31 December 2004
- Issue #121 of Comic Book Marketplace (April 2005), will feature an interview with Phantom artist Paul Ryan, in which he discusses his current involvement with the Team Fantomen. That edition of the magazine will be largely dedicated to the Phantom. Comic Book Marketplace is produced by Gemstone Publishing, PO Box 469, West Plains, Missouri, USA 65775-0469, ph. 417-256-2224. The magazine can be purchased from specialist comic stores. My thanks to the interviewer, John R Stuart for this news.
28 November 2004
- Today was a very special day for my wife Fiona and I ... our first baby was born at 1:45pm in Wollongong Hospital. His name is Alexander Lee Shedden. Fiona wouldn't let me get away with naming him "Kit" but was willing to accept "Lee" as his middle name, in tribute to Lee Falk of course. I don't think she's cottoned on to the "Diamond Cup" significance yet! What nobody suspected was that Alex would arrive 10 days early on a remarkably peculiar date: his birthdate is 28/11/04 while Lee Falk's is 28/04/11! The little blighter must have known! Click HERE to see some photos of little Alex, and click HERE to see what he really looks like (thanks to Paul McCall from his Photoshop creativity)! Here's all the vital stats:
- Weight: 3400g / 7lb 8oz
- Length: 51cm / 20"
- Head circumference: 32cm / 12.5" (= serious "ouch" factor for Fiona)
- Contractions: started 15hr before birth (not much sleep for us last night!)
- Pushing: the longest and most excrutiating 105 minutes of our lives
- No painkillers for Fiona!!! That's one very strong and brave woman I've got.
- And the new Dad got to cut Alex's cord!
7 November 2004
- On Monday of this week, Jay Kennedy (Editor-in-Chief, King Features Syndicate) announced the launch of DailyINK.com, the new on-line comics and puzzles subscription service from King Features Syndicate. Here's the blurb:
As of today, DailyINK.com will dramatically enhance the way comics fans read their favorite comics every day! It is the only destination where viewers can enjoy King Features' complete, up-to-date line-up of more than 100 comics, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games. In addition to current daily comic strips, DailyINK.com will regularly spotlight select content from King Features' vast vintage comic library, which dates back to the start of the 20th century and is not available anywhere else online. All that and more for only $15.00* a year! (*$3.00 service charge included.). Log onto www.DailyInk.com today to join. You'll enjoy discovering comic gems, new and old. Gift subscriptions also available in time for the holidays.
This service has been a very long time coming - I first heard they were exploring this idea in 1997! Having immediately signed up myself, I can report that the hi-res dailies and Sundays are excellent quality colour GIFs, each measuring 900 pixels in width, compared with 525 pixels from all other sources. An archive of recent strips is also available, covering the last half year (starts at 12 April 2004). As for the vintage strips, The Phantom is the main feature and they have started with Little Tommy (1937 dailies, D4, in black & white) and The Precious Cargo of Colonel Winn (1939 Sundays, S2, in colour). A new vintage daily strip is posted each day and a new Sunday page each week, so you can read the old stories at the same pace as when they were first published. Other vintage strips currently available are Krazy Kat, The Little King and Thimble Theater (Popeye), with more likely to be added as requests come in.
- Mallon Publishing have recently published The Phantom Diary 2005, with another great selection of rare and varied Phantom covers. This one features a new format with hard cover and spiro binding inside. Specification: 240mm x 190mm, 124 pages, full colour throughout. Publication: October 2004. RRP: Aus$24.95 inc GST. The Phantom Diary is now available from newsagents throughout Australia via NDD (Ph. 02 9353 9911), and retail outlets via Bookwise International (Ph. 08 8268 8222). You can also buy The Phantom Diary 2005 direct from the publisher by sending your name and address with a cheque or money order for Aus$24.95 plus postage and handling (Aus$5 within Australia, Aus$8 New Zealand, Aus$10 anywhere else), to Mallon Publishing, PO Box 375, Clifton Hill, VIC 3068, Australia.
