WaybackWay back in 1975, I made my first professional comic book sale to editor Nick Cuti at Charlton Comics. It was a one-off five-page sword & sorcery story entitled “Distress.” The story appeared in Scary Tales #3 (December 1975) and was drawn by a fellow newbie, Mike Zeck. 

“Hanging Offense” was the second story of mine to see print, in Creepy Things #5 (April 1976). Like “Distress,” “Hanging Offense” was one of those Comics Code mandated morality tales with a Twilight Zone-like “twist” ending, the villain hoisted on his own petard by the last panel, cue the horror host with his wrap-up and (chuckle!) parting pun. “Oh, my lord!” “Gasp!”

“Hanging Offense” was the issues cover featured story, nicely done by Rich Larson. The story itself was drawn by Jose Recreo, an artist from Spain, where, I guess, women traditionally go looking for their missing boyfriends in cocktail dresses and heels…









Note: The comic was laid square on the scanner bed, but in typical Charlton Comics fashion had been printed off-kilter. Bad printing on ancient presses that led to colors being off-register and any other sin of the old printing process you can imagine was practically the company’s trademark.

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