Monday, March 5, 2018
MAKING COMICS THE CHARLTON WAY
I was going to post another Charlton giant monster comic today, but instead decided to diverge from my original plan. Since I've been posting a goodly number of monster comics here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD, I thought it might be interesting for you to see how a comic was actually made back in the days before computers and technology took over such tasks as coloring and lettering... and actually, just about everything else.
In 1973, Charlton Comics published a comic-book sized 'zine entitled, "The Comic Book Guide for the Artist, Writer and Letterer." It was edited by -- who else? -- George Wildman and Joe Gill and written by Nicola Cuti. Contributing artists were Wayne Howard (a one-time assistant of Wally Wood), Tom Sutton, Joe Staton and -- yep, Spider-Man's creator artist, Steve Ditko. The lettering chores went to Frank Bravo.
What makes this "Guide" different from other instructional art books is that it is NOT a "how to draw super heroes" guide. Instead, the assumption is made that the reader already has the artistic chops to write and/or draw a comic book, so the purpose of this book is to provide the step-by-step instructions on how to properly format and prepare an industry-recognized, ready-for-press submission for publication.
It appears that maybe Charlton had been receiving too many submissions on notebook paper or other unprofessional means (ideas on cocktail napkins should be kept in the originating author's pocket, not sent to an editor), so they decided to show budding comic book creators how it was done. After all, Charlton paid well, and usually better than the big boys. For an artist or writer who was trying to make a living and support a family, it didn't matter about the crappy print quality that Charlton often suffered from, the money was always good and green.
Anyway, I hope this provides you with some insight on the comic-making process when everything was done by hand. Can you imagine?