25 December 2000
- Merry Christmas!
- Phantom's Vault have produced the 2nd Phantom Phonecard. Each card is numbered (only 2000 will be issued), signed by creator Glenn Ford, and comes packaged with a 2-page Phantom story, continuing the tale begun with the first Phantom Phonecard, released in 1995. Further cards in this series are now being planned. The cards are priced at Aus$20 + GST (phonecard itself has $2 worth of calls available). Place your orders at the Phantom's Vault website.
- Big Sky Video have just released the 1939 serial of Mandrake the Magician on video for the first time in Australia. The two video set sells for Aus$19.95 per volume. Contact details: Big Sky Video, PO Box 545, Niddrie VIC 3042, Australia, Ph (03) 9374 3544, Fax (03) 9374 3566, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website: http://www.bigskyvideo.com/.
12 December 2000
- I'm back from holidays and just noticed a major stuff-up with the preview page for Frew #1278. This is what happens with last minute rushing. Sorry about that. The page is fixed now and you can view it on the Previous Issue page.
- The latest issue of Fantomen in Sweden (30 Nov) and Fantomet in Norway (5 Dec) featured a cameo appearance of two of the world's most dedicated Phantom Phans: Pete Klaus (left) and Ed Rhoades (right). Pete and Ed are founders of Friends of The Phantom, the only existing American Phantom Fan Club and Fanzine.
- Egmont Scandinavia have recently published a single-volume, black and white reprint of the 4-part Phantom miniseries by DC (1988). The story was quite controversial because it featured The Phantom wounding and even killing his enemies. Writer Peter David copped some flak for this oversight.
- Egmont have also announced the release of a new deluxe collectors set of Phantom Chronicles (in Swedish or Norwegian). The hardcover volumes feature the best stories for each Phantom generation. The first Norwegian edition, naturally about The First Phantom, is available by mail order for Kr 275 for the standard edition or Kr 495 for a limited edition (1000 printed) with leather binding, gold embossing and individually numbered. Orders placed immediately will receive a free Phantom watch valued at Kr 199. For further details on this ultimate collectors item, contact email@example.com (Norway) or www.fantomen.com (Sweden).
- Deep Woods Estate have released a superb dessert wine, aptly labelled Eden. Made from botrytis-affected semillon grapes, the wine is very viscous and sweet, displaying characters of mandarin peel, pineapple and flower blossoms. Eden is available in 375mL bottles for Aus$17 by mail order. Visit www.deepwoods.com.au for further details and purchases.
24 November 2000
- 99.94 Editions have announced that they will be producing a new set of Phantom miniprints which will hopefully be ready for Christmas release. Check out the previews for the Masterworks prints and then place your order with Dietmar before they are all sold out!
- Greg Raftery has announced via Mr Walker's Mailing List that he has finished entering in story and comic data into his Phantom database, which you can search at www.skullcave.net. A great service to the Phantom community. Have a play with it today!
- The missing scan of Fantomen Nr.22/2000 from the New@FREW page is now available for those who want it. For the next couple weeks you can access the corresponding Frew #1277 info on the Previous Issue page.
- Now I'm off for a fortnight's holiday! Plenty of bushwalking, relaxing, winetasting, visiting friends ... and no work. If this isn't heaven, it must be damn close.
14 November 2000
- Some good news from Amazon -- a DVD version of The Phantom Serial from 1943 will be released on January 30, 2001.
8 November 2000
- Kjell Steen has informed me that the new daily story to commence next Monday is written by Tony de Paul and is called either Valley of the White Apes or The Gorilla Man.
- The Phantom dailies at San Jose Mercury News have suddenly got even bigger again! Starting on 6 November, they are now 650 pixels wide.
2 November 2000
- The King Features website has recently been given a major overhaul. Definitely worth a look if you haven't been there for a while.
- The current daily newspaper strip story will reach a conclusion on 11 November, with a new story commencing on the following Monday. Read it at the San Jose Mercury News website.
29 October 2000
- The on-line newspaper strips have continued to defy the trends of their printed form. When the Phantom dailies first appeared on the KFS site in May 1997, they were only 480 pixels wide. Now from October 9, the Phantom daily strips featured on the San Jose Mercury News website have been increased in size from 525 to 600 pixels wide. These are currently the highest resolution Phantom dailies available on-line.
