Charlton Arrow Review
April 28, 2014

Hey, kids, did you know COMIC BOOKS are more popular now than ever before? Well, they kind of sort of are, if you consider the wild popularity of all of the blockbuster films based on comics!

You used to be able to go on down to San Diego each year, the actual day of Comic-Con, pay for your ticket, and go right in to enjoy the show. Now, you’re lucky if you can buy your way in online within the first five minutes tickets go on sale!

Strangely, a pastime that often was frowned upon as an inspiration for juvenile delinquency or even a gateway to becoming a nerd … is now the coolest thing ever!

Well, most of you have heard of the top two publishers of graphic storytelling: DC and Marvel Comics, but once upon a time there was yet another comic book company that worked with some of the best talent in the industry. They put out a wide variety of books, covering multiple genres, such as: action heroes, cartoons, funny animals, hot-rods, humor, love/romance, surfing, TV tie-ins, war, and westerns.

That company: Charlton Comics.

And guess what?

There’s a new anthology title that embraces all the multi-genre fun of Charlton and more!

Featuring the talents of: John Byrne, Sandy Carruthers, Javier Hernandez, Barbara Kaalberg, Paul Kupperberg, Batton Lash, Roger McKenzie, Michael Mitchell, Lou Mougin, Rick Stasi, Joe Staton, Steven Thompson, Mort Todd, and Larry Wilson.

Uber Charlton fan, Fester Faceplant, came up with the idea to start a Charlton blog on Facebook, and facilitated gathering together many of the wandering souls of Charlton history, including the creators and fans alike.

Working with editors Roger McKenzie (Battlestar Galactica) and Mort Todd (Cracked Magazine), Fester and his cohorts have created “The Charlton Arrow,” bringing back some of the original innovators from the Charlton era, working alongside some of the craziest, wildest, bestest talent emerging today.

I won’t throw out a bunch of spoilers as to the content of the first issue, but I will say this: The art from our very own SECRET SOCIETY COMICS artist, Mort Todd, is worth the price of admission all on its own. Of course, we’re biased, but you will be too once you see the center spread of the Arrow that introduces you to all of the classic Charlton Horror Hosts!

Whether or not you’re a Charlton fan from back in the day, or a new comic literature enthusiast, you’ll wanna check this out as it’s part of an important piece of American comic book history. I won’t call it a perfect comic by any means, [What is?] but Charlton itself was far from perfection. Charlton was a company with character. Often the books themselves would roll off the presses crooked, double-covered, off-center, etc. What counted most was that the work itself existed almost always as a labor of love, and if you ever stop by the Charlton Arrow on Facebook, you’ll witness just how much these people love what they do, and from what I’ve already seen from the second issue, the Arrow’s even more on target.

Check it out @, won’t you? And tell ‘em Brad sent you. I need to get in good with the editors so they’ll take my pitch about an "Atomic Monkey" more seriously. :)

Brad Hamlin
Mystery Island Publications

"Charlton Arrow Review" by Bradley Mason Hamlin
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