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Charlton Spotlight #7
posted July 9, 2012

imageCreators: Michael Ambrose and Various Contributors
Publishing Information: Argo Press, magazine, 40 pages, 2012, $7.95
Ordering Numbers: start here

This latest issue of Charlton Spotlight includes a note from those in charge that the magazine devoted to the history of Charlton Comics (1946-1985) is no longer being offered through Diamond. This didn't surprise me, and in fact, I support in theory the distributor's occasional efforts to winnow out those publications that may not enjoy much if any significant sales traction. It makes me sad, though, that the axe falls on something like this publication: I wish a magazine like this one had a significant number of interested readers in that marketplace. The good news is that if this hits your sweet spot for whatever reason -- and a passion for Charlton Comics is certainly something of an odd passion and one subject to the inevitable attrition of losing adherents with each passing year -- you're probably willing to consider an order any way you can facilitate one.

The latest offering seems a fine example of what these kinds of magazines do well: record for posterity the impressions of fans and working professionals on an extremely limited set of topics around a specific theme. George Wildman and Hy Eisman have a conversation transcribed; the late Dick Giordano is remembered by Paul Kupperberg and Ron Frantz. Add in the expected letters column and checklist and that's pretty much the basic model. There's also something to be said for the organizing principle as a way of driving attention from the reader. I'm not sure I'd make it through these kinds of articles were I to randomly encounter them on-line, but sitting down with a magazine devoted to them there's a bit of force derived from general intent. It's strange that we live in an era when the delivery system for this kind of first-draft history, even obscure cultural history, may prove to be outmoded at the exact same time the focused interest in the subject matter wanes. For now, though, I'll choose to hang in there. I'm not convinced by the alternative.