31 October 2004
- Bad news for Brazilian Phantom Phans: The publisher Editora Ópera Graphica have not renewed their license to publish Phantom comics. They have ceased making Phantom comics, after irregularly issuing 14 different editions in several formats over the last three years (2 Fantasma Graphic Novel reprinting Moonstone stories; 2 Fantasma Magazine; 2 Fantasma Gold; 2 Fantasma Pocket; 1 Fantasma Coleção and 5 Fantasma Crônicas). Apparently there is another company negotiating with KFS for the publishing rights to The Phantom in Brazil but nothing has been settled yet. Thanks to Jean Carlos Covezzi for this news.
23 October 2004
- I've just returned from a business trip to England and Sweden, and the latter gave me the opportunity to finally visit the home of Fantomen. Brian Jensen (boss of the Fantomen Club), Andreas Eriksson and Magnus Eriksson from the Scandinavian Chapter took me under their wing with a tour of Stockholm including all the essential sights: the comics library, comic art gallery, and lots of comic stores! We were then joined by Bosse Engberg and Pierre Sund, and were treated to an exclusive tour of the Egmont office by none other than Ulf Granberg, chief editor of Fantomen. It was wonderful to look around the office, inspect lots of original artwork, see upcoming cover art and stories, and chat for hours with the man who has run Team Fantomen for over 30 years. We then headed to a local restaurant for dinner, where we were joined by legendary Fantomen artist Hans Lindahl. It was a truly memorable day! It even bettered my "other" longtime dream, which was also fulfilled on this trip: visiting Old Trafford to watch Manchester United play a Premier League match! My sincere thanks to Brian, Ulf, Hans & company for being such generous hosts.
- While I was away, the latest instalment in Moonstone's Phantom comic series (#4) was finally published. You can preview it at New@Moonstone. The next issue (#5) is due to be published in February 2005 with script by Rafael Nieves and art by Jerry Decaire. The teaser from Moonstone follows: "The Phantom jets to Chicago to help an old friend who is entombed in a bizarre catatonic stupor. A deposed African dictator who has begun a second life as a high-end drug dealer, seems to be the man behind this. As the Phantom steadies a bead on his assumed target, however, the shadowy hand of a CIA agent knocks him unsteady. What secrets must he keep dark from the Phantom's steely stare?"
- Moonstone are currently working on something "a little different and a whole lot special" ... a 48 page colour Phantom book consisting entirely of painted artwork by Doug Klauba with script by Joe Gentile! This is the first of it's kind and aims to look like a widescreen film. Doug has impressed all with his Phantom covers for Moonstone, and this book promises to be very special indeed. Stay tuned for this one!
- I've also finished the preview pages for the latest two issues of Frew and Fantomen.
29 August 2004
- Moonstone is scheduled to publish The Phantom: The Graham Nolan Sunday Vol.1 on 30 December 2004. This first of two trade paperbacks will collect for the first time the Graham Nolan Sunday Phantom comic strips. Four complete stories from 2002-2004 will appear in Volume 1: The War Mongers (S155), The Briefcase (S156), Terror in Mawitaan (S158), and The Sinbad Stone (S159). These were personally selected by Graham as the best of his Phantom work to date. The book will also sport a brand new cover by Graham Nolan, which is previewed on the right. Technical details: 112 pages, square bound, color, US$13.95, ISBN: 1-933076-02-X.
- Unfortunately, the release date of Moonstone's Phantom comic #4 has slipped out to the end of September.
3 August 2004
- The June 2004 (#37) issue of the Alter Ego magazine features an excellent 24 page article about Sy Barry, in which is talks about his work with DC Comics and filling in for his brother Dan Barry on the Flash Gordon strips. The issue also features a Phantom section of the story, with contributions from Ed Rhoades of Friends of the Phantom. The magazine can be purchased on-line from the publisher Two Morrows. Thanks to Bob Griffin for this news.
