Friday, April 07, 2006


Been getting into Charlton Comics. This one's from 1974:

Picked it up for 50p earlier in the week in North Devon. The cover is almost certainly by the late, great (and hugely underrated) Tom Sutton, who, legend has it, had a heart attack and died at his drawing-board a coupla years ago while allegedly working on an illustrated Lovecraft adaptation. Tom was one of the unsung greats; really loved his early 70s B&W Morbius stories (w/ Don McGregor) in Vampire Tales, and his Werewolf by Night issues (he followed/filled-in for Mike Ploog; no mean feat), and I seem to remember he did some nice B&W Planet of The Apes stories for Marvel too...

Anyway, like most Charlton stuff, this ish is a mixed-bag of hack-work and almost-classics: there's a rushed-looking Ditko story (Charlton paid fairly poor page-rates, apparently), that looks like it was bashed out pronto rapido, but nevertheless has a certain manic, almost paranoid energy about it. Steve D was arguably past his peak at this point, but there's still some bold brush-work on display (check the folds in the guy's shirt: Ditko prob. drew 'em in seconds: bosh-bosh-bosh! ...but, even asleep at the wheel, his sense of placement is instinctively near-perfect; the guy is/was a master) ...and also some great shifting points-of-view used here in this 6-panel grid. Particularly love panel five, looking up through a cat's legs, with the guy shooting backwards and unusual pose, but, hey, it works:


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