October 30, 2006

Charlton Spotlight #5 [2006]

As mentioned a few posts back, the recently released CHARLTON SPOTLIGHT #5 [Argo Press] contains a number of items of interest to the Ditko fan, among them a complete reprint of the 5-page "The Great Martian Drought" from SPACE ADVENTURES #25 [1958]. Ditko's style is a little more sparse at this time than some of his earlier work, though the establishing shots of the Martian city are well designed, and the body language is really effective, plus I love the detail on this one close-up of an eye. He definitely knew when to bring in the detail to enhance a story. In this story Mars is suffering from a long drought, and they consider writing a message to Earth until a scientist finds a way to take what's left of their population to Earth, scheduled to arrive in 1964. Guess they didn't make it...

Two 1957 Ditko covers are also reprinted full size, TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #4 in black and white and MYSTERIES OF UNEXPLORED WORLDS #4 in colour. The second is especially good, with some great moody furnishings in the "Forbidden Room". The issue has an interview with Joe Gill which has some background on Captain Atom, Steve Skeates talking about Doctor Graves and Ron Frantz talking about some of the Charlton alumni who worked at his ACE Comics in the 1980s, plus articles about the Blue Beetle, the Question and Captain Atom. Lots of great art to go with the articles, including a number that appeared in fanzines like a great 1965 illustration of Captain Atom that appeared in THE COMIC READER #36.

"The Great Martian Drought" 3948

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