26 October 2000
- Sad news from Ulf Granberg (courtesy of Ed Rhoades): Veteran artist Jaime Vallvé suffered a major stroke before last and died in a couple of hours at a local hospital. He was 73 years old and Ulf's oldest friend and collaborator in this business. He had to give up drawing the Phantom some years ago because of health problem. His funeral was Monday in Copenhagen. "Jaime had a major influence on all other Scandinavian Phantom artists that came after him. He was the first member of Team Fantomen. (You'll find a picture of him on page 18 in the Bild & Bubbla magazine)."
- Here are two links from Jonas Vesterlund: an index of the animated episodes of Defenders of the Earth; and yet another interview with Egmont writer Ben Raab.
15 October 2000
- The Swedish comics magazine Bild & Bubbla (#150) has published a special Fantomen edition with articles about the character plus interviews with editor Ulf Granberg and artists Hans Lindahl and Kari Leppänen (150 pages). The cover features caricatures of most of the writers and artists who regularly contribute stories for the Fantomen magazine.
- Egmont Scandinavia have also recently published a special Wilson McCoy tribute album, which contains editorial articles by Ulf Granberg, Ed Rhoades and Pete Klaus, in addition to 4 classic stories: The Inexorables (The Phantom Goes to War), The Phantom's Engagement, The Governor and Suzie, and The Horned Star Demons.
- My thanks to Kjell Steen for this news.
7 October 2000
- The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games are finally over and now it's time to get back to business.
- The Norwegian Fantomet website by Karl-Johan Lien has changed address and now features some revised daily and story lists which can be read in English. These differ slightly from my lists, with some older stories split into two since they can actually be treated as distinct stories. I am in the process of considering these changes and may modify my lists in the future. Unfortunately this will impact on the unique codes used to identify each story (eg. D136, S121, etc).
- Karl-Johan has also added an archive of the most recent daily and newspaper strips. As far as I am aware this archive of Sunday stories is the ONLY source of Phantom Sundays on the web. Check out his site!
- Big Sky Video have just released three new Phantom videos. Firstly, there is a two-volume set of The Adventures of Captain Africa, a 15 episode serial made in 1955. This film was originally shot as a sequel to the 1943 Phantom Serial! Secondly, the Phantom 2040 Animated Movie has finally been released in Australia. This video is essentially the first 4-5 episodes spliced together into a continuous movie. All three videos are priced at Aus$19.95 each, but orders placed before 15 October will receive a 10% discount. The 1943 Phantom Serial is also still available for purchase. Contact details: Big Sky Video, PO Box 545, Niddrie VIC 3042, Australia, Ph (03) 9374 3544, Fax (03) 9374 3566, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website: http://www.bigskyvideo.com/.
- I recently received a note from Aman King informing me that there has been a mix-up with the numbering of the new Indian Phantom comics being published by Indian Express Egmont Publications. The first three issues were actually released as part of a promotional Phantom Adventure Kit, and only the first issue was numbered in the front cover (#1). There have since been another three comics released and they are numbered issue #2 book #4, issue #3 book #5, and issue #4 book #6. Strange indeed! Full details of the stories in all six issues will be available here as soon as I can manage it.
6 September 2000
- Barry Keller's Don Newton tribute site now features an article about the Charlton reprints by Frew Publications. The article can be found by clicking on "Artwork" in the left column, and then "Frew Comics".
- The September 5, 2000 edition of Comic Wire has an interesting article about the new American Phantom comics by Moonstone Books. Jonas Vesterlund found this link.
- Further to my previous comments about the Flatt World Phantom figure, it appears that it is not quite ready to ship yet. However it is strongly recommended that you pre-order. This will enable Flatt World to determine if their sales will be enough to support production of the figure. So if you want this figure ... pre-order now!
19 August 2000
- Flatt World's Phantom action figure is now available to ship within the USA, Canada and Mexico, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Check out the Flatt World Order Form to place your order. Alternatively you can get 20% off the retail price by ordering from Khepri Comics (US$44.95). Visit their website for details. Thanks to Rusty Rafferty and Jon Cookson for this news.
- A few new Scandinavian websites for your enjoyment: Peter Träff, Thomas Nilsen, and Karl-Johan Lien. All are in either Swedish or Norwegian, but it is worth braving your way through Peter's Phantom Kingdom especially, for his huge archive of Fantomen covers dating from the first Christmas Album in the 1940s. A fitting tribute with the 50th Anniversary of the Fantomen magazine only months away.
- Winners of the Phantom Subscription Contest announced in Frew #1268 on 18 August. Check HERE for the results.
