Monday, September 21, 2009

Free Comics Monday: Charlie Chan

Went home this weekend to visit my folks who are big mystery fans so I got a chance to catch up on some classic 40's mystery movies, one of them being Charlie Chan at the Circus. This got me curious if there were any Charlie Chan comics, and sure enough there were several. Today's Free Comics are two issues of the Charlton Comics version.

Charlie Chan is a fictional Chinese-American detective created by Earl Derr Biggers in 1923 for a novel published in 1925. Biggers conceived of the character as an alternative to Yellow Peril stereotypes; unlike such villains as Fu Manchu, Chan is portrayed as non-threatening and benevolent.

Charlie Chan 07

[ Charlie Chan 07 ]

A Charlie Chan comic strip, drawn by Alfred Andriola, was distributed by the McNaught Syndicate beginning October 24, 1938. Andriola was chosen by Biggers to draw the character. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the strip was dropped at the end of May 1942.

Over decades, several other Charlie Chan comic books have been published: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created Prize Comics' Charlie Chan (1948) which ran for five issues. It was followed by a Charlton Comics title (four issues, 1955). DC Comics published The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, a 1958 tie-in with the TV series; the DC series lasted for six issues. Dell Comics did the title for two issues in 1965. In the 1970s, Gold Key Comics published a short-lived series of Chan comics based directly on the Hanna-Barbera animated series.

Charlie Chan 08

[ Charlie Chan 08 ]

- Enjoy!


RKB said...

Cool post I love some of the golden and silver age movie/book tie-in comics.
The Charlie Chan comic strips from McNaught Syndicate were also reprinted in Big Shot Comics (a excellent title in general an anthology with something for everybody from Sparky Watts to Sky Man to Dixie Dugan) I own a few issues and they're excellent.

Reno said...

Hi Jim...

Just wanted to let you know the link to Charlie Chan #8 downloads issue 7 instead. :)

Jim Shelley said...

@RKB - I wonder how movie/book tie ins of popular characters would work today? Like DC used to do Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope. Would people buy a Office comic? Futurama seems to sell pretty well.

@Reno - Thank you for the catch! I fixed the link. :)

RKB said...

I always thought if the money isn't there for a series or movie anymore, the fans sure as hell still are so why not feed the fanboy need. I admit the Alan Ladd tie-in comic didn't do so well back in the day, but Mr. District Attorney ( along with Charlie Chan and numerous others) did. I look at how Buffy has lived on, and it makes me want a Millennium comic so bad... Admittedly Millennium might not be that popular, but how about Dexter? The one time you want the Hollywood merchandise everything types to cash in, they don't.


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