16th December 1999
- Andrew Gibki has written to tell me about his new web-site called The Phantom's World. He's done a great job of putting this site together and I know you'll enjoy it. Check it out!
- The Phantom Zone web-site is now up and running. There is already a dedicated Phantom page with a wide range of Phantom merchandise available for purchase.
- Comics Revue #166 will be a special Phantom issue, with a Phantom cover. In addition to the latest few weeks of the daily strip, this issue will feature the first chapter of Prisoner of the Himalayas by Falk and Moore, along with a short biography of Lee Falk by Todd Goldberg, and a complete check-list of daily and Sunday stories. Contact Rick Norwood for details.
4th November 1999
- I can now confirm that Egmont have been contracted to provide scripts to KFS for the daily and Sunday Phantom strips for the foreseeable future. They have submitted two daily stories and one Sunday adventure so far. I'm not sure yet if the Sunday story is the currently running The Wharf Rats, or the one to follow.
- The Ghost Wall (D196) was written by Tony De Paul, and is the only daily story to have finished mid-week. The story was intended to form part of Egmont's publishing schedule, but was subsequently selected for use in the daily strip. Publication of the original version, with art by Joan Boix will appear in Fantomen (Sweden) and Fantomet (Norway) Nr.25/1999 on 2 Dec and 7 Dec, respectively.
- The Halloween Gang (D197), which started in the dailies on 21 Oct, was written by Claes Reimerthi. The story was intended to form part of Egmont's publishing schedule, but was subsequently selected for use in the daily strip. Publication of the original Swedish version, with art by Hans Lindahl appeared in Fantomen Nr.22/1999 on 21 Oct ... by coincidence (or design) the same day the daily commenced! The original Norwegian version was published a few days later in Fantomet Nr.22/1999 on 27 Oct.
- My sincere thanks to Ulf Granberg, Claes Reimerthi, and Kjell Steen for their willingness to discuss these developments.
21st October 1999
- Brian Jensen has informed me that the Phantom daily story new adventure started today. The writer of this story is without a doubt Claes Reimerthi. Proof? Today's strip is exactly the same as the one just published in the most recent Fantomen comic (Nr.22/1999). The story is a 34 pager entitled The Halloween Gang. The writer is Claes Reimerthi and the artist in the Swedish version was Hans Lindahl. Thanks for the tip Brian!
7th October 1999
- Frew Publications have a new price structure for subscriptions to their Phantom comic. Look here for details.
26th September 1999
- We're back from our holiday in New Zealand, and I've updated the New@Frew page. There have been two new issues while I've been away, so don't forget to check the Previous Issue page. Now to tackle the mountain of email awaiting me!
9th September 1999
- Frew Publications turn 51 years today!
- Fiona and I will be holidaying in New Zealand for the next two weeks, and I will be unable to answer any correspondence until we return. Until then ...
28th August 1999
- The Phantom Diary is back again! Mallon Publishing have favourably responded to the many loyal fans who demanded its return. The 2000 diary features a quiz with the prize being the first three limited edition prints from 99.94 Editions. All you need do to enter is send your answers to the 12 questions printed throughout the diary. There's a few tricky questions to keep you on your toes! The 2000 diary is available from most Australian newsagencies and retails for Aus$19.95.
26th August 1999
- Pacific Comics Club have just released two new Phantom reprint books. The books reprint The Shark's Nest from 25/7/38 to 5/11/38, and The Golden Circle from 25/9/39 to 20/1/40. Each volume sells for US$9.50 but are only available for purchase in the US. Check the Pacific Comics Club web-site for details.
- Cats Comics from Geelong, Victoria, Australia currently have an enormous range of Frew Phantom comics in stock. You can buy almost everything from #2 for Aus$2500 to current issues for cover price. But be prepared for some expense -- prices for the older comics (under #500) are typically at least double those of Comic Quest. Click HERE to go directly to the Phantom stock list.
- And speaking of Comic Quest, the proprietor Colin Williams, has finally decided that it is time for someone else to own his complete collection of Frew Phantom comics. A complete set of over 1200 high grade Frew Phantom comics!!! I recall that Jim Shepherd recently wrote that a complete set would be worth about Aus$50,000!!! If you have a genuine interest (and I mean genuine -- no sticky beaks!), in negotiating an offer for Colin's collection, please contact him by phone/fax on 03-9557-3405 (international +61-3-9557-3405), or by mail to PO Box 1500, Moorabbin VIC 3189, Australia.
