Monday, June 27, 2016

Children Of Doom!

Charlton Comics often produced workmanlike forgettable comics, intended to entertain for a moment and than disappear into the maw of mass consumption. But at the same time they produced real gems, pieces of fiction which resonated well beyond the confines of a single time and place. "Children of Doom" by Sergius O'Shaugnessy (Denny O'Neil) and the late great Pat Boyette is one such story.

"Children of Doom" appeared in the second issue of Charlton Premiere dated November 1967. The Giordano era was quickly ending and soon all of the talent here would be ensconced at DC Comics, Giordano and Boyette for a relatively short time (Giordano would return later) and Denny O'Neil for pretty much the rest of his career. What they created in this haunting one-shot is a story that seems in many ways to not make sense but thematically rings out far beyond its pulp beginnings.

A blend of traditional comic book storytelling and offbeat but compelling black and white washed pages, this story captures your imagination. It smacks of the best of the Twilight Zone episodes, but doesn't offer up quite the same pat ending they often defused themselves with. Whether intentional or not, there is an ambiguity to this story which evokes real wonder about the nature of man and his future. I

(1978 reprint of the story.)
If you've never read this beauty, here is a very groovy link for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

(Fred Hembeck variation of the classic cover - note the exceedingly phallic spaceship is retained.)
I have the story in its original form but most recently read it in the collection Art in Time: Unknown Comic Book Adventures 1940-1980 which gathers together a host of offbeat and weird but thought-provoking comics.

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  1. There's something alarmingly Jack Chick about that interior art!

    1. Alarm would be the correct word. I had to look Jack Chick up to get your reference, but he's certainly an interesting character, nutty as can be. I don't see the connection, but thanks for the education.

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