THE CHARLTON COMICS MYSTIQUE part 5
THE CHARLTON MYSTIQUE, PART FIVE-!
Sanho Kimwho, who is from South Korea, was a the illustrator of the Charlton ‘House of Yang’ comics series, Warren Sattler who was a life-long Connecticut resident illustrated seventeen issues of Charlton’s ‘YANG’ comic book series. Although the final four issues were reprints of earlier issues.
Both series featuring a different Chinese martial artist in each, set back around the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries (around 1900), but the two martialarts characters were related. In fact, they were cousins.
Yang was created in 1973 by Joe Gill, writer, and Warren Sattler, artist.
The character of Yang’s original name was Chung Hui. He was the son of Chung Yuan, a Chinese mandarin who spent his entire life fighting evil and injustice, everywhere.
Eventually, however, he was murdered by his old enemy, Chao Ku, who was a trader in slaves. As Chung Yuan, (Yang’s father), lay dying, he told his son, Chung Hui, (Yang), that Yang needed to be the good side of the old ‘Yin-Yang’ symbol, that symbolized opposites.
Yang’s beloved lady friend, Yin Li, was very beautiful, but – previously unknown to Yang – as evil as her father. She later betrayed Yang, selling him into slavery, to the captain of a North American – bound ship!
In America, Yang was forced to be a ‘coolie’, working the back-breaking work of working to build a railroad. Eventually, Yang escaped, then commenced helping the oppressed peoples of that land! The irony, of course, was the fact that Yang’s now mortal enemy was the beautiful but evil Yin! Her name, of course, was just like as with the Yin-Yang Japanese circle design, that symbolized dichotomies! Simply put, she was Yang’s opposite number! There were times, however, when Yang was about to be killed by either Yin’s henchmen, or other bad men, entirely, where Yin would show mercy, and spare Yang. Nonetheless, she blamed Yang for her father’s death – and yet, she was still in love with Yang!
The ‘House of Yang’ Charlton comics title was a spin – off of Yang. Also written by Joe Gill, and – as mentioned – this series was illustrated by Sanho Kim – he also illustrated numerous issues of The Cheyenne Kid, and Dr. Graves.
In House of Yang, which lasted but six issues (to Yang’s seventeen), and commencing with a July of 1975 cover and indicia date, this series took place in China, featuring Yang’s cousin, Sun Yang. Sun Yang actually inherited Chung Yuan’s complete estate. As mentioned previously, above, the last four issues of Yang ( # 14 through # 17), were reprints from earlier issues.
In House of Yang, Eva Ku (the half-sister of Yin Li), kept trying to overthrow and kill Sun Yang, in order to get his estate, heired by his father, to him.
Later, Modern Comics (a Charlton Comics reprint line), reprinted numerous Charlton title issues, under that imprint, including issues of the Steve Ditko – illustrated Blue Beetle and Captain Atom, Peter Cannon/-Thunderbolt, Doomsday + One, Vengeance Squad, E-Man, Ghost Manor, ‘Adventures of The Man God, Hercules’, Ghostly Haunts, Fighting Marines, Judomaster, and many other former Charlton Comics issues.
The Monarch paperback book imprint (prose/-text novels), for a time, was Charlton’s company name which published some science fiction novels.
Charlton Comics had a notorious reputation for paying the very lowest page rates in the comic book industry, to their comics writers and artists, for work they produced for Charlton.
Charlton picked up a lot of comic book titles from defunct publishers, which did include a lot of western and romance titles, and various titles from Fawcett Publications as well, which also had published, (for example), Whiz Comics (featuring the ‘Shazam’ powered Captain Marvel), Captain Marvel Adventures, Captain Marvel Junior, Don Winslow (one of my favourites) – I have many, many issues of these, in my OWN collection!); Captain Midnight, and Spy Smasher, to name just some!
Charlton also picked up the superhero character Blue (Dan Garrett) Beetle, and produced several new issues of that title, both in the 1950’s, and in the early 1960’s. This was prior to artist Steve Ditko coming up with a new (at that time) Blue Beetle, alias Ted Kord – a version that had no super powers, but rather, relied on technological gadgets and weapons.
