Frew in 2000: The Year in Review

Frew #1286
by Jim Shepherd
(this edition is the 1314th actually printed)

Release Date: 16 March 2001

  • Pages: 100
  • Price: $5.50 inc. GST
  • Cover: Jim Shepherd
  • Two pages of Phantom Forum in this issue
  • Behind the Scenes of The Astronaut and the Pirates - editorial by Jim Shepherd

Fantomen Nr.5/2001
by Rolf Gohs
22 Feb 2001

Fantomet Nr.5/2001
by Rolf Gohs
27 Feb 2001

  • The Thirsty Goddess
    • Script: Mats Jönsson
    • Art: Carlos Cruz
    • First published by Egmont, Scandinavia in Fantomen (Sweden) and Fantomet (Norway) Nr.5/2001. Original covers shown on the left, thanks to Brian Jensen and Kjell Steen.

  • Woduro's Secret
    • Script: Claes Reimerthi
    • Art: Graham Nolan
    • 153rd Sunday newspaper story; 6 Aug 2000 - 4 Mar 2001.
    • First Frew appearance.

  • The Astronaut and the Pirates
    • Script: Lee Falk
    • Art: Sy Barry
    • 61st Sunday newspaper story; 4 Nov 1962 - 12 May 1963.
    • Previous Frew appearances: #343, #499, #677, #900.

  • Message from the Publisher:
    An interesting mix of stories old and new for you in this edition! Backing the new Scandinavian creation, The Thirsty Goddess, with art by Carlos Cruz, is the recently completed Sunday adventure, Woduro's Secret illustrated by new Phantom artist Graham Nolan and the first complete presentation of Lee Falk's 1962-63 Sunday, The Astronaut and the Pirates with art by Sy Barry. The Astronaut and the Pirates was last published by Frew in Issue #900 in 1988, but on that occasion no less than 100 frames were modified (some only to a minor degree) and one frame was missing. The modifications actually date back to the original printing in 1967 when the story appeared in Frew #343 and in all subsequent printings. At long last, you can enjoy Astronaut as it originally appeared in Sunday newspapers and this time around, it is reproduced from fresh new art copies. Compare the story in this edition with the last printing and you will immediately see the difference in quality!
    New artist Nolan's rendering of The Phantom is interesting. Without attempting to copy the style of former artists such as Sy Barry, he has opted for a wide open treatment to ensure the strip benefits from the use of colour (which I am delighted to report is now the case in the re-vamped comics section of the Sydney Sunday Telegraph). I believe Nolan has succeeded in revitalising the Sunday newspaper adventures of The Phantom and expect him to go from strength to strength as he gains more experience with the mystique of The Ghost Who Walks.
    The other new story, The Thirsty Goddess (a rather strange title, I'll agree!) is written by Mats Johnsson and the script obviously presented a number of challenges to artist Carlos Cruz, not the least of which were the number of large panoramic scenes which required a lot of detailed inking. It's a great story, full of intrigue and contains lots of fascinating historical flashbacks.
    So - three stories, three different writers and three different artists! Three vastly different locations and the widest possible assortment of roughnecks!
    Back to the first complete presentation of The Astronaut and the Pirates. By our reckoning, we have at least 30 Lee Falk stories to be completely re-assembled in their original state. Work is well under way on ten of these and we should be able to publish several before the end of 2001.
    As mentioned recently, we are still scouring various Treasure Rooms for top quality repros of the Sunday stories, The Fire Goddess, The Beachcomber and The Saboteurs from the 1940-41 period and can now report we have managed to track down sizeable sections of all three adventures. With a little luck, we hope to completely piece them together later this year and we will publish them in a special issue to celebrate the end of all the detective work. The three stories are #3, #4 and #5 respectively in Lee's Sunday Phantom Chronology and it therefore makes sense to present them in a single edition.

Jim Shepherd

Future issues planned as of 16 March 2001 (subject to change without notice):

Check the New@Egmont page for details of other upcoming stories

My thanks to the staff of Frew Publications and Egmont Serieforlaget for providing this information.

More Frew stuff ...

Return to the Deep Woods

Bryan Shedden /
Last updated 29 March 2001