Monday, 26 November 2012

Charlton Comics.

Ghostly Tales, Charlton Comics
Many Ghosts of Dr Graves, Charlton Comics
Many Ghosts of Dr Graves, Charlton Comics
Many Ghosts of Dr Graves, Charlton Comics
Many Ghosts of Dr Graves, Charlton Comics
Many Ghosts of Dr Graves, Charlton Comics
Ghost Manor, Steve Ditko, Spiders
Ghost Manor, Charlton Comics
Ghostly Haunts, Charlton Comics
Ghostly Haunts, Charlton Comics
Ghostly Haunts, Charlton Comics
Midnight Tales, Charlton Comics
Midnight Tales, Charlton Comics
Midnight Tales, Charlton Comics
Midnight Tales, Charlton Comics
Midnight Tales, Charlton Comics
Midnight Tales, Charlton Comics
Midnight Tales, Charlton Comics
Midnight Tales, Charlton Comics
Yang, Charlton Comics
Yang, Charlton Comics
Yang, Charlton Comics
Yang, Charlton Comics
Yang, Charlton Comics
Ghostly Tales, Charlton Comics

E-Man, Charlton Comics

Twitter is a wonderful thing. With it I can find out eight times a day that Justin Bieber has died - and, nine times a day, that he's not. That Kristen Stewart has only one facial expression and that someone is saying terrible things about me if I only click on that link to find out who.

Through it, I've also created an army of mind-slaves who hang on my every @, # and RT. With them, like a bad Dr Who villain, I shall take total control of this planet.

But it's not all good news. As those followers could tell you, earlier today I made an attempt to write a post about Charlton Comics but then found I didn't have anything interesting to say about them. This is odd, as I have a lot of affection for them and have always loved a plucky underdog.

So, instead of pontificating, I shall just post the cover of every Charlton Comic that I recall having owned.

All I will say is:

1) Midnight Tales is my favourite Charlton comic. A book of strange and alluring charm.

2) I've always loved the covers Tom Sutton did for the company. I do feel he's a shamefully overlooked talent. His cover for The Many Ghosts of Dr Graves #45 is especially wonderful.

3) Speaking of which, I always loved the tale in that issue, where a wimp in Hell turns out to have a deadly secret.

4) I always loved the story from The Many Ghosts of Dr Graves #41, in which bright green druids are up to no good at Stonehenge. I got the comic in Lytham St Annes. That fact shouldn't make any difference to my liking for the mag but, somehow, it does.

5) I always loved the story from Ghostly Tales #107, in which some adventurers discover just who they've been travelling with. I first read that mag in the Woolworths restaurant, Blackpool - the big Woolworths near the Tower. This should make no difference to my feelings for the mag but somehow it does. I also first read Midnight Tales #7 at that very same sitting. This shouldn't make any difference to my liking for that mag but, somehow, it does.

6) I'm pretty sure the only issue of E-Man I ever owned contained an early John Byrne haunted house story featuring the robotic Rog-2000, which was always a favourite of mine.

7) I wish I could recall exactly what happens in the issue where Yang fights a Bigfoot.

8) Their strange crinkle-cut pages, not-quite glossy covers and not-always properly aligned printing marked Charlton mags out as clearly cheaper and technically inferior to the output of their slicker rivals at Marvel and DC but it also gave them a homespun charisma, like Robin Hood tweaking the beard of the Sheriff of Nottingham, and therefore made them all the more endearing.

Anyway, that's my thoughts over and done with. Any thoughts you may have on Charlton Comics are indeed welcome.

And, if you wish to know more about Charlton and its battles with the odds, you can find it here.

5 comments:

Kid said...

I don't think I've got too many Charltons. I DO have E-Man #1 'though. That's a good one to have.

Anonymous said...

Charlton seemed to phase in and out regularly. It was the Brigadoon of comic book publishers. I remember they tried to jump on the super-hero band wagon in 1966-67, with Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, and Judo Master. The comics were not bad, but, IMHO, seemed imitative of Marvel. (Especially Blue Beetle, partly because of the Ditko artwork, but mainly because of the angst and soap opera.) By the late 1960's, they were publishing comics based on King Features characters. The first Jim Aparo artwork I ever saw was an issue of The Phantom. By the late 1970s, they were doing war and horror anthologies, and, AFAIK, those were reprints. I don't remember E-Man's original run; I first encountered the character when First Comics revived it sometime around 1983. Tom Sutton said in an interview in Amazing Heroes that Charlton's rates were low and that an artist would have to do a lot of pages to make any money. But the good news, he said, was that you really could do a lot of pages when you worked at Charlton.

Ade Salmon said...

I was most fond of there horror comics. There's a great issue of Baron Weirwulf's Haunted library drawn by Mick Zeck , where the reader must work out who is the werewolf! Much like Amicus' movie THE BEAST MUST DIE in fact. I probably give it a re read every 10 years or so and can never remember who the bloody wolfman is!

The Many Ghosts of Dr Graves #41 - never could find that in St Annes - now I know why.:)

ade

Anonymous said...

Charlton also did some comics based on Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons in the late 1960's, including Abbott and Costello. There was one where they were on a safari and met a jungle hero who was an obvious parody of Tarzan. The running gag was that no one was allowed to say his name. That may have been an allusion to Charlton's attempt to publish a Tarzan comic in 1964. They apparently thought that the copyright had expired and that the character was in public domain. They were forced to cancel the comic when it turned out that Western/Gold Key still had a license to publish Tarzan comics.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see these covers again, I always had a soft spot for Charlton, a very mixed bag but they did feature some good artists like Ditko and showcased many a (then) new artist like Don Newton (Phantom - some great work in that comic) Jim Aparo (vraious early 60s stuff including some Phantoms as well), John Byrne (Rog 2000, Doomsday plus 1 etc), Joe Staton (Eman various horror stories) and artist like Tom Sutton, Pat Boyette etc- then again they also had some dire stuff in amongst that along with some pretty dodgey printing - McScotty

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