Friends of The Phantom is currently the only English-language Phantom Club still in operation, although it is now a gathering of friends rather than a paid service. During it's time as a fan club, the keystone of the club was the newsletter entitled Friends of The Phantom, which was first published in February 1993. The newsletter has now ceased publication with the final issue appearing in Fall 2002. Limited back issues are apparently still available. The staff behind the newsletter evolved somewhat since the first issue but essentially consisted of:
- Ed Rhoades, Editor and Publisher
- David Lomazoff, Assistant Editor
- Pete Klaus, Columnist
- Steve Higdon, Publication Designer
- Chris Smith, Archivist
A total of 23 newsletters were published. Past issues have featured interviews with Lee Falk, Sy Barry, Bill Lignante, George Olesen, Fred Fredericks, Keith Williams, Andre LeBlanc, Joe Giella, Jim Shepherd (Frew), Ulf Granberg (Egmont), Romano Felmang, Billy Zane, and Luke McDonnell. As a tribute to the 60th birthday of the Phantom strip, newsletter #12 (Winter 1996) included a collection of unpublished art by Sy Barry, Joe Giella, Andre LeBlanc, Don Heck, Bill Lignante, Luke McDonnell, Felmang, George Olesen, Fred Fredericks, Keith Williams, Al Scadutto, and ... Lee Falk! Some of these copies were even signed by the artists. Previews of the newsletter content are available at http://www.edrhoades.com/phantom/. For all enquiries contact:
465 East Main Street
Catawissa PA 17820
Lee Falk's Official Phantom Fan Club was advertised in just two issues of the Gold Key comics: #5 (November, 1963) and #7 (February, 1964). It required that those who applied for a club charter had to supply a membership list of at least ten names.
Lee Falk's Official Phantom Fan Club
Way back in 1963, Bob Griffin (our real-life Old Man Mozz), sent the names of ten fellow graduate students and eventually received a package that included three items: a large 11" x 14" official Fan Club Charter signed by Lee Falk and Sy Barry; a document specifying ten rules of conduct for members of the official fan club; and a package of Phantom tin badges with tabs.
Needless to say, this club went the way of the dodo following the demise of the Gold Key series in 1966. However, the Club's brief existence served to provide a few more items for keen collectors of Phantom paraphenalia.
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