I loved Charlton Comics!
There. I said it.
During the 1960’s and 70’s, Charlton Comics was, to me, “the little comics company that could.” While DC and Marvel comics could boast a slicker package featuring more iconic characters and art, Charlton hung in there with their own superheroes, romance, war, and western titles. In fact, Charlton led the way in the late 60’s with their “mystery” (read: horror!) and ghosts titles while the rest of the industry was figuring out what to do as costumed characters began to flounder in sales. DC evicted superheroes Robby Reed and J’onn J’onzz from The House of Mystery, turning the keys over to caretaker Cain and his tales of “mystery” (read: horror!) and ghosts almost a full two years after the debut of Charlton’s Ghostly Tales. Charlton’s page rate for freelancers paled compared to the “Big Two,” but the Connecticut-based company compensated by giving their artists freedom in their approach to the stories. In particular, Pat Boyette, Steve Ditko, and especially Tom Sutton, took full advantage of Charlton’s laissez faire policy and turned in innovative comic book art and storytelling that is appreciated to this day.
And that appreciation will be on full view in March, when the first issue of The Charlton Arrow is released. Published by Comicfix, Charlton Arrow is a loving tribute to the “little comics company that could.” And while DC Comics acquired the most popular of Charlton’s superhero line (Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Nightshade, etc.) there were many characters in Charlton’s near-four decades of publishing that fell in the public domain. Some of those characters are featured in Charlton Arrow’s premiere issue with new comics and pin-ups by such comics luminaries as John Byrne, Mort Todd, Roger Mackenzie, Paul Kupperberg, Lou Mougin, Joe Staton and many more. There are also articles by such comics historians as Steve Thompson. I have a contribution in that charter issue as wel:; my rendition of a fondly remembered character. Who is it? Check it out by go-going here: http://morttodd.com/charlton.html.