7th August 1999
- The San Jose Mercury News have changed their comics server. You can now read the The Phantom daily strips in colour using this link. Alternately, you can access the GIF file only for any date from the previous 12 months, using this link -- just change the "08_07" to whatever month_day you want.
- Fred Fredericks tipped his cap to Frew Publications in the July 31 daily strip for Mandrake the Magician. Notice that Derek, Mandrake's twin brother, is reading a Frew Phantom comic!
8th July 1999
- The fourth print from 99.94 Editions was finally released about a week ago. It's an absolutely stunning painting of young Kit Walker, heir to the Phantom dynasty, by the well-known Archibald finalist Paul Newton. Click HERE for a preview.
26th June 1999
20th June 1999
- An Italian translation of my Lee Falk biography is now available on Stefano Bartoletti's web-site.
- Stephen Baggs is currently organising a Phantom Story Project with the results being published on his web-site and posted to Mr Walker's Mailing List. Check out the attempts of budding writers to create their own serialised Phantom story.
5th June 1999
- Sunday Funnies have produced three different limited edition cels featuring Phantom strip artwork. There are two 10 1/2" x 12 1/2" cels limited to 125 for US$325 each, and one 14 1/2" x 16 1/2" cel limited to 250 for US$450 each. Incredibly pricey items!!!
29th May 1999
- Bradley Barreau has extensively renovated the Excelsior Hotel in South Australia, totally around The Phantom. The pub is located at 110 Coglin Street, Brompton 5007, ph. 08 8346 2521, fax 08 8346 6425.
- Someone at the Baileys of Glenrowan winery in Northern Victoria, Australia, must be a Phantom phan. They have recently produced a series of wines under the title Phantom's Lake. The label reads: "When night falls on Phantom's Lake, legend has it that the haunting spectre of a lone man leading his horse can sometimes be seen amid a shimmering graveyard of ghostly grey gums. No one is certain of who he is, or why he might be there. Like the lake itself, his eerie presence remains shrouded in both mist and mystery." The label of the 1995 Cabernet Shiraz is shown HERE, and a Chardonnay is also available. The wines sell for around $11.95 per bottle at selected wine cellars.
3rd May 1999
- The Marvel Universe web-site has a special feature article detailing Marvel's foray into The Phantom. Thanks to Jonas Vesterlund for the tip.
13th April 1999
- The April 1999 edition (Vol.1 No.9) of Australian Collectorholics Magazine has a four page colour article on The Phantom written by Dietmar Lederwasch. The article briefly describes the activities of all 21 Phantom generations, and gives an introduction to the series of prints Dietmar is producing. There is also a competition on page 14; the prize is Sy Barry's print of the Sixth Phantom.
- The April 1999 issue (No.46) of Collectormania trading paper has a front page feature article Phantom Creator Dies and also an article on collecting Phantom comics (page 18).
8th April 1999
- The May 1999 edition of Ralph Magazine has a 6-page feature on The Phantom by editor Mark Dapin. Check out page 83 for an interview of a bloke named Dr Bryan Shedden.
- On Tuesday 6th April, I received the first of my complimentary subscription to Frew's The Phantom. Good news for you ... I will now be able to post a preview of the latest issue, roughly one week in advance of the shelf appearance. My heartfelt thanks to Jim and Judith Shepherd!!!
- All this good news is perfectly timed ... today's my birthday!
28th March 1999
- The Phantom's Vault has several very interesting new products in the pipeline.
For further details contact Rene White, The Phantom's Vault, PO Box 2206, Clovelly NSW 2031, Australia, Ph. (0414) 460 901, Fax. (02) 9398 1823.
- Two new limited edition prints by Glenn Ford will soon be available. One is reproduced from the cover of the 1999 Frew Annual Special (#1219) featuring the Sydney skyline (840mm x 600mm, Aus$75). The other is reproduced from the cover of Frew's 50th Anniversary Special (#1209) showing The Phantom's fist with rays of light radiating from the skull ring (420mm x 300mm, Aus$50). These are in addition to the prints already available by Graham Nolan, Simon Parkes, Dean Ormston, and Glenn Ford (Aus$25 each).
- Two different statuettes are in production. A preview of the first statuette of the first Phantom can be found on The Comic Art Gallery web-site. The second statuette will be of The Phantom sitting on the edge of the Skull Throne. Both will be limited to 200 hand painted editions (Aus$350), and there will also be 25 bronze versions of the first Phantom (Aus$850). These should be ready for shipment in about a month from now.
