Tuesday, August 30, 2016
The Golden Derby - August 1966!
Fifty years ago this month Charlton was nearing the apogee of its Silver Age greatness. Both Judomaster and Thunderbolt were established comics with fantastic artwork by Frank McLaughlin and Pete Morisi (P.A.M.) respectively. Sarge Steel neared the end of his impressive run, though the title change on the book to Secret Agent was a clear attempt to allow the noir detective to glom onto the espionage craze of the time. (It would be a full year before the tenth issue of the series appeared.) Shadows from Beyond appeared, the one and only issue of that title, but evidence that Charlton was keen to move further into that genre, having just launched Ghostly Tales a few months before. The cover by Steve Ditko is one of the great iconic Charlton covers of the era. Charlton's long-running Lil Genius wrapped up its venerable run though with a title change too. Summer Fun featured not only the Genius, but other Charlton kid features like oldie Atomic Mouse and the brand new Johnny Boy. The book seemed clearly to want to snag the market of parents looking for a comic for their kid to keep them occupied on some trip or other. I cannot see any kid being attracted to a comic by the label "Parents' Approved". It seems antithetical to all that reading comics was about.
More next month.