by Joan Boix
- The Mask of Gaguwara
- Script: Claes Reimerthi
- Art: Joan Boix
- First published in Fantomen Nr.7/2003, with the title The Ghost Indian, by Egmont, Scandinavia. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Brian Jensen.
- This story is the 5th in a series about Kit & Heloise and their boarding school at Shymouth Massachusetts USA. Previous stories were Durham's Curse (Fa7/01, Frew #1289), The Ghost House (Fa20/01, Frew #1303), The Witch Hunt (Fa1/02, Frew #1303), and The New Pupil (Fa4/02, Frew #1316). Another related story is Night of the Pirates (Fa15/01, Frew #1296) which explores the history of Shymouth. All have been written by Claes Reimerthi and drawn by Joan Boix.
- Message from the Publisher:
In this issue, The Mask of Gaguwara, we return to that mysterious boarding school in the United States, where Kit and Heloise keep bouncing from one drama to another!
I have said before that it must be high time The Phantom and Diana moved the children to another school (as far away from Shymouth as possible!). Interestingly, towards the end of this story, The Phantom (at last!) says exactly the same thing ... "A lot has happened to Kit and Heloise since they went to Shymouth. Maybe we should think about another school..."
To refresh your memory, Kit and Heloise first went to the school at Shymouth in Frew #1289, Durham's Curse, which appeared in 2001. In that adventure, the drama was centred on, of all things, an Eskimo mask! The second school story was The Ghost House (Frew #1303). The title says it all! The third was The Witch Hunt (Frew #1313) and the fourth was The New Pupil (Frew #1316). Kit and Heloise and The Phantom and Diana have been through so much!
The saga of the school at Shymouth quite obviously can be spun out for a long time to come, but writer Claes Reimerthi and artist Joan Boix might well decide to pick up on the Phantom's thoughts and move the children to a safer institution. That will be Claes' decision, because the school series stories have proved incredibly popular.
You will enjoy the manner in which writer Reimerthi develops this plot and you will also enjoy artist Boix's eerie renderings. You will also be interested to learn that Boix has based the grotesque mask of Gaguwara on a number of masks used by American Indian tribes which once lived and hunted in the eastern areas of North America. Reimerthi carried out a lot of research on the subject and it will be worth your while to track down references. The Internet is an excellent source of information, as is the Encyclopedia Brittanica and almost any reference book on the history of American Indian tribal culture.
Our next edition, which goes on sale on 23 May, will be a 100-page special showcasing a new Scandinavian adventure, The Pirate Queen, written by David Bishop and illustrated by César Spadari, the new American daily strip Jungle Mystery, and out of the archives a Lee Falk classic The White Monkey, with art by Wilson McCoy! The Pirate Queen is a fascinating story with links to Convent Island, which appeared in Frew #1311 early in 2002. It would be giving too much away if I went much further than that, but while you await our next edition, take my advice and look up Convent Island to prepare yourself for an amazing Phantom adventure. The White Monkey ran as a daily way back in 1950 and has not appeared in a Frew edition since #854 in 1986.