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Saturday, 8 October 2011

Archive Sunday Comics - And now the screaming starts

To get us all in the mood for the publication of The Dead Walked later this month, we have a special horror themed Sunday Comics. As always double click on any of the images for a larger version..

By the late 1970s, Charlton Publication Inc.'s press, housed in its own building in Derby, Connecticut, was showing its age. Reproduction in the Charlton colour comics no longer quite matched that of rival products from New York big boys like DC and Marvel, but you could always rely on the company's writers and artists for plenty of unfettered vigour.

Well, perhaps not entirely unfettered. There was always the small matter of complying with the code of the Comics Magazine Association of America, Inc.

For the guidance of its staff and freelance contributors, Charlton reproduced the code in a small booklet it put out in 1973. See illustrations to the left.

As you can see, it explained why Charlton horror comics were never called that. They were "ghost" or "mystery" titles.

The Charlton booklet also explained the art styles and writing it wanted for its various groups of comics, which included Romance, War, Western, Super Hero, and Science Fiction. Here are its requirements for what (unseen by the eyes of the kiddies and the Comics Code Authority) it made no bones about calling "horror":

So much for what was and was not allowed! We hope you enjoy this six-page tale that appeared in the December 1977 issue of Haunted and are suitably chilled. Study the last picture closely to see what became of a clean-limbed hero and a sweet young heroine regardless of the code that shielded their fates!

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