Charlton – The Movie

February 12, 2016 Author: Jon Johnson (Sir)


As many at this page are aware, I’m an avowed fan of Charlton Comics, the long-defunct company from Connecticut considered by most to be an also-ran or bottom tier publisher. I wrote a brief interest piece in December (read it HERE) that stirred up some interest and drove me to discover something I was then unaware of. Some fine comic book fans had taken it upon themselves to start an intensive project, a full film documentary on the history of Charlton and the presence it still has, some thirty years after its demise.

A few weeks ago, I had a long and wildly tangent driven conversation with Jackie Zbuska, one of the producers of the planned movie. Prior to chatting with her, I did the barest modicum of research into their work, partly due to time and partly in the interest of a fresh conversation. I watched the incredibly dense and exciting promo video, which I suggest everyone watch HERE. Jackie told me that she and her co-conspirator in this project, Keith Larsen, came up with the idea shortly after dropping in on a discussion panel at a comic convention in Bridgeport, CT filled with veteran writers and artists, such as Bob Layton, Frank McLaughlin and Denny O’Neil, all of whom had worked at Charlton. Not expecting much from the panel other than rested feet, they came away with a new fascination and the eventual film project.

The history of comic books from their inception is an odd, sometimes manipulative and ugly story. Delving deep into the creation of Charlton, Jackie and Keith discovered a lot of misconceptions and likely purposely placed information to keep investigations limited. Charlton, with a history stretching back to the late 30’s to early 40’s, was no stranger to the sometimes… fuzzy… machinations of company executives. Interviews with creative staff and editors, as well as day-to-day staff of the company are planned, or have been recorded. It’s a large undertaking and though there are investors, money is always needed for a project of this magnitude. Currently, the Charlton Movie has a Patreon website up, for those that would like to donate to the cause. Helping to fund this movie would not only assist in the basic production, but it would allow for interviews of some of the workers and talent that are getting on in years. The wealth of information they may have now that has never been gleaned from any of them about Charlton and the atmosphere at the time they were employed there would be saved, an important part of any historians work.

The movie promo is a wonderful piece of work to help sell the project and one has to wonder how great the completed film will be, on top of the absolutely important piece of history, not only for comics, but for business, the State of Connecticut and the town of Derby it can be. Watch the video. Join the Patreon. Share the websites to your friends. Let everyone that likes comics or history know how special and needed this work is. Be a true fan and support it!

As work progresses, I’ll have more information on the Charlton Movie and the work that entails its completion. This site, or the site that will replace this one in the coming months, will definitely follow the evolution of the work.

The Charlton Movie website

The Charlton Movie Patreon site


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