AC Comics announced that they will be working with Mort Todd’s Charlton Neo to bring print editions of the Charlton Neo stable of comics to the direct sales comic shop market. Look for Charlton Arrow #1, in September- starring E-Man by original series creators Joe Staton and Nicola Cuti in a FULL COLOR, 44-page standard sized comic book under the AC Comics banner.
As part of this huge development I had a chance to exchange a few emails with creator Roger McKenzie. We talked about Charlton in general and focused on Roger’s Mr Mixit which will be featured in the Charlton Arrow anthology.
Martin Boruta: While I know more about your work at Warren, DC Comics and Marvel you must have some memories of the original Charlton Comics. Care to share one or two? Read any of their books? Any favourites?
Roger Mckenzie: For me, the highlight of the old Charlton Comics was the Action Heroes. Captain Atom. Blue Beetle. The Question. Distribution of Charlton Comics where I grew up was spotty at best, so I didn’t see many titles at that time (like the ghost/horror books) that I would have bought.
Martin: Is my research lacking and did I miss that you might have done some work for Charlton?
Roger: I didn’t work at the old Charlton, although in my teen years I did submit a super-hero story to them. I received a personal reply from Dick Giordano, and although my script was rejected…and rightfully so…Dick gave me much need encouragement to keep going!
Martin: How did you come to be a Managing Editor at Charlton Neo?
Roger: Publisher Mort Todd gave me that spiffy sounding title to placate me. We basically all pitch in and do what we can anyway, so our job descriptions are mostly just fluff, anyway.
Martin: How has this experience been so far, being a part of the Charlton Neo revival of some of these great stories?
Roger: It’s been a blast, and I think the sheer fun is evident in our comics. I’ve had my hand in several of the revivals…Pat Boyette’s Spookman…two nurse characters, Cynthia Doyle and Betsy Crane, that we turned into the vampire hunting Knightingales…Yang…Yellowjacket…Stinky Skunk. These days there’s lots of talk about diversity in comics. Where else could I script stories about demons, vampire hunters, a Chinese western character, funny animals and super heroes?
Martin: How did the Mr Mixit project come to life?
Roger: Steven Butler had contacted Mort and I about doing a story for the Charlton Arrow. We were all discussing possible old characters we could use. Steven’s a huge Steve Ditko fan (who isn’t?) and I happened to pipe up jokingly suggesting that Steven use “pieces parts” from all sorts of different characters. Sort of mix them all up. A couple of days later Mr. Mixit showed up from Steven…Mort colored it…we batted around various scenarios…I wrote a script and Mixie was born!
Martin: I have only had a chance to see a brief, few pages of the Mr Mixit story. Who is this Barry Baxter kid?
Roger: A teenaged comic book nerd. A composite of me, Steven, and Mort. Comic nerds all!
Martin: From Mr Mixit’s name and costume I assume he is an amalgam of some of the older Charlton heroes? Who were some of your favourites from the old Charlton?
Roger: Anything Ditko! And I liked Pat Boyette’s Spookman and Peacemaker, and Pete Morisi’s Thunderbolt!
Martin: It looks like the new Charlton Arrow series at AC Comics won’t be a 100% reprint of the same issues self published by Neo. Your story in the book being released in by AC in September, this is the first time the character appears?
Roger: The first 8 page Mr. Mixit adventure is available at our weekly digital comic book site, Pix-X. http://pix-c.me/ But our Sept. release of The Charlton Arrow (vol. 2 #1) in comic book shops will be his first comic book appearance! And as it turns out, Mixie will also have a SECOND previously unpublished story in that book as well!
Martin: Plans for the future for Mr Mixit?
Roger: He will appear in the second issue of The Charlton Arrow. We’ve talked about adding one other story and releasing all four either in his own title or perhaps a one-shot.
Martin: How about new characters? Additional stories?
Roger: We have a huge “backlog” of characters/villains/plot twists worked out based off his origin surrounding the mysterious comic book spinner rack and old Charlton comics that transformed him into Mr. Mixit! We’re very enthusiastic and hopeful that Mixie will become a fan fave and one of our flagship characters. Only time will tell!
Martin: Well Sir, many thanks for taking some time to chat with me. We are all looking forward to The Charlton Arrow from Charlton Neo and AC Comics stating in September 2017.
Series: Charlton Arrow #1 | Publisher: Charlton Neo & AC Comics
Writers: Nicola Cuti, Paul Kupperberg, and Roger McKenzie | Artists: Joe Staton, Mike Collins, Steven Butler, Barbara Kallberg and Mort Todd
Price: $7.99 – 44 pages