Monday, May 26, 2008

The Flintstones - 1972

sgThis book is the one I most excited about finding, and the main reason I put together a week of new posts.

This humble, no-frills edition of Flintstones comics came from Charlton Comics, part of a line of digests published in 1972.

But these editions were not sold on newsstands; no, they were done as educational books, and list "Xerox Education Publications" as a co-conspirator.

Even though these books are nothing special, they are nearly impossible to find, and expensive when you do (unless the particular eBay seller doesn't really know what it is they're selling).

This copy is the only one I've ever seen, so when I saw it for sale I made damn sure I got my hands on it.

It's hard even finding a list of what digests there are. Luckily, DigestFan Craig Wichman put me in touch with Michael Ambrose, Charlton Comics expert and publisher of the Charlton fanzine
Charlton Spotlight, who was able to give me the lowdown on these odd little books:

"I don't have the definitive picture on the digest books Charlton put out, just a list of what I've acquired and what I've seen.

They seem like really odd birds. All are 5.25 inches by 8 inches, softbound, color covers, black and white interiors. Most of them collect Hanna-Barbera material, though there are some exceptions. I've no idea what the "Xerox Education Publishers Book Club" was, though I suspect it was another in the long line of promotional deals that Charlton made in its long history.

Nor do I have any dope on Pendulum Press, though I suspect another promo connection there. Charlton had a paperback book division in the late 50s and early 60s (Monarch Books, lots of soft porno sleaze and militaria) and there may have been a later connection with various paperback publishers, including Pendulum.

I don't know how any of these were distributed, either. Lots of territory to be discovered here!

Here's the list:

Charlton Digest Books

Format: 5.25" x 8", 64 pp unless noted
Publisher: Xerox Education Pubs, Book Club Ed. unless noted

Barney & Betty - 1974
CB Jokes - 1977
- 1974
Doctor Graves' Magic Book
- 1977
Doctor Graves’ Haunted Puzzlers
- 1978
- 1972
The Jetsons
- 1973
Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm
- 1973
Road Runner
- 1971, Pendulum Press
Space: 1999
- [nd; late '70s] Charlton Press, Inc. on spine, 46 pp, Gray Morrow spots w/ text, 5 stories
Yogi Bear
- 1972

You'll note the few exceptions to the Xerox Book Club H-B material, the Road Runner book and the Space: 1999 book. As I say, there may be others. Maybe your blog readers can contribute to the hunt."

I hope so, Mike! Part of the reason I think these are so hard to find (besides being fairly dull, presentation-wise) is their maddeningly generic titles.

Right this second, someone on eBay might be selling the Charlton Yogi Bear digest, but do you want to wade through a couple hundred auction listings to see? No, I thought not.

But I intend to keep looking, because I'm that obsessive. And who knows? Maybe I'll discover something that will add to the diverse and peculiar history of Charlton Comics...


escapefrmla said...

I want take the time and thank you for these awesome different bloggs you have done. I have them all booked mark lol. Yes I love this cover more so how high Fred's elbow is on his right arm lol. See it was just that more fun then. It was funny you had a good time and enjoyed it.

Wich2 said...

Sorry to be late catching up...

Nicely covered, Rob!

Guys, both the Charlton Yahoo List, and Mike Ambrose's SPOTLIGHT, are very worth your time if your vintage comics interests extend beyond DC & Marvel.

-Craig W.

Jay Amabile said...

Flintstones, Jetsons, and Pebbles and Bam Bam! Wow. Did these reveal any info that wasn't revealed in the tv shows?

Defiant1 said...


Click the URL to see my list on the Charlton digests so far. I've slowed down on buying. Some of them I'm still missing. It appears that most were sold through schools and perhaps many printings exist between the early 70's and early 80's. Obviously Charlton was not publishing them in the late 70's & 80's so that is probably why Ottenheimer was publishing some.

ramapith said...

I've got a copy of Road Runner with the Xerox imprint. I've also got a Bugs Bunny of the same make, evidently a title you didn't have down before.
I've not seen the H-B titles so can't say anything about them, but the Road Runner and Bugs Bunny create their three-panel strips by simply mixing and matching panels from existing Western Publishing (Dell/Gold Key) Looney Tunes comics, knocking out the voice balloons, and putting new typeset dialogue in their place.

ramapith said...

Ooops, hadn't seen Jay Amabile's comment before me. Obviously he discovered the Bugs title before I did... never mind.
At least maybe my info on the source material will be helpful.

Dawn said...

I found The Jetsons, Barney and Betty and Bugs Bunny at a garage sale for .10 each. So glad I found your post. Have any idea what they are worth?

jeremygloff said...

I am collecting these too. Seems no one has listed the Flintstones Book Of Laughs from 1978?? :)

Joan Westphal said...

I happen to have a copy of The Flintstones Xerox Education Publications Book Club Edition Copyright 1972. (Fred flying a kite on the cover) Thanks for your comments and input, Rob.

Anonymous said...

We have the Road Runner book 1971. wondering what someone would pay for it. make offer if want it.

Anonymous said...

we also have some other books like this. utterly mad by William gains
Looking good beetle gaily by mort walker
Mads daveberg looks at people by Dave berg
The wizard of I'd #7 by Johnny hart and Brant Parker
Hagar the horrible #4 the British are coming by dirk browne

jim kosmicki said...

XeroX Education Publications was the owner of the Weekly Reader and thus the Weekly Reader Book Club that competed with Troll and Scholastic in selling books to kids in the classroom through small newsprint catalogs about once a month.

Xerox owned at least one textbook publisher through the mid-80's, so they were pretty well integrated into the education system.