Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Charlton Comics

As a kid I had a fascination with Charlton Comics.  I mainly devoured the horror titles and The Six Million Dollar Man.  Crappy printing and often crappy art (to sometimes match equally crappy stories) could not keep me away ... and still hasn't to this day.

Charlton books always felt kind of forbidden.  I don't know if that was due to the printing process (which I recall had a real problem with colors), or if it were due to the weird '70s ads it ran.  Reading one of the publisher's comics was almost like sneaking a peek at your father's Swedish porn.  Undecipherable.  Secret.  Dirty.  Of course, the comics weren't porn, but that didn't stop them from feeling that way.  Scary Tales.  Ghostly Haunts.  The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves. E-Man.  What's not to love?

The war titles didn't do too much for me.  I had a few titles, but they were always afterthoughts.  The stuff I bought after everything else I wanted was gone from the rack.  The small store where I purchased them usually had a smattering of the war comics left over.  They were always badly bent. Attack! was a great name for a series, though it hardly lived up to its name.

The mid 1980s saw the end of Charlton.  Gone were the badly printed comics and the reprints that were keeping the company breathing.  To be honest, I barely noticed.  The publisher's circulation had dropped to where I barely noticed the titles anymore.  These days I buy them when I come across them on eBay.  They still feel kind of dirty ... and I think that's why I still like them.


  1. I recently came across some Charlton Comics I had in storage...3 Space: 1999 magazine comics. The art was intriguing, with most of it by Gray Morrow, which led me to learn more about him. I am a big fan of black and white science fiction art and I liked what I saw. Another interesting factor for me was the dates...1975 and '76. I don't recall Space: 1999 even being that old!

  2. That's a pretty great find. And while I was not a "Space: 1999" fan, I do think it was that old. I seem to remember a lot of ads for it in various comic books. Thanks for writing.