29 July 2004
- The latest issue of the American comic strip magazine Comics Revue features cover art by the former Flash Gordon artist, Jim Keefe, in which The Phantom teams up with Flash Gordon! This is a follow-up to his Phantom-Tarzan cover (see 1 February 2004 below). Thanks to Bob Griffin for this news.
3 July 2004
- DVD Toons reports that the movie version of the animated Phantom 2040 series will be released on Region 1 DVD on 21 September, with a retail price of US$14.98. Thanks to Rusty Rafferty for this news.
26 June 2004
- Alex Saviuk, the newest addition to Team Fantomen, has sent me a few samples of his Phantom artwork to share with users of the Deep Woods. These were pencilled samples that he prepared last year to show Ulf Granberg what he could do with the character. So here they are ... The Phantom with gun, The Phantom with Hero and Devil, Guran brings news to The Phantom.
18 June 2004
- Moonstone's Valley of the Golden Men graphic novel and Phantom #3 comic book hit the shelves simultaneously during the last week. Check out the previews here.
- Moonstone are making their first trip to the San Diego Comic-Con this year! Doug Klauba world-famous Phantom cover illustrator will be at the Moonstone booth for all 5 days, from July 21st to 25th. Ben Raab, world famous Phantom writer will be signing at the Moonstone booth on Saturday, July 24th from 1pm-4pm. If you're one of the lucky ones going to this legendary comic convention, make sure you pay a visit to the Moonstone booth! And Nick Derington will be there too!
- Egmont have added yet another American to Team Fantomen -- Alex Saviuk (Spider-Man, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Steel Man) is slated to draw part 3 of Phantom Year One, which is due to appear in Fantomen Nr.19/2004 in September. Check out a sample image of Alex's Phantom art at Adelaide Comics & Books. Those with long memories might remember that Alex has already worked on The Phantom ... 17 years ago he pencilled the four part Defenders of the Earth miniseries for Marvel.
- While you're at it, have a look at Paul Ryan's cover art for part 2 of Phantom Year One due to appear in Fantomen Nr.18/2004 (thanks once again to Adelaide Comics & Books).
5 June 2004
- Fantomen Nr.17/2004 on 12th August (and soon after in Frew) will be the first issue in a fascinating story arc called Phantom Year One. This aims to be a long running series of stories, delving into the life of the 21st Phantom from when he first took over from his father. Artist Paul Ryan talks about this new series of stories and reveals the first cover art on his website.
- Moonstone's 5th Phantom graphic novel, The Valley of the Golden Men and The Phantom #3 Curse of The Phantom (Part 1) will now arrive simultaneously on 9th June. I know it's been a long time coming with these issues, but the people at Moonstone appreciate your patience.
- Moonstone are making good progress on preparing the first of two trade paperbacks that will reprint the Phantom Sunday stories with Graham Nolan's art (ie. S153-S160). Click HERE to see a thumbnail sketch of Nolan's unapproved cover art.
- Here's a couple more previews of Jerry DeCaire's artwork for the upcoming Moonstone story Damnation Game: page 11, page 12.
- Check out 411 Mania for a preview of Moonstone's Phantom comic #3 which is due to arrive soon after the 5th graphic novel.
9 May 2004
- Moonstone have just gained permission from Hearst to reprint the Phantom Sunday stories with Graham Nolan's art (ie. S153-S160). They are planning to publish two large volumes with re-coloured art and commission Graham to do the covers too. Sounds awesome!
- Moonstone's 5th Phantom graphic novel, The Valley of the Golden Men, is running a little late and should now go on-sale about 28 May. The next in their Phantom comic series (#3 Curse of The Phantom Part 1) should hit the shelves about one or two weeks later.
- Tony De Paul has recovered enough from his motorcycle accident to return full time to writing the Phantom newspaper strips. The new daily story that started this week is a completely new story that is officially untitled. According to Tony, the closest thing to a title is The Locust -- a clue about a character that appears in the script, which is set at Walker's Table. The new Sunday story The Viking Castle is an adaptation of an Egmont story that first appeared in Fantomen Nr.7/1997 (reprinted in Frew #1172).