11 August 2000
- Kjell Steen has informed me that the new daily strip story is being written by Tony De Paul. An "official" title has not yet emerged, but The Ancestors of Carthage will do for now. You can read the current daily strips in colour at Mercury Center Comics. Or if you want to see them a week in advance, take a peek behind the curtain at King On-Line. (thank Rusty Rafferty for this find)
- Jonas Vesterlund has found a few web-sites of interest to Phantom Phans. Comic Book Resources have an interview with Graham Nolan about his work on comic strips The Phantom and Rex Morgan MD. Tony Isabella, the writer for the Moonstone Phantom book, has a web-site and message board that many Phans will find interesting: http://www.wfcomics.com/tony/. Ben Raab Goes Back To The Silver Age and also discusses his work with Egmont's Fantomen magazine.
- The Swedish comics magazine Bild & Bubbla will be publishing a special Fantomen edition for Summer 2000. The magazine will contain articles about the character plus interviews with editor Ulf Granberg and artists Hans Lindahl and Kari Leppänen. The magazine will go on sale probably in September to coincide with the 50th anniversary edition of Fantomen (5 October), and the Comic fair in Gothenburg. Thanks again to Jonas Vesterlund and Brian Jensenfor this news.
5 August 2000
- Today's news is a world exclusive that will excite American Phantom Phans. After commencing negotiations with Hearst in November 1999, Moonstone Comics have finally signed to produce a new series of Phantom comics for the USA! The plan is for the first book to see print in 2001, with subsequent issues published quarterly. Each book will be colour, 48 pages, square-bound, with a self-contained story. Stories will be written by Tony Isabella, who brings with him 27 years of pro comics writing experience. Pencils will be by Ron Frenz (sample) and Ron Lim (sample). Inking will be by Dave Ulanski, Moonstone's co-publisher. Joel Naprstek will be doing the painted covers (some samples of his previous work can be found here and here). Joe Gentile, editor at Moonstone, has firm ideas about how they intend to handle The Phantom:
This exciting news, combined with Graham Nolan's input to the Sundays, will surely raise the profile of The Phantom in the USA comic book market, and will hopefully instigate a resurgence of interest amongst American Phans.
- Keep the sarcasm flying, like in the early Phantom stuff.
- We want to bring back a little of the Phantom's "mystique". We want those he comes across to fear him, and to not quite get a handle on him.
- We'd like to see situations a little more challenging to the Phantom and his abilities.
- We'd like to add a touch of gray to the various people (and events) that he comes across. With the exception of the Phantom, there should be a little less "black and white."
- We want readers to care about the characters, feel for them.
31 July 2000
- Stop the Press!!! Ed Rhoades has informed me of some important news. Fred Fredericks has decided to concentrate his efforts on writing and drawing Mandrake, and will retire from his duties on The Phantom Sundays. Last weekend's page was the last from Fred, and we wish him all the best for his future with Mandrake. Commencing 6 August, the new Sunday strip artist will be ... Graham Nolan (see right). Graham is well known to the comic book community, having illustrated Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, X-Men, Hawkman and many others during his 16 year career. His current work includes his self-published Monster Island, and the KFS strip Rex Morgan MD which he took over from Tony DiPreta on 19 June 2000. Graham is a long-time Phantom enthusiast and Phantom Phans may be familiar with his contributions:
- The Sunday strip story The Shipwreckers Town reached a conclusion on 30 July, after running for the last 31 weeks. The next story is being written by Claes Reimerthi and is called Woduro's Secret. My thanks to Andreas Eriksson for this news.
- The daily strip story The Agawa-Flower will conclude on 5 August, after running for the last 13 weeks. The next story will be the 200th daily adventure, but I don't know the title or writer at this stage.
11 July 2000
- Aman King recently launched the first Indian web-site about The Phantom. He's done a wonderful job on it, and I'm sure you will enjoy browsing through. Aman would also like Phantom Phans to join his online interactive Phantom community at http://anexa.com/thephantom/. There you can chat with other Phans, post messages on discussion boards, post classifieds, share links, image and even sound files.
30 June 2000
- 99.94 Editions have announced that they will soon commence a new series of limited edition mini-prints. Each print will be smaller than the Phantom Portrait Gallery prints, and will be priced to suit a wider range of phans. The mini-prints will be produced at the rate of two per year featuring exclusive artworks. The first four will be painted by Sy Barry, Fred Fredericks, Paul McCall and Glenn Lumsden & Dave de Vries. For further details, contact Dietmar Lederwasch.
