by Rolf Gohs
- The Horn of Roland
- Script: Norman Worker
- Art: Carlos Cruz
- First published in Fantomen Nr.6/2004 by Egmont, Scandinavia (11 Mar 2004). Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Brian Jensen.
- Message from the Publisher:
This issue features an historical adventure with a number of surprises!
The Horn of Roland, written by England's Norman Worker and illustrated by Carlos Cruz of northern Spain, takes us back to the time of the ninth Phantom, ancient Spain and the era of King Charles the Great of France. This adventure is the first, full length saga which throws new light on the existence of Roland's famous horn in The Phantom's major Treasure Room.
Lee Falk mentioned Roland's cherished possession on many occasions, but, like so many of the other priceless treasures in the Skull Cave, never revealed how it came to be lodged alongside so many other even more valuable artefacts. Norman Worker's theory is more than likely close to the mark, but we will now never know how Lee Falk might have explained everything. Lee once told me he had plans to eventually explain how all the treasures came into the possession of The Phantom line, because all formed the basis of many wonderful stories. However, quite rightly, he decided to tackle what would have been a long line of adventures in a gradual sense, rather than embark on a series of what would have been similar themes. Time eventually ran out for the gifted Lee Falk and as he never kept file notes of future plots, it is up to still active writers to develop their own ideas. (As a matter of interest, the now retired Phantom artist Sy Barry, once told me that Lee only occasionally discussed possible plot ideas with him and that every script he received was always a surprise!).
Elsewhere in this edition you will find a short editorial piece tracing the many occasions on which Lee mentioned Roland's horn. I think you will find this interesting. Note the small variances in the description given of the horn!
Carlos Cruz has excelled himself with the art in this adventure and I am sure he went to a great deal of trouble to research everything about weaponry, protective battle clothing and the buildings of the time. Carlos has travelled widely throughout his native land and never leaves home without a camera and his sketch pad to ensure that backgrounds of all the historical stories he illustrates are as accurate as possible.
There are so many more exciting new adventures headed your way! We will, for example, shortly be revisiting the dreaded Singh Brotherhood in a story written by Claes Reimerthi and illustrated by Paul Ryan. I'm convinced this one will rank highly on our most popular stories for 2004! Nearing completion in the United States is another thriller entitled, The Sinbad Stone, written and drawn by Graham Nolan and this one will be guaranteed a place in our top ten list!
Apologies now for the recent late on-sale date of the blockbuster, Devil, the Wolf Who Cannot Die. This was completely beyond our control, but our distributors worked wonders to overcome a warehouse hiccup and still get it to newsagents throughout Australia, less than a week after it was due to go on sale. Never believe anybody who may tell you publishing is a pushover! At our end, every new Scandinavian story necessitates translation into English, re-lettering, commissioning of covers, pre-press production and printing before the finished article is shipped to distributor warehouses in all states!