Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Another Spotlight On Charlton!


As a diehard Charlton Comics fan (I'm not sure we come in any other variety) I eagerly anticipate the next issue of Mike Ambrose's singular Charlton Spotlight. The Spotlight has been shining off and on since the beginning of this century and has now reached its ninth issue. And the good news is this is the first one I was able to get through my comic book shop, which suggests good things going forward.


This one has its focus squarely on Will Franz, the man who as a mere teenager was crafting for the Derby company some of the most potent war yarns ever delivered to the comic book page. His epic tales for "The Lonely War of Captain Willy Schultz" is about a German-American soldier who gets stranded by circumstance between the dual loyalties of his heritage and his civil responsibility. The extended series which ran in the pages Fightin' Army is most often interpreted as a commentary on the unpopular Vietnam War.


Franz was also instrumental in delivering the adventures of "The Iron Corporal", an American fighting in the Australian army against the enemies of freedom in the Pacific.  In both instances, the regular artist was the great and indefatigable Sam Glanzman. The issue gives us a detailed interview with Franz.


Artistically this issue gives the reader a full page (inside cover) of Nick Cuti's offbeat "The Weird Kids". Atomic Rabbit hops aboard thanks to writer Donnie Pitchford and artist extraordinaire George Wildman (the great unsung talent who made me love Popeye). Also we have a real treat for us hillbillies as John Rose gives us a new Snuffy Smith comic starring his number one son Jughaid.


There is also an article by Ron Frantz offering up a detailed look at Charlton's peculiar cross-genre classic Space Western Comics with Spurs Jackson.


There is a lovely art gallery of sundry pieces from conventions and elsewhere by John Byrne, Nick Cuti, Hy Eisman, Tony Tallarico, Tom Sutton, Terry Austin, and Frank McLaughlin.

1 of the 3 Rarest Charlton Comics

Also on hand is a listing of "Charlton's Rarest Comic Books" by John Korfel. I have none of them...sigh.

2 of the 3 Rarest Charlton Comics
 The issue closes out with a great letters section. I already hanker for the next one. Thanks Mike.

3 of the 3 Rarest Charlton Comics
If you don't get Charlton Spotlight you should. Check out this link for more. 

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6 comments:

  1. I really need to acquire more Charlton comics - I don't have too many. (E-Man #1 is one of them - a nice collectors' item.)

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    1. A lot of the Charlton stuff has gotten into reprint form in recent years. The E-Man stuff is in a trade, much of the ghost material has been collected for Tom Sutton, Pat Boyette, and Ditko especially. DC has put a lot of the Action Hero material back out (Blue Beetle and Captain Atom). Big gaps are the Judomaster and the Thunderbolt material in particular.

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  2. I'll keep an eye out for them, Rip, but I think I'd prefer some original comics. There was just something about them - the paper, the colour, the smell, etc.

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    1. We concur on that point. Charlton comics, the real deal have a charm (aroma and feel and look) like no other comics ever made.

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  3. I've picked up some charltons over the years because Rip's passion has rubbed off on me, but they are pricey and it is hard to tell if its the original or a reprint sometimes. The cover on that Haunted issue is fantastic. And it's Ditko. Why is that one rare, low print run?

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    1. I have no idea why that one and not another in that run. Ditko would've made it more collectible sooner but maybe it has a print run glitch. Speculation.

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