- Oyvind Bjugan's quest to establish a Phantom Newsgroup has paid off. The newsgroup alt.comics.the-phantom has now started. You will probably need to ask your ISP to add it to their lists before you can access it (Ozemail in Australia have got it!). Once again I recommend Andrew Gibki's site for those who are unfamiliar with "newsgroups" and need help.
- And if alt.comics.the-phantom and Mr.Walker's mailing list don't quell your thirst for Phantom correspondence, why not try the Phantom Phan's Page at Yahoo Clubs. This is a fantastic new resource on the web, with message board, chat, photos, links, address book, and calendar all under the one roof. I think you'll enjoy it. First timers at Yahoo will need to set up an account first, but within a few minutes you'll be exploring the Club pages.
22 June 2000
- Indian Express Egmont Publications Ltd. this month published the first issue of a new series of Phantom comics for distribution throughout India. The great news for foreign Phantom Phans is that these comics are full colour English-language versions of the excellent Phantom comics produced by Egmont in Scandinavia. Issue #1 is a reprint of Fantomen Nr.24/1999 and includes a reprint of an old Semic adventure called Devil's Story by Donne Avenell and George Bess. This story was first published 1980 in Sweden, and has been reprinted several times in Scandinavia and Australia. Also included is the classic Mandrake story Universal Love from 1955 Sundays. The cover art is by Rolf Gohs.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this comic is the cover price ... only 30 Rs which is equivalent to about US$0.70 or Aus$1.10. A ten issue subscription will cost 300 Rs (US$6.80 or Aus$10.70) and includes a bonus Phantom T-shirt!
For more information contact the publisher at Indian Express Egmont Publications Ltd., 1st Floor, Diamond Palace, Hill Road, Bandra (W), MUMBAI 400050, India.
- My sincere thanks to Aman King for this news and the cover scan.
17 June 2000
- Frew Publications have launched a competition in the latest Frew issue. Twenty lucky winners will each receive a 12 month subscription to The Phantom Comic Book. Full details on how to enter are available HERE. Before anyone asks -- I will NOT be entering the competition, and please don't ask me for help with the answers. You're on your own!
- Ever wanted to own your own Phantom costume? An Australian company called Deerfield is the answer to your prayers. Click HERE for more information and a preview of their Phantom costumes (adult and child sizes).
- Some great news from Egmont Scandinavia: they recently launched their Fantomen web-site!!! The text is only available in Swedish but it's still worth having a look through this excellent site.
- Phantom daily strips in colour are now also available at the Comics Page of The Houston Chronicle. Strictly speaking, you're not meant to be able to access the archive of Phantom strips, but we see yet another demonstration of high level security on the Internet. If you change the date in the URL, you can to back to Nov 1 1999. Some demos: Jan 1, 2000 and Nov 1, 1999. Note that the date format is "YYYYMMDD". Thanks to Rusty Rafferty for finding this site.
- A new Norwegian Fantomet site by Kristian Kamben.
6 June 2000
- Brian Jensen from Bäckhammer, Sweden recently posted the following message on Mr Walker's Mailing List: My friend Torbjörn Onegård and I have an idea for a gathering of Phantom enthusiasts at the Phantom theme park at Eskilstuna Zoo. We have preliminary date set to June 17; which we hope will suit as many as possible. No detailed plans have been made for the meet, for starters we thought it would be a good idea to know how many are willing and able to join us. Of course this gathering is primarily for Swedes and others who wont mind the trip but we thought this could be a good way to reach as many as possible. Send your reply to email@example.com, it will be forwarded to both Torbjörn and me. There are currently 5-6 interested people, but still room for more.
- Oyvind Bjugan has started the wheels rolling on establishing a Phantom Newsgroup. In order to get this thing going, we need to flood the alt.comics.alternative newsgroup with Phantom messages. If you have never heard of "newsgroups" and need some help, I recommend you have a look at Andrew Gibki's site.
15 May 2000
- The 198th daily newspaper strip story African Queen finished last weekend on 6 May. The new story is called Agava Flower and is being written by Claes Reimerthi. My thanks to Kjell Steen for sharing this news. You can read the latest strips in colour at Mercury Center Comics.
- The May 2000 issue of Netweek magazine has an article about comic books on the internet. This being an Australian publication, The Phantom is naturally featured with some commentary from your friendly Deep Woods webmaster. Look for this magazine at Australian newsagencies -- buxom Annalise Braakensiek is on the front cover!
2 May 2000
- Oyvind Bjugan has announced via Mr Walker's Mailing List that he is trying to start a Phantom Newsgroup. I feel this is a great idea, and encourage you to support his quest. Please email Oyvind to indicate your support.