In no less than three episodes of the animated television series ‘Batman: The Brave and The Bold’, interestingly, the Dan Garrett Blue Beetle version re-surfaced, in the Season One episode, ‘Menace of the Madniks!’ (a statue of him, only), and in the Season Three episode, ‘Secret of The Blue Beetle.’
Charlton Comics was known for its numerous western titles, numerous romance titles, and numerous scary monster/-horror titles, and even numerous race car comic book titles. Basically, the editorial leaning at Charlton Comics was to put out mostly the types of comics titles that other comics publishers were NOT putting out! These also included a lot of licensed character titles, like, for example, The Flintstones, funny animal titles, and more! The title Strange Suspense Stories was a title that, previously, had been at Fawcett Comics, and later acquired by Charlton Comics. It was later the home of Captain Atom, at Charlton, after the character had a long run at Charlton, in Charlton’s ‘Space Adventures’ title, starting in issue # 33. I wisely purchased all of the Charlton Captain Atom issues of Charlton’s Space Adventures as well as the character’s appearances in Strange Suspense Stories, before those issues (value-wise), became astronomical!
Artist Steve Ditko did several issues of Conga and Gorgo at Charlton.
Denny O’Neil, Bob Layton and Roger Stern all started their published talents at Charlton Comics. Some 1970’s comic book licensed titles which Charlton Comics published, included The Bionic Woman, Emergency, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Space: 1999.
Interestingly, Emergency, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Space: 1999 got TWO comic book titles, EACH – one of each of these three titles were normal sized, colour comic books, throughout. And then, each of those three titles ALSO received a large, thick page count, colour covered, and black and white interior art throughout, large, magazine sized comics series! The black and white large, magazine sized issues came out at the same time that the colour versions of these were being published, which was unusual.
It should also be mentioned that the comic book stories in the black and white, large size magazine issues were completely different comic book stories entirely, from the smaller colour comics versions, with different writers and artists! Oddly, there was no black and white, large magazine sized comics series for The Bionic Woman!
Neal Adams did work for the Six Million Dollar Man magazine comics series, and Gray Morrow did a lot of work on the magazine sized Space: 1999 series. Whereas, Canadian sensation artist John Byrne did a lot of work on the colour Space: 1999 comics series!
Compare the cover of DC Comics’ Kamandi # 1, which came out in 1972, and the Charlton comic Doomsday + 1 # 1, which came out in 1975. Coincidence?
Charlton Comics even licensed, oddly enough, a Hanna Barbera’s ‘Korg: 70,000 B.C.’ animated TV series, in comic book form – a TV series that I don’t recall seeing, as a teenager! Surprisingly, the Charlton comics version lasted a full nine issues!
‘Scary’ horror comics titles at Charlton included Baron Weirwulf’s Haunted Library, Beyond The Grave, Creepy Things, Ghostly Haunts, Ghost Manor, Ghostly Tales, Gorgo, (if monsters are not scary, I don’t know what is!); Haunted Love, Konga, Konga’s Revenge, Midnight Tales, Monster Hunters, Reptilicus, Reptisaurus, Return of Gorgo, The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves, Scary Tales, Unusual Tales, Valley of The Dinosaurs, and many, many more!
Charlton’s various series about race cars included Drag Strip Hotrodders, Hot Rods and Racing Cars, (‘starring Ken Curtis’), Surf ‘n Wheels, Teenage Hot Rodders, and more!
Charlton’s war comics titles included (but were not limited to…) Army War Heroes, Attack, Battlefield Action, D-Day, Fightin’ Air Force, Fightin’ Army, Fightin’ Five, Fightin’ Marines, Fightin’ Navy, Submarine Attack, and U.S. Air Force – to name just some!
I Love You, Just Married, Romantic Story, Secret Romance, Sweethearts, Teen Confessions, and Teenage Love. AND: this isn’t a complete list of romance titles from Charlton!
TV and other types of TV based comics: ‘heart throbs’ for female readers: Bobby Sherman, and David Cassidy comics titles. There was even, by the way, a TV tie-in ‘The Partridge Family’ comics series.
Charlton’s science fiction comics titles included Bionic Woman, Doomsday + 1, Fantastic Giants, Flash Gordon, Green Planet, Mysterious Traveller, Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds, Outer Space, Out Of This World, Shadows From Beyond, Six Million Dollar Man, Space Adventures, Space: 1999, Space War, Strange Suspense Stories, U.F.O., and Unusual Tales.
