New Beginnings

January 2, 2018

Happy 2018!

Anybody have any good resolutions? Well, if you're all about that "New Year, New You", by all means, you do you, but we're stuck in the past! 

Time and time again, you've probably heard Jackie say that information found on the web regarding Charlton's past is almost entirely incorrect. It's not just "something" specific either, it's almost all of it. Dates, what title came first, who did what when... you get the point.


Charlton's past wasn't preserved, so the scraps left blowing in the wind were used to the best of their ability by those who cared to document it. Jackie herself asks you guys to fact check her. We need all the eyes we can get.


Charlton Comics: Pop Culture's Hot Mess (Instructions not included)


So how is Jackie researching? By backtracking. 

We do know some concrete facts: Charlton was the name of the company & John Santangelo was the the founder. Seriously, that's what she started with.

Search for Charlton --- which led to lawsuits that involved Charlton --- which led to a lengthy nationally covered court case involving Santangelo --- which led to announcements of a magazine --- which led us back to court cases --- it goes on...

It may sound negative dragging all these court business into the mix, but we're not being shady. Court cases include hard facts. Names. Aliases. Dates. Addresses. The bigger the court case, the bigger the news coverage. And if a newspaper covered the subject matter once, they may cover that person or company again. 


The funny part is sometimes the answers you need don't even come from the topic your researching.


Enter the music man - Barry Kernfeld: a jazz scholar and musician, a historian, and music writer with a Ph.d., in musicology from Cornell University. Barry wrote at length about the music industry back in the days of Tin Pan Alley, specifically songsheet bootlegging (which most of you know, gave our hero, John Santangelo his start down the path to comic books).


"So what? We all know Santangelo went to jail then started with Hit Parader."


Funny, that's what Jackie thought too, because that was Charlton's money maker, so what else could there be?

The official Charlton Publishing began in 1941 literally months after Santangelo's departure from the slammer. His debut was Big Song Magazine, and a few months later, Radio Hit Songs.


Notice the not so subtle "Legally Authorized"?


That's right, Johnny boy is now part of the law abiding, honest-to-goodness, L-E-G-I-T publishing world, and he wants YOU to know it.

Ever the business man, Santangelo made sure that you could subscribe right away! 






.....oh riiiight... the funny books! 

So, we were wrong about Charlton's first publication being Hit Parader, but WE KNOW that their first comic book was Yellow Jacket!

Well.... technically not. 

Yellow Jacket premiered in September 1944, followed by Zoo Funnies in November 1945.

BUT, Yellow Jacket was published by Frank Comunale and Zoo Funnies by Childrens Comic Publishers - both located in Derby, CT - but they were Charlton's imprints.


Charlton's first comic book was actually Marvel's of Science in March 1946!

"MARVELS OF SCIENCE, published monthly by Charlton Publications, Inc. Vol 1, No. 1, March, 1946"


I thought I could wipe my hands and say "check that off the list"... but NO because as I looked up from the publisher's credits, I saw something that opened up another can of worms...


OH, COME ON!!!!!!!! REALLY?!?!? 


....ugh, Up and Atom!

Jackie and Keith



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