Tuesday, April 9, 2013

You Have Entered The Charlton Zone!


Here's a classic Rocco "Rocke" Mastroserio cover for the seventh issue of The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves. This one has a distinct sci-fi vibe, in fact there's more than a whiff of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone in the good Doctor's description of poor Roger Gordon's dilemma. In Dr. M.T. Graves, the folks at Charlton seemed to find a character who could move between genres quite easily. His creepy context made him a dandy host for classic ghost stories, but his all-too human appearance made him a slick sci-fi introducer as well. Mr.Dedd, Mr.Bones, Winnie the Witch and other Charlton ghost hosts were a tad too ghastly to work as effectively in the purely science fiction mode. Not so Doc Graves.


Here's a fantastic look at Rocke's original artwork for this evocative Graves cover. There is so much unsaid in calm way Doctor Graves is standing so nonchalantly in in front of this cosmically chaotic image, a figure of order and calm amidst the Ditkoesque turbulence.


And here's that same cover art, re-used many years later in 1985 when Charlton made its last gasp at the fading newsstand marketplace. This great art sadly graces the final issue of Dr.Graves.

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2 comments:

  1. Wonder if they flipped it because they thought it looked better or because they wanted it to be different? I don't think it looks right flipped.

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    1. I agree it's less effective flipped. They must've thought it looked better with the new logos. But we might be giving them too much credit. Maybe they just looked at the artwork and thought that was the way it went, of course that meant Rocke's name read backwards. That's gone, so they must've done it on purpose. I can see where some folks might want to give Ditko credit for the background. He certainly inspired it.

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