Frew #1418
by Carlos Cruz & Jim Shepherd
(this edition is the 1446th actually printed)

Release Date: 24 June 2005

  • Pages: 100
  • Price: $5.50 inc. GST
  • Cover: Carlos Cruz & Jim Shepherd
  • Did You Know? - half a page on p.65
  • The U-Boat Mystery (pp.66-67) - Jim Shepherd marks the occasion of Paul Ryan's arrival on the dailies with this feature article about the various Phantom artists for the newspaper strips.
  • Riddle of the Little People (pp.89-91) - A editorial article summarising the various Phantom stories that have featured the Little People.
  • Phantom History - Most Asked Questions (pp.92-94) - an excellent editorial article that details the first appearances of various characters and places in Phantom stories.
  • Three pages of Phantom Forum in this issue

Fantomen Nr.16/1993
by Terje Aspmo

  • The Skull Murders
    • Script: Donne Avenell
    • Art: Carlos Cruz
    • First published in Fantomen Nr.16/1993 by Semic, Sweden. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.

  • The U-Boat Mystery
    • Script: Tony De Paul
    • Art: George Olesen & Keith Williams and Paul Ryan (from 31 Jan 2005 onwards)
    • 213th daily newspaper story; 3 Jan - 14 May 2005.
    • First Frew appearance

  • The Little Ones
    • Script: Lee Falk
    • Art: Sy Barry
    • 73rd Sunday newspaper story; 31 Mar - 11 Aug 1968.
    • Previous Frew appearances: #382 (1968), #545 (1974), #736 (1982), #1219 (1999)

  • Message from the Publisher:
    Two new adventures and a Lee Falk classic from the 1960s make up this 100-page special.
    The new stories are The Skull Murders and The U-Boat Mystery and the golden oldie is The Little Ones, which we expand upon in a special editorial feature.
    The Skull Murders was written by the late Donne Avenell and illustrated by Carlos Cruz and originally appeared in Scandinavia in 1993. This is the first time it has been published by Frew, so it falls into the "new story" category. If the title has a familiar ring, let me hasten to add that there is no similarity to the controversial theme of the Billy Zane movie in which arch-villain Treat Williams wreaked havoc in his determination to obtain skulls possessed of super powers! However - and this can only be coincidence - much of the action in our story takes place in a museum and it is reasonable to suggest that our villain has a passing resemblance to Treat!
    The U-Boat Mystery is the recently completed American daily with script by Tony De Paul and art by a trio of creators. George Olesen and Keith Williams commenced the pencilling and inking and Paul Ryan completed the bulk of the story, handling pencilling, inking and lettering. It is quite obvious where Paul takes over, but more information is included on the splash page. As previously mentioned, this puts the story into a highly collectable category, because in the long history of The Phantom daily and Sunday strips, artist changes have been comparatively rare and I'm quite certain The U-Boat Mystery is the first example of the new artist not attempting to match the artistic style of those who preceded him! That is especially interesting, because when you go back into the Chronicles, you will discover examples of Wilson McCoy attempting to duplicate the style of Ray Moore. Paul Ryan dived in at the deep end and not only injected his own style, but dispensed with the heavy blacks and tones which were the trademark of former inker Keith Williams!
    I know you will enjoy the representation of The Little Ones, which was the second in a long series of stories about the mysterious "Little People". As our editorial feature underlines, the series remains unfinished. Lee Falk died before he had time to explain the ultimate fate of these visitors from outer space! As far as we know, the descendants of the original "Little People" still live somewhere on the Isle of Eden, but have not been mentioned since the 1997-98 Lee Falk story, Waterman. Maybe - just maybe - one of the current writers of Phantom adventures will one day create a story which will tidy up the unfinished saga!
    Our next two issues are now finalised. Edition #1419, to go on sale on 1 July, will be a period costume adventure entitled The Plague, written by David Bishop, with absolutely brilliant art by Kari Leppänen. Leppänen's graphics are always superb, but in this story he rises to new heights. To follow in issue #1420 - The Phantom - Man or Myth? written by Claes Reimerthi and illustrated by Alex Saviuk. Alex has agreed to create some very special covers for his own story, so here comes another collectable! One of the final frames features an unusual crowd scene. More later! Man or Myth has a quite mysterious plot which will make you think.

Jim Shepherd

Future issues planned as of 20 May 2005 (subject to change without notice):

Check the New@Egmont and The Missing Semic Stories pages for details of other upcoming stories.

My thanks to the staff of Frew Publications for providing this information.

More Frew stuff ...

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Bryan Shedden /
Last updated 25 June 2005