- A Windows Theme package for your PC is in development. This will include a screensaver, desktop wallpaper, icons, cursor, etc ... all in The Phantom theme. Still sometime away from release, this will be a very nice product.
- A complete set of all 556 Phantom comics from Feature Publications in New Zealand ... on CD-ROM. The plan is to provide 50 comics per CD (11 CDs in total), complete with the cover artwork and all the pages inside. This will be a wonderful opportunity to gain access to one of only three known complete sets of these comics, and to read a wide range of classic Lee Falk stories, many in unedited form. Approval for the project has been granted by KFS, but The Phantom's Vault have a lot of work ahead of them to scan all those comics!
- A new Swedish web-site by Gustaf Lööv.
24th March 1999
- The Comic Art Gallery in Armadale, VIC, Australia (suburb of Melbourne), is holding a special exhibition of Phantom artwork and collectibles. The exhibition opened on 20 March, with Glenn Ford making a guest appearance on both days of the weekend. The vast majority of the items on display are actually of Glenn Ford's creation (original Frew cover artwork, original pages from his only Phantom story The Search for Byron, original acrylic paintings), and most are also on sale at incredibly high prices (Aus$1500+ for an original cover!!!). They are also selling limited edition statuettes that show the First Phantom standing in triumph over the body of a leopard -- apparently a new product from The Phantom's Vault. Details of the items available for purchase can be found on their web-site.
15th March 1999
- Sad news for all Phantom phans ... Lee Falk died of congestive heart failure on the morning of 13 March at 4:30am, six weeks before reaching his 87th birthday (?). Lee continued to script both The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician right up until his last days. He was literally the last, active comic strip creator whose work survives from the 1930s into the 1990s. It can truly be said that Lee's accomplishments equal those of the classic characters he created. He will be sorely missed ... but fondly remembered for the wonderful legacy of adventure stories he has left us.
28th February 1999
- Another Australian Phantom web-site to add to the list ... this one is by Dean Carroll.
- The Comic Art Gallery at Armadale, Victoria, Australia, will be showing an exhibition of original Phantom artwork from 20th March to 4th April 1999. Most of it comes from Glenn Ford, and he will be offering for sale his original front and back Frew covers, original acrylic paintings, scultures, lithographs, etc. Check out the The Comic Art Gallery web-site for more details.
8th February 1999
- Bob Jenson, creator of the two Phantom wallpaper images available HERE, has just finished a new computer-rendered design. It's a real beaut! Check it out on Bob's website.
22nd January 1999
- Phans of the work of Don Newton, artist of six Phantom comics by Charlton, will be pleased to see the new web-site by Barry Keller. Barry has taken the task of chronicling the comic book contributions of Don Newton seriously, and has constructed an excellent series of pages with lots of example images. Highly recommended!
- Another new web-site from a Phantom phan, this one from a fellow named Daniel Searson. He's also started a new mailing list called "Mr Walker's Mailing List".
14th January 1999
- Stephen Baggs has recently updated his Phantom web-site and the tribute to the art of Ray Moore is definitely something you should not miss!
- Not exactly news, but I recently came across an interesting article in the September 1993 issue of Steel Profile (a BHP Steel promotional magazine aimed at architects). The article concerned the "Post Apocalyptic House" at Black Rock (20km south-east of Melbourne). The owners, a professional couple, were inspired to see an architecture which reflected their passion for The Phantom and provided the architect (Neil Evans & Noel McKernan P/L) with a stack of Phantom comics as a source of inspiration. Consequently, the front door of the house features a wonderful Phantom portrait!
7th January 1999
- Brian Jensen has kindly informed us via the Monkey Mail that Kari Leppänen has his own web-site. The URL is http://personal.inet.fi/koti/kari.lepp/index.html. For those who don't know, Kari is an artist who illustrates Phantom stories for Semic/Egmont in Scandinavia (also translated and reprinted in English by Frew Publications). He started working on The Phantom in 1979, and is still going today with over 50 stories published. Kari has recently tried his hand at writing them too -- check out his first efforts in the two-part story The Ring of Death (Egmont Nr.17/1998 and Nr.19/1998, or Frew #1211 and #1212).
- We have recently heard of the loss of several people previously involved with production of The Phantom: George Wilson on 7 December (illustrator of the covers for the Gold Key comics and Avon paperbacks), Andre Le Blanc on 21 December (ghost assistant for Sy Barry), and Joe Orlando on 24 December (penciller on the DC miniseries). Their contribution to the Phantom world is greatly appreciated, and they will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences go out to their family and friends.
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