Thursday, March 18, 2021

Remembering Judomaster creator Frank McLaughlin

Remembering artist/writer Frank McLaughlin (March 18, 1935 - March 4, 2020), who is likely better known as an artist for the comic strips Gil Thorp, Brenda Star Reporter and The Heart of Juliet Jones, as well as inking many issues of the Justice League of America (including team ups with Black Lightning, the JSA and Ultraa) and the Flash (with Jay Garrick and Big Sir).

Frank was the creator/artist and writer of Judomaster for Charlton comics in the 1960s.  Judomaster was Hadley "Rip" Jagger, a sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II, who learned judo and karate after rescuing the daughter of Pacific island chief.  Judomaster premiered in Special War Series #4 (November, 1965), and had his own title, lasting ten issues (numbered 89 to 98, because of Charlton's habit of picking up numbering from other series), from June 1966 to December 1967.  

Judomaster picked up a sidekick in a youth named Tiger, and faced foes like sumo Mountain Storm, martial artist the Acrobat, swordsman the Cat and schemer the Smiling Skull.

Judomaster 89 and 90 (May/June and August 1966)

Judomaster 91 and 92 (October and December 1966)

Judomaster 93 and 94 (February and April 1967)

Judomaster 95 and 96 (June and August 1967)

Judomaster 97 and 98 (October and December 1967)


  1. Can't believe its is over a year since we lost him. I have 2 pre-done originals from him. We chatted by email. He came across as the nicest guy.

  2. For those interested, I interviewed the great Frank McLaughlin in the summer of 20125, and most of the interview is about Frank's greatest creation of all -- namely, Charlton Comics' JUDOMASTER. Here is the link to this interview, and with lots of graphics, too! Frank talks a lot about Judomaster and those halcyon days at Charlton Comics right here! Click the link!

  3. If the link doesn't work, simply cut and paste it in to an internet browser. You'll be darn glad you did!

  4. The interview with Frank McLaughlin was done by myself, Phil Latter.

  5. Counting 'Special War Series' # 4, Judomaster appeared in eleven Charlton issues; Special War Series # 4 was Judomaster's very first appearance anywhere, ever. -- Phil Latter