Friday, March 2, 2012

Charlton's Bold Move!


One thing about Charlton was that the little publisher rarely missed an opportunity to promote comics as a medium for advertising if not as an artform. One such oddity is the pair of comics produced as Bold detergent giveaways in 1969.


Both books are King Feature characters (Popeye and Beetle Bailey) and as it turns out the giveaway comics are the Charlton debut issues of each.

Gold Key had been producing the comics, but somehow Charlton got the rights to these along with other King Features characters like Flash Gordon, Snuffy Smith, Jungle Jim, Blondie, The Phantom, Tiger and others and began producing them in 1969. Why Popeye and Beetle Bailey were selected for this promotion we'll never know I suppose. Blondie and Hi and Lois would've been better fits I'd imagine.

But Charlton getting hold of the licenses for the King Features characters was a bold move indeed for the Derby, Connecticut publisher. They produced some great comics with those characters especially with the Phantom and Popeye.

And Bold detergent from the behemoth Procter & Gamble had some memorable ad campaigns from the day.


Charlton Comics making laundry fun again!

Rip off

4 comments:

  1. Love the addition of the Bold commercial. The production should have received an award of some kind of award...

    Did Charlton produce Flash Gordon and Phantom until they closed shop? They had a great group of comics (including Space 1999, 6 Million Dollar Man, Emergency, The Phantom, ect.) What happened?

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  2. The company lost the King Features license some years before their ultimate demise. As much as we love the Don Newton Phantom now, apparently at the time, King Features did not, nor did they cotton to the Pat Boyette version. As for Flash Gordon, Charlton only produced it for a short time.

    Charlton seemed to refocus on the TV tie-in stuff after they lost their King and Hanna-Barbera licenses with the Space 1999 and Six Million Dollar Man material, but it wasn't enough. The company ceased publications a few times and ultimately gave up the ghost once and for all in 1986 after a fan tried to revive them one final time.

    The old plant has been paved over now and serves its community as a parking lot. Sad.

    Rip Off

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