The Phantom:
A Publishing History in Denmark

by Simon Treschow

The Phantom is known as Fantomet in Denmark. Although neighbour to Sweden and Norway, where Phantom comics have been published continuously for over 50 years, Denmark has had a more chequered history of Phantom publications. Today Fantomet appears in only a few Danish newspapers. Yet over the years, The Phantom has appeared in hundreds of Danish comics.

The Phantom made his first Danish appearance in the weekly Skipper Skræk (Popeye) comics, published by Aller Press starting with the first issue in 1938 and ending when it was cancelled in 1963. The comic reprinted daily strips edited to fit one week in each issue, with stories serialised over several issues. Many other titles appeared in Skipper Skræk including Archie, Beetle Bailey, Big Ben Bolt, Tim Tyler's Luck, Flash Gordon, King of the Royal Mounted, Mandrake, Prince Valiant, The Lone Ranger, Rip Kirby and of course Popeye. The Phantom appeared on the cover Skipper Skræk on only two issues (Nr.1/1951 and Nr.10/1952), both of which are shown below.
Aller Press also published a weekly comic called Kong Kylie, and starting in 1948, The Phantom Sunday strips were included in full colour. The Phantom appeared in every issue until the title was cancelled in 1954. Other titles included in Kong Kylie were Barney Baxter, Dickie Dare, Dick Tracy, Hopalong Cassidy, Terry and the Pirates, The Little King, Snuffy Smith, Steve Canyon, The Little King and Tintin.
After the cancellation of Skipper Skræk in 1963, the daily strips were continued in the comics supplement of the weekly women's magazine Ude & Hjemme until 1977.
Aller Press published The Phantom stories in a comic called Fantom-Hefte from 1952 to 1954. There were 23 issues in the series but only 14 contained The Phantom. Other titles that appeared in Fantom-Hefte were Prince Valiant, Rip Kirby, Mandrake the Magician, King of the Royal Mounted, Blondie, Steve Canyon and Flash Gordon.
In 1971, Interpresse released a monthly Fantomet comic book, which was an edited version of Sweden's Fantomen. The magazine switched to fortnightly publication in 1978, but returned to monthly in 1984 until the last issue was published in 1994. A total of 358 editions of Fantomet were published by Interpresse, and the first issue is shown on the left. The Danish Fantomet is easily distinguished from the Norwegian Fantomet by the issue numbering -- in Denmark Fantomet was numbered consecutively from #1 to #358, whereas in Norway (and Sweden) they start every new year with #1. The title logo of Danish Fantomet is also quite different to Norwegian Fantomet.
Interpresse a/s was founded in 1954. From 1973 Interpresse was half-owned by Bonnier Semic International from Sweden, and in 1986 Bonnier took full control. In 1991 the name was changed to Semic Interpresse.
In 1972, Interpresse published a Fantomet Super Album. The book was quite large, containing 144 pages and measuring 225mm x 305mm. It included five Wilson McCoy stories, with a mixture of both black & white and colour. The stories were The Childhood of The Phantom (S53), The Frame Up (S49), The Belt (S37), Conley's Good Mark (S52), and The Toad Men (D48).
Between 1972 and 1985, Interpresse irregularly published a total of thirteen pocket books with Wilson McCoy stories. Each book was in black & white and measured 125mm x 175mm. The first edition is shown on the left.
Between 1984 and 1987, Borgen & Bogfabrikken published three albums with classic McCoy Sundays. Panels were unedited and were coloured in Scandinavia (read Sweden). Each album was 220mm x 295mm. Album 1 (shown on the left) contained The Thuggees (S24), The Ape Idol of The Durugu (S25), The Mysterious Passenger (S26) and Jungle King (S27). Album 2 contained The Phantom's Ring (S28) and The Rope People (S29). Album 3 contained The 'Copter Pirates (S31), The Female Phantom (S32) and Diana and The Bank Robbers (S33).
Interpresse started publishing Fantomet Solo in 1986. The first issue contained only Mandrake The Magician. The second issue had 100 pages and contained Det Tredie Fantom's Krønike (Chronicle of The Third Phantom). The magazine continued as Fantomet's Krøniker (Chronicles of The Phantoms) until 1987, each edition featuring the adventures of one Phantom generation. This was the first ever attempt at such a compilation, preceding Norway's still-running Fantomet's Krønike (The Phantom's Chronicle) which started in 1989.
With the demise of the regular Fantomet magazine in 1994, Semic Interpresse briefly replaced it with Fantomet Krønike (The Phantom Chronicle). The magazine was published for a few years from 1994 to 1997, and at least 15 issues were released.
In 1997 Semic Interpresse was bought out by Egmont. Four years after the end of Semic Interpresse's Fantomet, Egmont reintroduced the monthly comic book in 1998. Egmont continued the numbering from Semic Interpresse with the first issue - in colour - starting at #359. The publication was brief and stopped in 1999 after only one year and 11 editions. The last issue (#369) is shown on the left.
In 2001, Egmont published a beautiful hardcover album containing four classic Sy Barry Sundays: Treasure of the Skull Cave (S60), The Astronaut and The Pirates (S61), Old Baldy (S62) and The Giant Bird of Gandor (S63). Panels were unedited and had Scandinavian colouring. A preface was written by Ulf Granberg. The book was 220mm x 290mm.


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Last Updated 14 June 2003