How to draw comics the Charlton way
August 30, 2013 4:52 AM   Subscribe

Hey kid! Are you a budding young talent anxious to present your work to the world, but not quite sure how the professionals draw comics? Well, the wise guys at Charlton are ready to help you with their 1973 comic book guide for the artist-writer-letterer.
posted by MartinWisse (21 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Heh! Charlton! The black sheep of the comics world! Thanks, MartinWisse!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:54 AM on August 30, 2013

posted by Halloween Jack at 5:08 AM on August 30, 2013 [6 favorites]

If he's an alley cat, then have him live in a garbage can complete with a t.v. set.

This is an unreasonable directive. At the very least, he should be trapped, given his shots, neutered, and released. Anything else is kind of cruel, and using television as an opiate is not a socially sound policy.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:31 AM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I remember this being advertised in the various Charlton comics I read back in the 70s. Now I finally get to read it!
posted by cropshy at 5:38 AM on August 30, 2013

For an outsider, what should I know about Charlton comics? From a quick glance, this looks pretty awesome (e.g., my kid might learn from it), but are the initial comments indicating a grain of salt should be had?
posted by spbmp at 5:55 AM on August 30, 2013

There's nothing wrong with the guidebook; it's actually quite well done. Charlton, however, was a third-tier comic book company that was in steep decline at the time. Ditko, for example, was a top talent, but he was only working at Charlton because he had burned bridges with every other comic book company by then. Most of their comics would be cancelled by 1977, and it would finally go out of business completely in the early 80s.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:13 AM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

spbmp - I gather what's being implied is something like this. Suppose you want to run for President as a Democrat (just to pull something out of a hat) and you want to read up on the experiences of other Democrats who have run for President to learn the best practices, the dos and don'ts, and generally how to do it right.

Relying on the Charlton guide to making comics would be sort of like if you skipped over the (notional) books about how to run a successful Presidential campaign by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and based your campaign on Dick Gephardt's book.

Point being, okay, there might not be anything wrong with this book, but why would you pick it over the similar books from Marvel or DC, the power hitters of the field?

Charlton Comics, the Dick Gephardt of the comics world. You know, I actually kind of like that analogy now.
posted by Naberius at 6:14 AM on August 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yeah, but did Stan Lee include the actual Comics Code in HTDCTMW? No he did not. Point to Carlton.
posted by edheil at 6:25 AM on August 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

These days Charlton is probably best known as the home of the Question, the Peacemaker, Captain Atom, the Blue Beetle (who was created by Fox Comics before being sold to Charlton), Thunderbolt, and Nightshade. Charlton sold these characters to DC two years before it went out of business. These were the characters Alan Moore planned to use for Watchmen, before DC told him he'd have to create his own characters (who were clearly based on the Charlton characters).
posted by Rangeboy at 6:51 AM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

GenjiandProust: I read recently that vasectomies are better than neutering for male strays, because territorial adult males help limit the feral population.
posted by idiopath at 6:52 AM on August 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

I read recently that vasectomies are better than neutering for male strays

Well, yes, but either is better than televisions, right?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:47 AM on August 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Cool! My very first AskMe was about a Charlton comic that had haunted me for 35 years. The goddamn writer of the comic was a mefite and answered my question!
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:30 AM on August 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've never read the comics code before. Now I'm amazed that the comic books I read as a child were even as good as they were...

I mean, there wasn't much point in a spoiler alert...
posted by randomkeystrike at 10:31 AM on August 30, 2013

Damned Comics Code Authority! Always preventing my idea for a bestselling funny animal teen pop band book called "Crime Terror Crime Horror Crime Crime and the Bunnies! #1"
posted by jeribus at 10:35 AM on August 30, 2013

It sure as hell beats "How to Draw Comics the Rob Liefeld Way"
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:01 PM on August 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

"Step 1: never look at an actual living human female, because this might negatively influence your sense of anatomy when drawing women."
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:12 PM on August 30, 2013

I'm just so enchanted by the lettering section.
Computer lettering, which I assume is how they do things these days, just lacks something.
posted by Mezentian at 12:42 AM on August 31, 2013

Hey, that reminds me, I bagged and tagged a mint copy of E-Man #1 back in the day ( I did not actually do this) because it was a collector's item! I'm a gonna be rich! Why, it's appreciated in price several hundred percent!

Further Charlton advice: Keep a swipe file.
posted by Mezentian at 12:48 AM on August 31, 2013

Tut, tut. That was a deliberate parody and published by First.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:25 AM on August 31, 2013

The advice of Charlton led directly to Greg Land's porn collection swipe file though.
posted by Mezentian at 3:53 AM on August 31, 2013

Huh. Okay, I've got this guide, and it's a lot ... smaller than you'd think. For a real guide, I'd recommend How to Draw and Sell Comics, by Alan McKenzie.
posted by Bron at 6:22 PM on August 31, 2013

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