Monday, April 2, 2018

MIDNIGHT TALES NO. 1 (CHARLTON)


MIDNIGHT TALES
Vol. 1 No. 1
December 1972
Charlton Publications
Editor: George Wildman
Pages: 36
Cover art: Wayne Howard
Price: 20 cents

CONTENTS
"The Boyfriend!"
Script: Nicola Cuti
Pencils: Wayne Howard
Inks: Wayne Howard
Lettering: Wayne Howard
NOTE: Arachne's boyfriend in this story is named Lupus McCain, a take on the TV character, Lucas McCain, played by Chuck Conners in "The Rifleman".

"Weave Me a Web"
Script: Nicola Cuti
Pencils: Wayne Howard
Inks: Wayne Howard
Lettering: Wayne Howard

"The Doll"
Script: Nicola Cuti
Pencils: Jack Abel
Inks: Jack Abel
Lettering: Jack Abel

"Last of Its Kind"
Script: Nicola Cuti
Pencils: Joe Staton
Inks: Joe Staton
Lettering: Joe Staton

Wayne Howard's illustration style can be traced back to his days under the tutelage of the late, great Wally Wood. Howard's capable line work served him well over his all-too-short career as a comic book artist, to the point where he was able to successfully pitch his idea to Charlton for a horror anthology series of his own.

MIDNIGHT TALES would be a familiar collection of ghost/horror/mystery stories, book-ended by the hosts of the book, Cyrus Coffin, The Midnight Philosopher and his beautiful "niece", Arachne. While the format wasn't at all original for the time, the overall effect of the book had a unique approach in its appearance and content.

After Matt "Phantom Lady" Baker, Wayne Howard can be considered the premiere African-American comic book artist. In this issue, there is a text article that encapsulates Howard's bio, his career in the comics and the origins of MIDNIGHT TALES. "The character of Cyrus Coffin, The Midnight Philosopher," Howard states, "is an idea that I've carried with me for a number of years. He is a brilliant world traveler-teacher whose many bizarre experiences have given him a highly unusual approach to life. He is aided in sharing these experiences with you, the reader, by his attractive and off-beat niece, Arachne, who also lends the element of "now" reality."

Howard collaborated with Charlton scriptwriter Nicola Cuti and they became friends. In an interview with Cuti in TwoMorrow's COMIC BOOK ARTIST #12, he said that the chain-smoking artist, "always wore the same outfit: a white shirt, a kind of tan bush jacket, black hat, black pants and black tie. I was over at his apartment, and he opened up his closet, and there were 20 white shirts, 20 bush jackets, 20 black pants...."

Howard stayed busy, but in 1974, he mysteriously and abruptly dropped out of the business. Late attempts to interview him were met with refusal. Howard's replay was that he was "not interested in delving into the past."

Wayne Wright Howard died at the age of 58 on December 9, 2007.






































3 comments:

Dr. Theda said...

Still have some of these... did enjoy reading tales from her and the Professor...!!! Great post, good Sir !

John said...

I still have a few myself moldering somewhere in the catacombs of the Mysterious Mansion. It's really not a bad series, considering there were a slew of anthology comics during this period.

Dr. Theda said...

we enjoyed the little story-line (often putting the Professor and her in the tale) that wove-together the grouping of stories...

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