Dearly Departed, by Charles Nicholas (Ghost Tales #139)

Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski (several sources say Wojtowski) is most likely the actual creator of superhero 'Blue Beetle', although this is often credited to Charles Nicholas Cuidera. He created the character when he was 18-19 years old, but was forced to sell the rights to 'Blue Beetle' to support his family shortly before going into service in World War II. Working at the Iger Studio in the early 1940s, Charles Wojtkoski did several features for Timely/Atlas, Fiction House, Quality, National and Fox Comics.

Purkey Smith, by Nicholas Alascia (Outlaws of the West)

Later on, he began a long collaboration with Vince Alascia over at Charlton. With Alascia, he produced dozens of crime, suspense, mystery, SF, war, western and romance titles between 1953 and 1976. They often used the joint pen name Nicholas Alascia. During his time at Charlton, Nicholas also worked with Sal Trapani, Dick Giordano and Joe Gill. Nicholas then returned to freelancing, and contributed to the humor magazine Cracked. He also did the 'Incredible Hulk' newspaper strip and illustrations for the first 'Transformers' hardcover kid's books and coloring books.

from Ghost Manor, by Nicholas Alascia

Wojtkoski was one of the three artists that used the pen name Charles Nicholas. The determination who is the actual creator of 'Blue Beetle' has led to several discussions among comic historians throughout the years. Several sources credit Chuck Cuidera, who also went under the name Charles Nicholas, as the character's creator, since he did art on several of the early stories. Cuidera claimed in a panel at the 1999 San Diego ComicCon to be its creator. However, in an e-mail sent to Lambiek, Wojtkoski's nephew says otherwise:

My late mother, Anne DeGiuseppe (nee Wojtkoski) told me on many occasions (as early as the 1960s when I was a teenager) as to how she helped my late uncle select the name ('Blue Beetle') as they searched for the right combination of words. She also told me how her parents decided in the late 1930s to sell the rights to the character to raise money.

Now you may decide not to believe me as to my late Uncle's creation of the Blue Beetle character, but as a practicing attorney of more than 30 years I can certify under penalty of perjury that Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski was the creator of the Blue Beetle character and that Chuck Cuidera, although apparently a renown cartoonist himself, was the beneficiary of my grandparents decision to sell the rights to the character and is wrongly (if not falsely) being given credit for the creation of the Blue Beetle character. In other words, Chuck Cuidera was the beneficiary of the purchase of the Blue Beetle character name and rights to use the pen name Charles Nicholas.

To further demonstrate the veracity of my claim, isn't it apparent that since my uncle's first and middle name were Charles Nicholas (he would later legally use his middle name as his family's last name), that he is the original Charles Nicholas. Why would Chuck Cuidera call himself Charles Nicholas, other than the fact that he purchased the rights to use that name?

Finally, I had the occasion some years ago to meet Michael Uslan, the Executive Producer of the Batman movies, when we both lived in Cedar Grove, NJ, who confirmed that he knew of my late uncle and was able to provide me with biographical information on his careers which information referred to his real name, Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski, and credited him with the creation of the Blue Beetle.

Joe DeGiuseppe

Purkey Smith, by Nicholas Alascia (Outlaws of the West)

The Sorceress of Gallows Hill, by Nicholas Alascia

Series and books by Charles Nicholas you can order today:


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