Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Boys from Derby: "The Underground War" by Unknown

Dig it, Groove-ophiles! Sometimes The Boys from Derby are hard to determine. Lots worked under aliases, and a few were just guys who got lucky enough to sell a job or two. "A. Elias" or "A. Clias" (or even "alias"?) is one such B from D, with only two Charlton jobs identified and a signature that's hard to read, Still, he had a cool and unique style, so Ol' Groove thought you might get a kick out of "The Underground War" written by...hmm, here we go again. No writer's credits. Charlton, you'll always be a mystery to us! Anyway, Ol' Groove does know this tale was published in Space War #29 (February 1978)! Check it out!

(And don't forget to get down with all the new stuff coming out from Charlton-Neo! You'll thank Ol' Groove for reminding ya!)


  1. Yeah, that signature is hard to make out, and it doesn't help if you look at it for a long time. It's either A. Elias, as you said, or possibly A. Alias - the A possibly being an abbreviation for An, which would fit in with previous tongue-in-cheek Charlton credits (e.g. the letterer named "A. Machine").
    Also, am I silly for thinking it looks a bit like Tom Sutton's work?

    1. I was thinking it was Alex Nino.

    2. The second letter is definitely not an "a"...

      "Sergeant ROAK"... :-)

  2. I looked this guy up and even Ramon Schenk, a Charlton scholar with few peers didn't seem to know who he was. Based on the style of the drawing I'm very much put in mind of Jose Ortiz who did a lot of work for Warren, but I cannot be definitive.

    Rip Off

  3. I'm going out on a limb here, but after poking around the internet I found that the artwork looks similar, but not identical, to the Charlton artists Carlos Vila or Dick Piscopo.

    I won't mention the website that gave me the idea why I came up with these artists unless of course I get The Grove's approval, (it is his groovy and great blog so I must show my proper respect and not post other blog names without an OK from him first.)

    Leaving the mystery of the artist's name for one moment, some of the weaponry displayed which was considered science fiction in 1978 is practically common place today (Who knew Charlton could predict the future?) Soldiers infra red scopes, robot drones, both are not out of place in today's battlefield. Granted, the grenade that flies like a rocket and laser rifles are still the stuff of sci-fi dreams, but it wouldn't surprise me to see them become real someday.

    1. Sure you can mention other websites and blogs here, JMR! Lay it on us! :D

      And great point about Charlton's accurate crystal ball!

    2. Since I got the Big "A OK" from Groove, here is the post/blog -

      In the Carlos Vila story, titled "Snake Charmer" the title Snake Charmer and the platform the snake charmer is standing on both have the curvy detail lines that appear all through the story Underground War.
      In the story drawn by Dick Piscopo titled The Guardians, the faces of the males in the story seem similar to the faces drawn in Underground War.

      There are similarities between the drawings of Piscopo, Vila and the mysterious A. Alias but also differences too. Maybe Piscopo or Vila was trying out a different pen style, trying out a new technique, or maybe it was an as yet unknown artist trying to get their foot in the door of drawing comics and this was their first job.

      All in all, it was a very good tale, and a neat mystery to try to unravel so its twice as much fun.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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