Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Charlton Notebook: All-American Sports #1

Sports comic books are a pretty minor genre, so you can imagine how lonely this book is, sitting all alone in my short box labelled "Comics About High School Coaches". Editorial meetings at Charlton must have lasted about 30 seconds back in 1967, as it appears that every idea was given the green light. The hero of this comic (designed as a one-shot?) is high school coach Chat Chatfield (was Stan Lee responsible for that name?) who takes his job very seriously. Actually, it's all kind of charming in a Norman Rockwell kind of way, and Tony Tallarico artwork is handsome and strangely appropriate. The first story has Chat taking care of the gangsters trying to force his starting pitcher to throw the big game. The second story has Chat trying to get his star decathlete to get more sleep (seriously, he's out with his girlfriend too much). Finally, Chat tracks down a runaway football player who ends up winning the championship and reconnecting with his father. Seriously, if this was a TV show, it would star Michael Landon. Sure, lots comic book companies were experimenting in the late 60s, but did any of them ever take things this far?

3 comments:

ROK said...

I just assumed from the cover portrait that this was about a real person.

Actually I like this idea for a comic more than Strange Sports Stories.

Thelonious_Nick said...

I'm imagining your house with 300 different boxes of comics with labels like "Dr. Strangelove," "Iwo Jima," and "Comics About High School Coaches."

I just divide mine by company and alphabetical, with a separate box for golden age and for silver age.

macsnafu said...

I don't even divide my comics by company--they're all sorted alphabetically by title.
Alas, this is the first that I've even heard of All-American Sports. Not that I'm a big sports fan or anything. I rather figure that most kids who liked sports were out playing sports, instead of reading comics.