- The votes have now been counted for the Best Story 2003 in Fantomen and Fantomet. The winner by a country mile in both Sweden and Norway was My Darling Pirate by David Bishop and César Spadari (Fa 26/2003, Frew #1374). Their continuing tale of the female pirate Kate Sommerset this time told the story of her romance with the 17th Phantom soon after he swore the Oath of the Skull, and the birth of their illegitimate son! Another Kate Sommerset story, The Pirate Queen (Fa 8/2003, Frew #1354) also finished third in Norway. The tale is not over yet either as David Bishop has written two more stories about Kate Sommerset with a third on the way.
Second place in the Best Story poll went to the controversial story Giovanna by Ingebjørg Berg Holm and Dick Giordano. This story provoked some very heated debate on the Phantom Phorum!
Third place in Sweden was taken by the reprint of The Last Unicorn by Norman Worker and Kari Leppänen (Fa 9/1989, Frew #961), although the Crystal Skulls Mystery triology would certainly have finished higher if the votes had not been split between the three parts.
24 April 2004
- While we're waiting for Moonstone's 5th Phantom graphic novel to appear (The Valley of the Golden Men, 30 April 2004), here's a few more sneak previews of some more stories in the pipeline:
- The Phantom #3 due on 30 May will be Curse of The Phantom Part 1 by Ben Raab (script) and Nick Derington (art): page 5, page 10, page 11, cover.
- The Phantom #4 due on 30 July will be Curse of The Phantom Part 2 by Ben Raab (script) and Nick Derington (art): page 16, cover sketch, cover.
- The Aviatrix is a two-part story by Ben Raab (script) and Pat Quinn: page 1, page 2, page 3
- Damnation Game is a two-part story by Raphael Nieves (script) and Jerry DeCaire (art): splash page, page 1.
- Check out two more interviews with Ben Raab at 411 Mania and Broken Frontier. There's also an interview with Pat Quinn and an excellent Phantom retrospective and preview of The Phantom #1 at the 411.com website.
- The Phantom has made cameo appearances in two more two cartoons in Norwegian newspapers.
The first one is from Aftenposten. The cartoon features the Norwegian Prime Minister, Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, and the Norwegian Environmental Minister, Mr. Børge Brende (dressed as the Phantom). The title "Battlefield" is a reference to recent banning of nuclear waste dumping into the Irish Channel, which had treatened Norwegian fishing grounds. The Prime Minister is saying that he'd like to open a press conference with a small talk on the battle of Stamford Bridge (when Norwegian Vikings gained supremacy of the British Isles). The Environmental Minister is saying "How about a beer for once!" - implying that more serious celebrations might be in order.
The other cartoon is from VG. The Phantom is saying "Yes to Wolf!", which is a comment on the Norwegian debate about whether or not wolves should be allowed to roam wild in Norway. The Phantom's quote is actually a pun since in Norway, Devil is called "Ulv" which means "Wolf" in English, so another interpretation would be that he's saying "Yes to Devil" (thanks to Simon Treschow for pointing this out). You can even buy this cartoon as a print, t-shirt, jigsaw puzzle, mousemat, beer mug, or coffee mug -- click HERE for details.
My thanks to Jon Berger for both the news and his interpretation of the cartoons.
3 April 2004
- Silver Bullet Comics have recently interviewed Moonstone writer Ben Raab. The article provides some interesting insights to the differences between creating stories for Egmont versus Moonstone, and Ben's attitude towards Phantom Phandom. Read it here.
9 March 2004
- Moonstone's The Phantom #2 hit the streets today. Check out this page for a preview. The critics love it - check out these on-line reviews: Silver Bullet Comics, Broken Frontier, 411 Mania.
2 March 2004
- Aman King has created a Phantom computer game called Mr Walker's Last Mile as part of his computer studies at University. The game is a Text Adventure and does not feature any graphics -- this type of game would be familiar to those who grew up with computers in the mid 1980s. The player assumes the role of the Phantom and using basic text instructions, interacts with the game environment. The game is a lot of fun and I highly recommend it! Visit Aman's website to download the game.
