The character of Ch’p, the Green Lantern from the planet H’lven, first appeared in an untitled Tales of the Green Lantern Corps back-up story in Green Lantern #148 (January 1982). Ch’p wasn’t supposed to be a joke, contrary to the eventual fate of the character at the hands of the clueless. He was supposed to a badass chipmunk with a power ring that he ain’t afraid to use. The script was assigned to Don Newton and Don drew Ch’p as a squirrel instead of a chipmunk—a change with which I had no problem because I had loved Don Newton’s artwork for more than a decade before he drew this story and would have been happy with any rodent after which he chose to model Ch’p. The story was beautifully inked by one of Don’s best embellishers, Dan Adkins.

A couple of years later, I wrote a second Ch’p TOTGLC back-up story for Green Lantern #182 (October 1984), this one titled “One Night In a Bar on Lawrel-Hardee XI.” Editor Len Wein wisely assigned this one to Don as well. For the inking, he let Don have a party and do the complete job himself. Don didn’t get to do very many pencil-and-ink jobs at DC Comics, so when this one came along he really went to town in a six-page set-piece that puts the Stars Wars cantina scene to shame!

I just came across full-size Xeroxes of the story, a rare opportunity to check out Don Newton’s stunning art in black and white and without the bad 1980s printing. Enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 Comments on Don Newton…In Glorious Black & White

  1. Barry Keller says:

    Paul, I own two of these pages and they some of my favorite pieces. This is the only time Don inked his pencils at DC, and they are so special. When Dick Giordano said good bye to Don in the pages of DC comics he said this, “Don was a true professional. He made his deadlines, was completely absorbed in his work, never complained or made excuses, and didn’t spend a lot of time on the phone either to the office or to his fellow professionals. When he had to, he phoned. Otherwise, he preferred to spend his time drawing. To my mind, Don’s final statement was the Green Lantern Corps story he penciled and inked that appeared in Green Lantern #181. he showed us how to do it right.”

  2. […] at least we’ve still got Don’s original take on him (scans of Xeroxes of Don’s story for #182 are posted here), and I also worked him into 1985’s Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 so he could be […]

  3. […] line of silly super pets like Krypto, Streaky, Beppo, or Ace the Bat-Hound. However, according to Paul Kupperberg's blog, "Ch’p wasn’t supposed to be a joke… He was supposed to a badass chipmunk with a […]

  4. C.K. Dexter Hqven says:

    Paul, I wanted ro let you know that this (soon-to-be-50-year-old) fan cherishes your story in not only rhis book, but especially in DC Comics Presents #54. That comic is important to me for it being the only(?) occasion the late, great, (and seemingly-forgotten) Don Newton drew a Superman story—as opposed to just the cover—but also because your script conveyed an “end-of-world” atmosphere that has kept me returning to that comic numerous times over the nearly 40 years since it was published. You did a magnificent job capturing Superman and Green Arrow’s personalities, too. I often wonder if you and your fellow comic creators realize how much your work shaped your readers’ childhoods—and I mean that in the most positive way; I said as much to Jim Shooter when I met him at my one and only convention in 2015. I cannot thank you enough for your efforts.

    • Thanks! It was always a thrill to have one of scripts drawn by Don. He was the best! And I do understand my part in the childhoods of a lot of readers… the generation of creators I grew up reading had the exact same effect on me when I was a kid.

Leave a Reply