHADE THE CHANGING MAN, the STARMAN feature in ADVENTURE COMICS (with Staton'S PLASTIC MAN), his awesome and all too short series of STALKER (with gorgeous inks by Wally WOOD!) and new CREEPER stories in the Dollar issues of WORLD'S FINEST.

Given his rigid code of values, I always thought that he had a falling out with DC editors...

Too bad his early Bronze Age stint was so short, if not for health problems, we might have seen both Marvel's best Silver Age assets (Ditko and Kirby) work their magic side to side during DC's early Bronze Age (maybe the company's greatest period of creativity)...

Graeme said...

The lettering, probably by Gaspar Saladino, is what really sells the cover. What a brilliant piece of work.

Nick Caputo said...

Ditko actually come over to DC first, I believe through the recommendation of Joe Orlando. It was Ditko who notified Giordano of the editors job, and he brought the other Charlton staffers on.

Ditko did have TB at the time, as reporte in the Comic Reader and other fanzines. That is why the last issue he drew was finished by Jack Sparling.