Frew #1450
by the photocopier
(this edition is the 1478th actually issued)

Release Date: 14 July 2006

  • Pages: 100
  • Price: $5.50 inc. GST
  • Cover: the photocopier
  • Two pages of Phantom Forum in this issue

Fantomen Nr.7/1982
by Rolf Gohs

Fantomen Nr.25/1992
by Rolf Gohs

  • The Skull Mark
    • Script: Norman Worker
    • Art: Kari Leppänen
    • First published in Fantomen Nr.7/1982 by Semic, Sweden. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.

  • The Wolf Monster
    • Script: Norman Worker
    • Art: César Spadari
    • First published in Fantomen Nr.25/1992 by Semic, Sweden. Original cover shown on the left, thanks to Ulf Granberg.

  • The Master of Eden
    • Script: Lee Falk
    • Art: Sy Barry
    • 169th daily newspaper story; 26 Mar - 16 Jun 1990.
    • Previous Frew appearance: #978 (1991).

  • The Iron Dragon
    • Script: Lee Falk
    • Art: Wilson McCoy
    • 90th daily newspaper story; 27 Feb - 13 May 1961.
    • Previous Frew appearances: #195 (1961), #306 (1966), #455 (1971), #630 (1978), #843 (1986), #1280 (2001).

  • Message from the Publisher:
    In this issue, we present four stories - two new adventures and two from the Lee Falk chronicles! The new stories, both of which were scripted by the English writer Norman Worker, are The Skull Mark, with art by Kari Leppänen and The Wolf Monster, illustrated by César Spadari. The two golden oldies from Lee Falk are The Master of Eden with art by Sy Barry and The Iron Dragon from the pen and brush of Wilson McCoy. The latter two stories, both of which have been out of print for many years, have long been high on the list of requested reprints.
    [Comment from Guran: The Iron Dragon was last printed by Frew only 5 years ago, which hardly makes it "out of print for many years" and it is doubtful that people have been requesting to see it again already! What about the following stories which Frew last published over 16 years ago: The League of Lost Men (S1), Romance and the Vesta Pirates (D30), and Captain Amazon - Pirate Queen (S134). Surely it would be better to publish these stories rather than those printed more recently?]
    Together, the four stories represent a wide spectrum of creativity! Two different writers (Lee Falk and Norman Worker) and four different artists (Leppänen, Spadari, Barry and McCoy)! All the story themes are completely different so you can be guaranteed of seeing The Phantom battling roughnecks on the Isle of Eden and in the deep jungle - a deranged witch doctor and some money-grubbing (and penny pinching) modern businessmen!
    The Iron Dragon is especially interesting. It was one of the final Phantom adventures to be illustrated by Wilson McCoy. After this story, he was to work on only the Sunday stories, Fluffy and the The Limper and the daily, The Werewolf. McCoy died of a sudden heart attack on 19 July 1961 and The Limper was to be finished by Bill Lignante. Wilson's last artwork appeared in The Limper in a panel dated 17 September 1961. Which stresses how far ahead writers and artists work on daily and Sunday newspaper comic strips!
    Bill Lignante completely illustrated one more Sunday story (Queen Samaris XII) and then Sy Barry commenced his long association with The Phantom, illustrating both the daily and Sunday stories, from 1961 into 1995. It was a golden period for Lee Falk's famous creation, with the brilliant Barry lifting Phantom art to a new high.
    But - back to this presentation of The Iron Dragon. When it was published by Frew in 1986 (#843), the first few pages threw dedicated fans into some confusion. The pages actually belonged to the end of Lee Falk's 1960-61 story The 50th Wife which preceded The Iron Dragon. That was a little before my time, so I am unsure whether it was an editing mistake, or a decision by the then publishers to extend the length of The Iron Dragon to fill the old 32-page self cover format. I suspect the latter! The 50th Wife at 34 pages, was too long to fit into a 32-page format, The Iron Dragon was too short, so the old guard, in their "wisdom" must have decided to add the end of The 50th Wife to the beginning of The Iron Dragon and to stretch things even further, added a standard, "How It All Began" section to pad out the edition! It's worth bringing this to your attention, because if you are lucky enough to possess Frew #843, you now know that The Iron Dragon in that issue contains a few pages from the preceding story! Rest assured that the presentation in the issue you are apout to read is the complete Iron Dragon story as it originally appeared in newspapers.
    [Comment from Guran: That last sentence is not quite 100% true. This printing of The Iron Dragon, has been edited according to standard practice at Frew, by deleting all of the copyright notices and blanking most of the continuity panels. Otherwise the story appears to be complete and is of higher quality than the version in #1280 due to digital scanning. However, it suffers from a moiré defect on the "Zip-A-Tone" caused by incorrect downsampling.]
    The official first panel is definitely the one which contains the continuity box ... "In the jungle as elsewhere ..." We have worked hard to bring back old stories in their entirety. This is just another example of the trials and tribulations involved in ensuring Lee Falk's work is presented with 100% accuracy.

Jim Shepherd

Future issues planned as of 9th July 2006 (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 9th July 2006