Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Don Newton: gone too soon

Don Newton was an artist I admired in the '70s. He went from fanzines to Charlton Comics, and did some amazing work there, despite being nearly sabotaged by Charlton's crappy printing.

In an era when artists were either pencilers or inkers, Newton had skill at both. I'm showing this issue of THE PHANTOM, drawn by Newton in 1976, as an example of what I liked about his work, pencils and inks. The splash page is a classic image of The Phantom. Newton painted the covers of his PHANTOM issues during his time at Charlton.

Newton went on to Marvel Comics and then DC. He was 49 in 1984, had throat cancer, which led to a stroke and then a massive heart attack. Don Newton's early death robbed us of a major talent who should have been amazing us for decades to come.

THE PHANTOM #71, July 1976. Copyright © 1976 King Features Syndicate


  1. Don Newton transformed my understanding of The Phantom. He showed me areas of mystery where I'd only seen an action hero before.

    Actually on The Phantom, I think in Newton's case the muddy printing gives it a soft effect that sharper printing might've damaged. The fuzziness of the vintage Charlton look adds a bit here. Or maybe that's just nostalgia talking.

    Rip Off

  2. HGE: I have only recently become aware of Newton's work on the Phantom, and the more I see the more I realize how much I have missed over the years (Phantom is one of my favorite comic book characters). I know the Phantom largely from the Gold Key comics, where Bill Lignante did some great work. But Newton quickly has become my favorite.

    Every time I see a Newton Phantom done for Charlton; I have a real moment of hating Charlton in a brief flash for their crummy, lousy, cheap, inexcusably poor standard of quality in printing.

    There is simply something in Newton's work for that company, though, that perfectly captures the Man That Sat on the Stone Throne of Skulls! Great post. -- Mykal


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