Tuesday, June 24, 2014

DITKO'S SHORTS - edited by Craig Yoe and Fester Faceplant from Yoe Books & IDW

DITKO'S SHORTS , edited by your trulys ol' Fester himself and Eisner Award winner Craig Yoe, is now being solicited for pre-orders on Amazon!
This hardcover collection from YOE BOOKS & IDW of Ditko's 1,2,and 3 pagers from a multitude of publishers (including many from Charlton) has been in the works for a while now, and we are very proud to finally be able to offer this most excellent volume to you!

The description from Amazon:

Ditko's Shorts is a fun and incredibly fascinating compilation of short comics one, two and three pages in length. Only a brilliant master could tell a dramatic, compelling tale in such compact form. You'll thrill as Ditko walks this exciting high-wire act without a net! The many stories contained in this hardcover are fast-paced and sport terrific, compelling artwork as only Steve Ditko can draw it! The genres show the artist's great range. There's horror, fantasy, science fiction, western, and even humorous stories. Taken from rare comic books from a who's who of publishers, all the comics are meticulously restored and printed in a beautiful, large-format book. Insightful introductions by punk-rocker and comics historian Fester Faceplant and Eisner Award-winner Craig Yoe. Don't miss Ditko's Shorts - sure to be a much loved and talked about Ditko treasure! "

I will be updating with more info as time goes on, but as you can see, it's a handsome tome!
To see more or to pre-order CLICK THIS LINK

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Last Hurrah: Charlton's Final Days - part six

Apologies for the long intermission between part 5 and part 6, but here, at last is the next installment.

January 1986, and things appear to be moving along rather well for the relaunch. The second Charlton Communique appears in this month's titles, and the news is mostly chipper. There's discussion of their surprise at how many people were getting their Charlton's from comic shops as opposed to newsstands, mom and pop's, grocery stores etc. Plus, the previously mentioned Ditko promo poster, intros to Robin Snyder, Wendy Fiore and to Ditko's Charlton Action Kid
. The downer is the news of the passing of Charlton stalwart (and creator of the original Blue Beetle in 1939!) Charles Nicholas. Everything seemed to be in order for a fullfledged return to greatness, but alas, it was not to be.
This month would turn out to be the next to last in Charlton's 46 year history of publishing comics.

The titles this month are all reprints, even the covers, with not a single new story in the batch.

The titles this month:
ATOMIC MOUSE #3, reprinting the cover to Atomic Mouse (1953 series) #23, and with interior stories from Atomic Mouse #20, Atom The Cat #11, and Timmy The Timid Ghost (1956 series) #7.

 CAPTAIN WILLY SCHULTZ #77, reprinting the cover to Fightin' Army #78, with interior stories from that same issue.

DR. GRAVES #75, reprinting the cover to The Many Ghosts Of Dr, Graves #7, with stories from The Many Ghosts Of Dr. Graves #'s 1 & 3, and Ghostly Tales #67.

LI'L GENIUS #55, reprinting the cover to Li'l Genius #24, and stories from Li'l Genius #11.

TIMMY THE TIMID GHOST #26, reprinting the cover to Timmy The Timid Ghost (1956 series) #9, stories from Timmy The Timid Ghost #6.

And finally, YANG #17, reprinting the cover and story from Yang #3.

Despite the high hopes and initial compelling sales, the next month's titles, cover-dated February 1986 would turn out to be the final comics from Charlton.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

SPACE ADVENTURES #9, Winter 1954

SPACE ADVENTURES was consistently a well written and well drawn title, in fact I would rank it as one of Charlton's finest not just in the space/sci fi mold, but overall in their their entire output, this one really stood out.
This issue is no exception, and behind what is one the more pedestrian covers in the series, lies some truly great stories.

Dick Giordano offers up the cover,a story with his pencils and inks, and inks on another with Art Capello pencils.
Tony Tallarico shows off his stuff with a gross-out page, and an entry in the silly talking dog trope. For those that only know his work from his Hanna Barbera stuff or his turn as the much maligned inker on Blue Beetle, these pages may pleasantly surprise you.
The real gem here is the story "The Good Old Days" by Frank Frollo and Vince Alascia. The surprise ending must have been a real shocker back in 1954, and even today it packs a whallop. Certainly something Dr. Wertham must have had a field day with!

Monday, June 2, 2014


HANNA BARBERA SUMMER PICNIC, released in July of 1971 is actually HANNA BARBERA PARADE #3. This becomes confusing when sorting out the timelines of the title. In fact although it is issue #3, it was released months before issues 1 and 2 (September and November). This is also the case of Charlton's other two giant sized H-B Summer issues, The Flintstones, and Yogi Bear, which we will discuss in later posts.

Charlton had only recently acquired the H-B
license and was keen to promote it in a big way. While this issue contains a good portion of Ray Dirgo art, who is most closely associated with Charlton's H-B characters, there also appears to be a few leftover Gold Key stories in the mix (with artists whose style I recognize, but cannot place a name to at the moment), as well as at least one story (Magilla Gorilla) by Phil Mendez.
Charlton was branching out with coloring books at this time and many of their regular titles reflected this by including some of the coloring and activity pages. This was an economical ploy by not only promoting the coloring book division, but also saved on commissioning new art, and especially the fact that no color separations and extra inks were needed. The coloring and activity pages included here, with the exception of the Dirgo pieces, are most likely by Tony Tallarico.

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