000Timidtimid 2Nowadays when people think of Charlton Comics, if they do at all, it’s only because WATCHMEN started as a reinvention of Charlton’s superhero line, or or perhaps in fond remembrance of E-MAN. But they were a full service comics line that published everything from THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY to TIMMY THE TIMID GHOST to FIGHTIN’ MARINES. And as WFMU’s Beware of the Blog recalls, they were all pretty much dreadful.

Although there were plenty of comic book labels churning out poorly rendered crap while labels like Dell, EC, and National Periodical/DC received all the attention, no other peripheral comic group lasted as long as Charlton. The company was a cringe inducing comic book presence on newsstands for an incredible forty years, from nineteen forty-six to eighty-six. An impressive run for a company who’s output was often unreadable.

Much more nostalgic badness in the link.

[Thanks to DW for the link.]


  1. I have some pretty fond memories of mid 70’s era Charlton stuff, mainly for covers done by Steve Ditko and Tom Sutton. But yeah, the interiors were usually pretty rancid.

    Kerry M

  2. If Charlton was so awful, why did DC acquire it in the 1980s?
    And what does John Byrne have to say about his early work for CC?

  3. DC acquired the Charlton characters to use as characters adn for licensing possibilities.

    What really made Charlton so awful was their spectacularly crappy printing process. They used the cheapest paper available (and so did most of the rest of the industry, but Charlton seemed worse) and usually printed too close to the edge of the original paper bundle so that when they trimmed the edges, many had pages where one edge looked like this: ^^^^^^^^.