Dennis O’Neil: Charlton + Wertham = Olio?
Can I pause? Can I catch my breath? Where am I? About half way through August? That means I’m more than half way through the distance run that is this summer. Last commitment in October, only … I don’t know? three between now and then?
Meanwhile, imagine me yelling, Oh, Leo! Something like what I yelled when I was a grade-school kid: standing in a friend’s back yard and calling his name and if his mother appeared asking if my pal could come out and play. Or maybe I’m shouting another name, a last name: O’Leo. Irish fella, don’t’cha know! Actually, none of the above.
The word we’re going for here is not a proper noun, it’s a plain old common noun, one known to faithful solvers of the New York Times crossword puzzle: olio – that’s our word, and would one of our New York Times stalwarts favor us with a definition? Or do you Times readers think you’re too good for such a mundane task, you elitists who would never even consider watching Fox News? Well, climb back into your ivory towers then while I take it upon myself to consult the dictionary that resides inside my computer and supply the definition in question:
o*li*o: noun, a miscellaneous collection of things
So, know where I was over this past weekend? At the Connecticut ComiCon, is where. On Saturday I did a panel with my old and seldom-seen friends Paul Kupperberg, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Frank McLaughlin, and Bob Layton. Subject was Charlton Comics, which I don’t remember ever discussing in front of an audience before. Why Charlton? Well, apart from the fact that Charlton was headquartered in Connecticut, which made the talkfest site-appropriate, the company provided work for an impressive list of writers and artists who later attained comic book eminence including – no surprise here – those of us on the panel.
Paul and some colleagues are doing a Charlton revival. Might want to check it out wherever you check out things like that.
I learned a lot in those 45 minutes.
I didn’t know that the convention city, Bridgeport, was so close to where I live, I don’t expect this information to change my life.
We made some money for Hero Initiative, there in Bridgeport. Always good to make money for HI. Always worth a journey.
When I extracted the three days worth of mail crammed into the box yesterday, I was happy to see the latest issue of what is identified on the cover as “Roy Thomas’ Not-So-Innocent Comics Fanzine,” Alter-Ego. Blurbed below the logo: “Seducing the Innocent with Dr. Fredric Wertham.” The writer of the article is Carol Tilley, who, a while back, examined Wertham’s condemnation of comics and found that the good doctor had tampered with the research. She deserves our thanks for that and Roy deserves our thanks for giving Ms. Tilley a place to do us a service.
Full disclosure: I read the New York Times.