Wonder Stories Is Back; Where Are Charlton Comics?

BrandlandUSA reader (and Quebec native) Mark Shainblum has alerted us to some revivals in the comic book field, and other dead comic book brands that need to be revived.

Thrilling Wonder Stories was one of the first science fiction pulp magazines, founded in 1930 by Hugo Gernsback. Gernsback originally created the first American science fiction pulp magazine, Amazing Stories, in the late 1920’s. When he lost control of Amazing for financial reasons, he immediately started Wonder Stories to compete.

The magazine ran for the next 25 years, reports Shainblum, finally shutting down in 1955. In 2007, a man named Winston Engle re-registered the fallow trademark and published a revived Thrilling Wonder Stories as the first issue of a trade paperback series. The first book issue can be seen on Amazon.com at http://tinyurl.com/246eeh.

There are other fallow brands in this field, according to Shainblum, including Amazing Stories. Revived and cancelled dozens of times, Amazing Stories is currently owned by Paizo Publishing, and its most recent revival was cancelled in 2005 after only running two issues.

Other brands Shainblum believes might be worth reviving include:

  • Galaxy Science Fiction: The first great new science fiction magazine of the postwar era, Galaxy was where American sci-fi became SF and stretched into more humanistic and literary directions. It ran from the early 50’s to the early 80’s, with an abortive revival in the 90’s that didn’t go anywhere.
  • Charlton Comics: Always considered the weak sister of American comics, it was the industry’s unofficial farm team, where writers and artists would pay their dues before moving on to the big leagues at Marvel and DC. They sold off most of their good superhero characters to DC in the mid-80;s, and the rest died with the death of the Charlton company several years later. Apparently, a Montreal comic shop owner named Roger Broughton bought the trademark and whatever intellectual property was left, and has been threatening for years to revive Charlton, but has never done so. He apparently also bought up the defunct American Comics Group’s properties, and published a few black and white reprints of those, but as far as I know, nothing with Charlton.

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