The Phantom:
A Publishing History in the U.S.A.

by Bob and John Griffin

Pacific Comics Club (1976 - present)

(Tony Raiola, P.O. Box 14361, Long Beach, California 90803)

Click here for the Pacific Comics Club web-site

Tony Raiola is an ex-patriate Italian who moved to the USA in 1975. He grew up in various parts of Europe, experiencing The Phantom published in Italian, French and Spanish languages. He formed Pacific Comics Club soon after arriving in the USA, and proceeded to publish several one-off Phantom reprint books. Many of these reprints are available by mail order from the Pacific Comics Club web-site. They also have numerous Italian comics for sale, including the recent series by Comic Art which reprint all of the dailies and Sundays in chronological order (Italian text). Pacific Comics Club also reprinted a few of the Mandrake Feature Books which may be of interest to Lee Falk fans.

1976 Series

The first set of Phantom books from Pacific Comics Club were translated English reprints of Italian publications. These books reprinted daily stories from the 1938-42 period.

Diana Aviatrix Lost

1977 Series

The second set produced a year later were again translated English reprints of Italian publications. This time the books reprinted three Sunday stories from the 1939-42 period. A large format was used with each portrait page measuring 250mm x 345mm (10" x 13.5"). Only the front cover was in colour.

The League of Lost Men
The Precious Cargo of Colonel Winn
The Return of the Sky Band

1992/93 Series

After a long absence from the Phantom scene, Pacific Comics Club returned in 1992/93 with three new Phantom books. All were in black and white with colour covers.
The first was a 109 page reprint of the 1942/43 daily story The Inexorables (The Phantom Goes to War). This book adopted a landscape format, perfectly suited to the layout of daily strips with a minimum of editing. The dimensions were 280mm x 215mm (11" x 8.5"). However, many original panels were missing compared with Frew's #1041.
The other two were reprints of Feature Books No.20 and No.22. Each was slightly over-size measuring 215mm x 280mm (8.5" x 11") compared to the original 185mm x 257mm (7.25" x 10"). These two 76-page volumes combined reprint the first Phantom story The Singh Brotherhood. They are excellent quality, large-format reprints and are an absolute must for all Phantom fans -- at a tiny fraction of the going price for the originals! They are not "complete" however, with a total of about 60 panels edited from the original printing (mostly from No.22), and most continuity boxes are blanked out. In this regard Frew's complete printing of The Singh Brotherhood in #1128 cannot be surpassed.

The Inexorables
Feature Book No. 20
Feature Book No. 22

1999/2000 Series

Pacific Comics Club has recently collaborated with JAL to produce a set of eight new reprint books each carrying a daily story from the 1937-42 period. These are again reprints of older Italian publications -- there are even a few panels that have not been translated. The latter four books in the series are reprints of the 1976 series. They are generally complete printings with all original continuity panels in order. However, the first three weeks of The Golden Circle are missing from the corresponding book -- fortunately, this does not interfere with the continuity of the story.

The Diamond Hunters
(D3), 52 pages
Little Toma
(D4), 44 pages
The Shark's Nest
(D7), 36 pages
The Golden Circle
(D11), 40 pages
The Seahorse
(D12), 60 pages
The Game of Alvar
(D13), 48 pages
Diana Aviatrix Lost
(D14), 68 pages
The Phantom's Treasure
(D15), 68 pages


Return to the USA Publishing History

Bryan Shedden /
Last Updated 17 May 2003