RKL Pictures, Cruelty Free Special FX & SocialVid LA announced their partnership with Charlton Neo Media (http://charltonneo.blogspot.com) to produce a feature length documentary to tell the story of Derby, Connecticut’s Charlton Comics Company (1946 -1986).
The Charlton Comic Group, part of Capital Distributing Company (CDC), was notable for printing music and pop culture magazines such as “Song Hits”, “Hit Parader” “Tiger Beat”, and “Hustler” alongside a list of comic book titles spanning the genres of horror, westerns, romance, comedy, adventure, action, war and superheroes.
Unlike its rivals Marvel and DC, Charlton’s comic book line of printing was given little to no managerial oversight. “They didn’t care much about what was coming off the presses. They were just interested in keeping their presses rolling 24-hours a day. So that is how they got into comics in the first place, just as a way to keep those presses going.” explains Paul Kupperberg, accomplished writer and editor of comics.
What is unknown to most, is the long list of renowned comic book talent that once produced content for Charlton. Such names include Marvel and DC Comics legends: Denny O’Neil, Steve Ditko, Dick Giordano, Bob Layton, Paul Kupperberg, Joe Sinnott, Roy Thomas, Frank McLaughlin, Neal Adams and more. These writers and artists went on to fame creating mainstay comics book characters such as Spider-Man, Batman, and Iron Man to name a few.
“You know their names. You know their work. What you don’t know is how they got their start. Our film tells the humorous, tragic and simply amazing story of Charlton. It’s a story that anyone who loves comics must see and hear.” says the film’s Co- Producer Keith Larsen. “We heard these stories at a convention panel and immediately wanted to share them on a global scale by making a movie about it.” he added.
As part of the production, the producers of Charlton Comics: The Movie are planning to launch a modest fund-raising campaign the week of October 12, 2015 on IndieGoGo to assist in the making of the film. With nearly 50 potential interviews all over the continental United States and overseas, the producers need funding to accomplish their goals.
“What started as a smaller project focused on Charlton Comics as a unique local company as part of the history of Connecticut has grown into a more universally interesting project depicting how this small company is still influencing the global world of comics.” states Co-Producer Dennis Peters. “We’ve self -funded the initial filming and associated travel expenses so far, but the opportunity to tell a much bigger story is right in front of us. We are looking for financial support to help us tell what we think is a fascinating story”.
The production team will also be seeking public appearance, radio, television and Internet media opportunities to promote the production and the fund-raising campaign throughout the remainder of 2015. “In an age of TMZ, and tabloids, who wouldn’t want to hear about Charlton Comics?”, says Co -Producer Jackie Zbuska. “I mean, the company founders met in jail, and that’s just the start!” Whether you’re a comic book nerd or not, this story is captivating. It’s counter cultural, borderline nefarious, and positively scandalous!”
Charlton Comics: The Movie is also directly tied to the charity organization Hero Initiative (http://www.heroinitiative.org) which was created to provide a financial safety net for comic creators in their golden years. Unlike some of today’s creators, many originators of comic book properties retain no rights to their creations. A portion of all proceeds will go to the charity upon completion of the film.
ABOUT RKL PICTURES (Keith Larsen) Keith Larsen has been an award-winning professional in the field of video production for over two decades. While in college between 1992 and 1994, Keith was hired to produce and direct several professional corporate videos for Fortune 500 companies. This experience immediately led to several job offers outside the college. In 1995, he accepted a position as Media Production Specialist at Quinnipiac College, and then moved onto Middlesex Community College in the same capacity. Since 1994, he had also been operating as Sleepless Knights Film & Video and then RKL Pictures producing or editing commercial spots, corporate videos and documentaries. In 2013, Keith began development on an original comedy series with Kira Karlstrom (formerly of ESPN & Marvel Entertainment’s) for NBC Universal. The series is set to star the Hanson Brothers from the legendary sports film “Slap Shot”. In 2014, Keith joined AJA Video Systems as a Field Systems Engineer and still produces content in his off time as RKL Pictures. http://www.rklpictures.com
ABOUT CRUELTY FREE SPECIAL FX (Jackie Zbuska) Jackie is a makeup artist with over 10 years of experience, with a specialty in using products that do not involve experimentation on animals. Her client list includes many of the entertainment industries’ well know faces and her films have aired on major networks such as NBC and A+E Networks, and premiered at top festivals: Sundance, South by Southwest, Tribeca, and the Toronto Film Festival. http://www.jackiezbuska.com
ABOUT SOCIALVID LA (Dennis Peters) Dennis is an award director/cinematographer with 25 years experience filming features, commercials and TV programming. As a co-founder of One Black Shoe, a commercial production company, he directed and photographed national and regional TV spots. In addition to being the director of photography on seven feature films Dennis recently made his directorial debut with the psychological thriller, I’M NOT ADAM, which is currently being submitted to festivals. As a co-founder of Heavybag Media, Dennis included entertainment marketing as part of his experience including the online marketing for companies such as Miramax Films, Warner Bro.’s. eHarmony and Sun Micro Systems. Dennis now directs BRENT’S HANG, a branded content weekly web series for DW Drums. THE WHISTLER is a 28 minute short film he served on as a producer/director of photography that is currently playing at numerous film festivals in the US and Canada. He is currently the director of photography on the feature length documentary THE 60 PROJECT that is now in production. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0676391/
ABOUT CHARLTON COMICS: THE MOVIE Charlton Comics: The Movie is a planned feature length documentary film that tells the humorous, tragic and simply amazing story of Charlton Comics, Derby CT’s infamous comic book company that launched Marvel and DC Comics creative legends. Charlton Comics: The Movie can be found online at www.charltonmovie.com, http://www.twitter.com/charltonmovie, www.facebook.com/charltonmovie, www.pinterest.com/charltonmovie, and www.instagram.com/charltonmovie.