- Five new web-sites for your enjoyment, by Brandon Mitchell, Andrew Gibki, Magnus Eriksson, David Johansson, and Lars Alatalo. Actually Andrew Gibki's site has been around a while, but has been treated to a really nifty redesign and has a new URL. I highly recommend Magnus Eriksson's site for those interested in Swedish Fantomen comics (it's in English). All of these sites and more are linked from the Phantom Phans page.
15 April 2000
- Pacific Comics Club have released another four new Phantom reprint books, bringing the tally for this latest series to eight. These four books reprint the daily stories The Seahorse (D12), The Game of Alvar (D13), Diana Aviatrix Lost (D14), and The Phantom's Treasure (D15). 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.
- An interview with Egmont writer Ben Raab is available at Comic Book Resources. Thanks to Jonas Vesterlund for the tip.
8 April 2000
- Nigel Johnson, author of Johnson's Official Phantom Price Guide has recently launched Buy Sell Swap, an on-line classified service. The maintainers intend to make this site the world's best source of Phantom collectables, and there are already over 1500 Phantom items listed (prices are VERY scary!). The site is essentially a retail outlet for Nigel's comic book store, Comics Etc. His other store, Comic Collector's Paradise, has now closed (thanks to Wayne Sticher for this tip).
- Flatt World Figures are nearing completion of their Phantom poseable figure. See their web-site for some preview images and visit Toy Mania for a review of Flatt World's 2000 schedule. Thanks to Rusty Rafferty for providing this information.
25 February 2000
- Starting the 27th of February, C.A. Action Comics: The Monthly Webzine/Cyber Comic will be running an 8 page monthly Phantom comic for 4 months. Should be interesting -- take a look!
17 February 2000
- The latest issue of Transition: An International Review (#80, Vol.8 No.4), published quarterly by Duke University Press, features a lead article about The Phantom. Written by Kai Friese, a New Delhi-based journalist and editor, the author describes his boyhood with the Indrajal Phantom comics in India and then his internet-driven rediscovery of The Phantom years later. This sets off a train of ruminations about the Phantom and the meaning of the pseudo-African and pseudo-Indian settings of the Phantom comics. Visit the Transition web-site for more information or buy the magazine at Dusty Groove.
6 February 2000
- If anyone is interested, a wide range of Phantom 2040 toys are available at the following site: http://www.geocities.com/~timeandspace/phantom.htm.
- Playing Mantis has released the new Captain Action Phantom and Kabai Singh uniform packs. You can buy them on-line from several toy web-sites, such as Childhood Dreams and Thundermall, or look for a special bargain on eBay.
- My thanks to Rusty Rafferty for sending this information.
21 January 2000
- The new daily strip story is written by Tony De Paul and is called African Queen. The story is being created only for the newspapers. Thanks to Kjell Steen, chief of the Norwegian Phantom Club, for this information.
17 January 2000
- The current daily and Sunday stories have finished on 15 January and 26 December, respectively. The new Sunday story is being written by Claes Reimerthi and is called The Shipwreckers Town (S152). The story is an adaptation of an old story by Donne Avenell and Kari Leppänen, originally published by Egmont in Fantomen (Sweden) and Fantomet (Norway) Nr.3/1996, and then an English translation by Frew in #1138 (The Sea Jackals). Details for the new daily story are not known at present. This information has been updated in the daily and Sunday newspaper story lists.
- Big Sky Video has just released The Phantom Movie Serial on video, starring Tom Tyler as The Ghost Who Walks. This will not be news to those who have already seen their advertisement in the Frew 2000 annual issue. However, the good news is that their web-site is now operational.
8th January 2000
- Dark Horse will be producing a Phantom statue for release in March. Click HERE for details and a preview image.
- An interview with Keith Williams, the inker for The Phantom daily newspaper strip, is available on the Psycomics site.
- My thanks to Jonas Vesterlund for informing me about these two sites.
3rd January 2000
- Welcome to the new millenium!
- Those phans of The Phantom who also enjoy good wine will be interested to learn about Deep Woods Estate in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. This new winery, established in 1998, makes a wide range of premium wines and are well-aware of their Phantom connection. Click HERE for more information.
- The fifth print from 99.94 Editions was sent out just before Christmas. It's an absolutely stunning painting by Rosemary Valadon showing the 15th Phantom and his Italian bride on their wedding day. A preview page is in preparation ... stay tuned!