Comic Book Photographica and the first paparazzi Candid Charlie of Target Comics!
For the record, I do not collect comic books, and I do not own those shown above. For this post, I defer to the experts Steven Thompson and My Comic Shop, though in this case even they don't know too much. Both are linked below. Let's call this a query. Who the hell was B. Gordon Guth, the artist who conjured up "Candid Charlie" a red-headed kid with camera?
Every boy with a handheld is Candid Charlie now, but back when these came out, one had to lug it around their neck. I guess the stereotype of Japanese tourists snapping photos is finally retired too…now that we all take too many pictures with our cellphones. But back then, a shutterbug was nerdy and with thick glasses to go with his hobby.
By far the best place to find anything about Guth is Steven Thompson's blog Four Color Shadows. Mr. Thompson is the expert (truly) but even he seems stumped. He does reproduce an entire story HERE.
Candid Charlie appeared in Target Comics, sometimes as a cover model, and the rest of the time within. Some of the covers of Target are so cool they almost make me wish I collected them…but not all were done by B. Gordon Guth. In fact, it looks like once in a while (for "composite" covers) Candid Charlie was drawn by another artist…unless the ginger head bespeckled hero of B. Guth was a generic type. Note no camera on Charlie on the cover of "4 Most Comics" as he, or his look-a-like is hurled to the sand.
In one issue, a three-headed Charlie has to decide between a dame and his Brownie. Take the dame Charlie.
There is another Charlie looking dude slumped down after sniffing ether too, but it is drawn by Nina Albright. Nina was super cool. Check out this issue of Target with Kit Carter obfuscating the eyes of the bad guy with his sand wedge!
Another Guth cover shows a seemingly now grown-up Candid Charlie shooting a shark while the world's smallest one-man speedboat heads towards shore.
The census lists a B. Gordon Guth of the Bronx born 1910. I reckon that would be him.
As I said, I'm no comic historian, but Guth seems to have been hooked up with L. B. Cole, who I wrote about HERE and Art Helfant, like Nina both far better known.
Steven Thompson's fantastic comic book site Four Color Shadows is HERE
My Comic Shop (which has a few of these in stock) is HERE
Books and affordable ebooks by Jim Linderman are available HERE