Anthology type comics: Charlton Premiere, and Charlton Bullseye.
For the younger set, Charlton offered kids animated and humour titles, many of which were licensed: Atomic Mouse, Barney & Betty (a Flinstones title), Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Bullwinkle and Rocky, Flintstones, Freddy, Funny Animals, Huckleberry Hound, Hunk, Jack In The Box Comics, L’il Genius, Magilla Gorilla, Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm, (another Flintstones title), Parade, Popeye, Pudgy Pig, Sarge Snorkel (a character from Beetle Bailey), Scoobie Doo, Snuffy Smith, Speedy Buggy, The Great Gazoo (yet another Flintstones character spin-off character), Top Cat, The Jetsons, My Little Margie, Tiger, Timmy The Timid Ghost, Popeye The Sailor, Wheelie and The Chopper Bunch, Yogi Bear, and Zoo Comics.
Superhero titles: Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, E-Man, House of Yang, Judomaster, Mighty Man, Nature Boy, Peacemaker, Peter Cannon/-Thunderbolt, The Phantom, Yang, and Yellowjacket, in ‘Yellowjacket Comics.’
Charlton Giveaway Comics: Schiff’s Shoes L’il Genius, and numerous other titles. More on this, later.
In an earlier chapter of The Charlton Mystique, I’d mentioned that John Santangelo, Senior (co-founder of Charlton Publication/-Charlton Press/-Charlton Comics), had two sons. The other son was John (Eric) Santangelo, Junior.
Unfortunately, I found some sad news online, several days ago, while looking for and doing further, extended research, for this ‘Charlton Mystique’ project — the fact that John (Eric) Santangelo, Junior, passed away, in March of 2011.
I didn’t want to just provide a link to this information, because links can at times fail to work, after awhile – that’s why they call them ‘dead links.’ And so, instead, I’ve cut and pasted the information, below. Under that, I’ve printed the original link to this info, on the net.
Birth: Dec. 24, 1968 Death: March 26, 2011
John Eric Santangelo, age 42 of Bethany, CT, entered into eternal rest at Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT.
He was the beloved husband of 15 years to Deborah L. (Dunn) Santangelo.
John Eric Santangelo was born in Derby, CT, son of John Santangelo (and Carol Prydun.)
He graduated from the prestigious Hamden Hall Country Day School in 1987, and later from Quinnipiac University, with a bachelor’s degree in 1992.
Post-graduation, John Santangelo, Jr. was employed by Charlton Publication/- Charlton Press, and ASL Distribution Service, as an Independent Logistic Consultant, for the last 10 years.
John loved to fish, travel, and, above all, was a dedicated father, who adored spending time with his children, Alessandra, Gianna, and John Eric
Note: to clarify, what this means, is that John Eric Santangelo, Jr., is John Santangelo, the third.
He is the loving brother of Michael Santangelo and his wife Jacquelyn, and Monica Kelly and her husband Thomas; and the uncle of one niece and three nephews. John is also survived by his grandmother, Carrie Santangelo; his father and mother-in-law Edward and Barbara Dunn; and his brother and sister-n-law Edward and Mary Jo Dunn; several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Mary’s Church, Derby.
Mount Saint Peter Catholic Cemetery
New Haven County
While Charlton Press did cancel its’ comics line by 1986 (which, by then, were all reprints, only), Charlton Press – unknown to most Charlton fans to this day, stayed in business until 1991, continuing to publish the magazine Hit Parader until 1991. Hit Parader and many of its’ other non comics magazines that featured song lyrics, actually life as newspapers, in format.
By 1984, Hit Parader began focusing only on hard rock and heavy metal music genres. Prior to closing shop completely, Charlton Press sold off Hit Parader in 1991; the old Charlton Plant was bull dozed to the ground, in 1992.
At the other company, Hit Parader was published right up to the year 2008. In fact, its’ final issue was dated December of 2008.
To substantiate this info, I found an issue of Hit Parader on ebay, dated as late as May of 2008.
Next up: The Charlton Mystique, Part Six-!https://www.firstcomicsnews.com/the-charlton-comics-mystique-part-5/https://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Charlton-Mystique-logo-600x257.pnghttps://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Charlton-Mystique-logo-150x64.pngCharlton Comics MystiqueColumn