- Unfortunately, Moonstone's The Phantom #2 is still delayed by the printer. While you're waiting, I have a few sneak previews to keep you entertained. First up, The Aviatrix is a two-part story written by Ben Raab with art in the works by Pat Quinn, due to be published later this year -- check these previews: page 1, page 2, page 3. But wait, there's more! Check out Doug Klauba's cover sketch for the cover of The Phantom #4 (subject to approval from KFS). Considering the good sales on the first comic in this new series, plus the excellent artwork previewed for future issues, the future is looking bright for Moonstone's Phantom comic.
20 February 2004
- Moonstone's The Phantom #2 was due for publication today but has been delayed by a problem with the printer. The conclusion to Ben Raab's Stones of Blood is now likely to be published by the end of February or early March. In the meantime, check out the following previews of Pat Quinn's artwork for the story: page 1, page 11, page 14, page 24, page 25.
15 February 2004
- Nick Derington is hard at work on Moonstone's The Phantom #3, which is scheduled for publication on 30 May. This is another two-part story called Curse of The Phantom by Ben Raab. Check out these exclusive previews of Nick's artwork: page 5, page 10, page 11.
- Due to a mix-up with the distributor, Frew #1376 was a week late arriving at newsagents. It went on sale Friday 13 Feb (instead of the scheduled 6 Feb).
1 February 2004
- The latest issue of the American comic strip magazine Comics Revue features cover art by the former Flash Gordon artist, Jim Keefe, in which The Phantom does battle with Tarzan! Also included is a story index that features Jim's entire Flash Gordon run. A must have for any Flash fan! Thanks to Bob Griffin for this news.
- Check out the Adelaide Comics & Books website for a couple of interviews with Fantomen artists Paul Ryan, Bob McLeod, and Don Perlin. Thanks to Thiago Rique for this news.
26 January 2004
- Moonstone's second Phantom issue in the new comic format is due to go on sale on 20th February. At the end of #1, the Phantom's entire family were apparently blown to pieces by a terrorist bombing of the Bangalla Capitol Building ... or where they? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion to Ben Raab's Stones of Blood. Check out this page and this page to preview the awesome artwork for #2 by Pat Quinn, where the Phantom survives yet another bomb blast (Will these terrorist never learn? You can't kill the Phantom!). John Cassaday's evocative cover artwork can be previewed here.
- Moonstone's The Phantom #3 is scheduled for publication on 30 May and will contain part 1 of Curse of The Phantom by Ben Raab and Nick Derington (click here for a preview of Nick's rendition of the Phantom). The superb cover art by Doug Klauba is shown above-right, and you can click on the image to preview a (slightly) larger version.
- In between these two comics, will be the latest in Moonstone's series of Phantom graphic novels. Book Five is due to go on sale on 30 April and will contain the story Valley of the Golden Men, by Tom De Falco (ex-Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics), Lou Manna (pencils), Art Nichols (inks) and Terry Pallot (inks). Writer Tom De Falco discusses his work for Moonstone in an interview posted here. The thrilling cover art by Joel Naprstek is shown on the right, and you can click on the image to preview a (slightly) larger version.
- Looking much further down the track, Moonstone are working on more Phantom stories for their comic book series, including a pair of two-parters, Damnation Game by Rafael Nieves and The Aviatrix by Ben Raab. Even more good times ahead!
- Peter Rodier has started his own MSN group dedicated to The Phantom. Check it out HERE.
13 January 2004
- The first issue in Moonstone's new comic format Phantom books hit the streets in December. You can preview the comic on this page.
7 January 2004
- Frode Øverli is not the only Norwegian artist to have lampooned The Phantom lately (see news for 7 September 2003). Mads Eriksen's comic strip in Dagbladet recently could well be the inspiration for a Modern Jungle Saying ... "Cartoonists who make fun of The Phantom will die a horrible death!" Click here to see the comic strip. Thanks to Peder J. Bjørkmann for sending the comic.