Monday, February 27, 2017

The Golden Derby - February 1967!

Fifty years ago this month what just might be my all-time favorite Rocke Mastroserio cover hit the stands. While the interior of Charlton's War and Attack #59 is pretty standard the cover is awesome. The combination of explosion caught in a sight and the decision to make this a muted-color cover really allow this masterpiece to pop right off the stands. In addition to the standard war fare we get another issue of Judomaster, this one the second half of a rare Charlton two-part tale, this one introducing Tiger. This issue along with its predecessor are likely apogee of his Frank McLaughlin series and to a great extent reinforce Judomaster's similarity in some broad ways to Captain America. Go-Go offers up another zany installment with focus on Blooperman, Bikini Luv and Petula Clark, In the romance corner we get something a bit different as Career Romances dabbles in a cross-genre offering dubbed "Tiffany Sinn - Undercover Agent". This romance is really quite fun as it blends the usual angst of a pretty girl searching for love with the dangerous elements of minor espionage, a shout out of course to a genre which was still vibrant in the pop culture of the day. And finally we get more race car adventures in Hot Rods and Racing Cars as Clint Curtis and Road Knights step in along with another regular feature Rick Roberts. Charlton really seemed to have found a groove under the editorial leadership of Dick Giordano with some great things just around the corner, though February itself was indeed a very slender month. But more on that next time.

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  1. Yeah those Charlton comics were a guilty pleasure at times. You knew they had crappy art inmost of them but oh boy was that Ditko art I see on Konga?

    1. The books were filled with lots of indifferent artwork it's true, but you could also find some great stylish pieces by the likes of Rocke Mastroserio, Pat Boyette, Tom Sutton, Dick Giordano. Pete Morisi, Frank McLaughlin, Grass Green, as well as the mighty Ditko. In later years talents like John Byrne, Joe Staton, Mike Zeck, and Mike Vosburg broke in at the little Derby publisher. In a time before the direct market and the Indie books, it was a place to learn. The modern world dubs it interning and pays nothing, while at least Charlton paid a little bit.

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  2. I am currently reading the American Comic Book Chronicles 1960-1964 and just got 1965-1969. It does a good job showing where Charlton, as you said,really did have quality artists and had a place in comics history.


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