November, 1981

Charlton was pretty much indisputably the cheapest comic book publisher around for most of its life. It’s page rates were bottom of the barrel, its paper stock was crumbly and often poorly trimmed, and its printing was rough and unattractive. Charlton published comics all the way through the mid-80s, largely to keep their in-house printing operation in work. 

But CHARLTON BULLSEYE was something of a new low. Titled after a Charlton fanzine published by Bob Layton in the 70s, BULLSEYE was a clearinghouse for new concepts by new creators. The only catch was, Charlton would print the work, but you wouldn’t get paid anything. As such, it was a mixed bag, with some issues and stories being horrendously crude. But there were some gems scattered throughout the 10-issue run, including this one.

The Vanguards was a creation of Larry Houston, who’d later go on to work in animation. The Vanguards were a team of intergalactic super-powered freedom fighters, all female. Obviously influenced by the X-Men in style, Houston crafted a pair of tremendously inviting stories (each one was a mere 10 pages in length, though sub-plots continued from one to the next in the style of Marvel’s split books of the 60s) that left readers wanting more. At least me, at any rate. It’s a sentimental favorite, even today

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