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.
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|
|3 of the 3 Rarest Charlton Comics|