3 December 2005
- The new Phantom statue produced by ReelArt Studios is soon to be available in Australia, in time for Christmas if all goes according to plan. A total of 100 units will be available, distributed through Croftminster. Retailers of the statue are Kollectable Kaos in South Australia and Mr Toys in Queensland. The retail price is reported to be Aus$280. Click HERE to see a preview of the statue. Thanks to Will Dorrington for this news.
- Check the following links for some more pencilled previews of EricJ's artwork on the forthcoming Moonstone Phantom comics #9 and #10.
24 Sep 2005
- There's a bit of a delay expected before the next Phantom release from Moonstone, with two trade paperbacks (Graham Nolan Sundays Vol.2 and Death in the Deep Woods) due in early December, followed by The Phantom comic #9 by Chuck Dixon and EricJ. While you're waiting, here's a taste of EricJ's art from #9: page 16, in addition to the final version of the cover by Doug Klauba.
- Moonstone also have three special Phantom projects in the works. First up is The Phantom: Legacy written by Ben Raab, art by Pat Quinn, colours by Art Lyon, in which the ultimate origin of the Phantom is told, as seen from the Phantom's chronicles and presented in a cinematic style. Click here for a preview of Pat Quinn's pencilled art. Second, is The Phantom: Law of the Jungle, a unique Phantom tale seen from the eyes of a very personal enemy; written by Joe Gentile, art by Paul Guinan. And third, is a new long story written by Rafael Nieves (96 pages).
- Some more original Phantom daily comic strip art, with pencils by George Olesen and inks by Keith Williams, is now available for sale from Catskill Comics. Each comic strip measures 6"x14" and is on bristol board. Previously, more than half the daily strips from 1998 were made available (see 16 Jun 2005 news entry below), but there are now lots more from 1994 and 2003-04. Prices range from US$25 to US$100. This is a great opportunity for everyone to own an original piece of Phantom artwork. Visit the Catskill Comics website to find out more.
28 Aug 2005
- Norwegian Phan Steffen Hope recently interviewed Jim Shepherd, Publisher and Managing Director of Frew Publications, on behalf of fantomet.org. You can read the interview here. Steffen has also interviewed Phantom-artist Hans Lindahl - read it here.
- Issue #51 of Alter Ego magazine apparently features an article by an Australian by the name of Michael Baulderstone regarding the Golden Age of Australian Comics and the Phantom rates a mention. Issue #52 might also be of interest with an interview of Joe Giella and art from Sy Barry. For further info and orders, see the TwoMorrows website. Thanks to Jon Cookson for this news.
- Some interviews with Moonstone staff, Ben Raab and Lori G, are available at Jazma Online. Thanks to Paul Andreas Jonassen for this news.
6 Aug 2005
- Part 2 of The Aviatrix in The Phantom #8 from Moonstone is out this week. A preview will be posted here as soon as possible. There has also been a slight change to the schedule and The Phantom #9 will now feature the first of the two part Chuck Dixon/EricJ story. See a preview of Doug Klauba's cover sketch for this cover.
- The Phantom: The Graham Nolan Sundays Vol.2 will be published by Moonstone in November. It will contain five complete stories: Woduro's Secret (2000/01), The Lion's Head Tamarine (2001), The Snake Goddess's Island (2002/03), The Viking Fortress (2004) and The Ghost Train (2004/05). A preview of the original cover art by Graham Nolan is available HERE (compare it to the inked artwork). 152 pages, squarebound, colour, US$16.95, all ages, ISBN: 1-933076-05-4.
30 July 2005
- ReelArt Studios have licensed a statue of the Phantom & Devil which will be shipping this December. The prepainted resin statue stands over 30cm high and the sandstone-like base is encrypted with the ring emblems. The statue is based on designs by Alex Saviuk, sculpted by Shawn Nagle, and painted by Joy & Tom Studios. Click HERE to see a preview of the statue. Thanks to Ed Rhoades for this news.
23 July 2005
- Sad news has arrived that American artist Jim Aparo died on 19th July at the age of 72. His death was due to complications relating to a recent illness. A message from his family and a brief tribute is posted on the following website. Jim Aparo is best known to Phantom Phans for his contribution at Charlton in 1969-70 and 1974, where he produced 7 comics (#31-34, #36-38) and 10 covers (#31-38, #60-61).
- Issue #121 of Comic Book Marketplace (May 2005) was recently published and (as mentioned on 31 Dec 2004) it is dedicated primarily to articles about The Phantom! Unfortunately it is also the last issue of this magazine and is quite difficult to find - hence the delay in this news item! Ebay is probably a good place to start if you're looking for it. The issue includes a great cover by Paul Ryan (taken from Fantomen Nr.25/2004), and features articles on Lee Falk by Will Murray, a historical overview of the Phantom by Ron Goulart, a review of the Harvey Hits Phantom comics by Pat Calhoun, and two interviews with the new daily strip artist Paul Ryan. There's lots of full colour pictures of rare Phantom and Mandrake comics, plus some previously unseen photos of the creators. Highly recommended!
- Some more news on the limited edition "Bobblehead" figure of the Phantom that was mentioned in the last entry. The official licensed Norwegian edition Bobblehead (blue costume) made in heavy resin, will be limited to 1008 pieces, stands 18cm high, is handpainted, and will be individually numbered. They are expected to be ready for shipping from Norway by the end of August. If this one goes well, the manufacturer will start production of an international version (purple costume) and a Mr.Walker in October. Price: NOK 349, Au$75, US$54. Postage to Australia costs Au$33 plus an extra $13 for registered mail. Orders can be placed on the Bobbleheads website.
- The cover design for the new Phantom trade paperback from Moonstone is almost finished. It is drawn by Pat Quinn and coloured by Dave Craig. Preview the colour and pencil versions. As mentioned last month, this book will feature the first 4 issues of the Comic Series and should be published in November.
9 July 2005
- A limited edition "Bobblehead" figure of the Phantom will be available in Norway some time in August. Apparently there will be 1000 produced and there will be Norwegian (blue costume) and International versions (purple costume). Check out this page for some pictures. Thanks to Paul Andreas Jonassen for this news.
29 June 2005
- Two new 3-disc DVD boxsets of the Defenders of the Earth animated childrens series were released on 20th June in the UK by Delta Entertainment. The first set is called Defenders of the Earth - Nine Exciting TV Episodes and features the following episodes: Escape from Mongo, Creation of Monitor, Demons in His Pocket, A House Divided, Bits and Chips, Root of Evil, Cold War, Sleeper Awakes, and Ming's Thunder Lizards (198 minutes). The second set is called Defenders of the Earth - Three Movie Adventures and features three 95 minute "movies" each consisting of five episodes spliced together: The Necklace of Oros, The Book of Mysteries and The Prince of Kro-Tan (278 minutes). Each DVD can also be purchased separately if you don't want the boxsets. The DVDs are Region 0 encoded which means they will play in any DVD player regardless of the region setting. I highly recommend purchasing the Movie Adventures and TV Episodes boxsets from sendit.com who are only charging £9.99 for each boxset - a saving of £3 off the retail price - and international postage charges are very reasonable and delivery fast (6 days to Australia!).
- It seems that Defenders of the Earth is flavour of the moment because the entire series will soon be available as two DVD boxsets in Germany (with German audio). Season one (episodes 1-35) was released on 20th June and season two (episodes 36-65) is due in August. The first set is selling for 73 euros at amazon.de or 60 euros at fröschl.com (and several other on-line stores), although there is some confusion over whether it has 7 or 5 DVDs. It is also not clear whether there's an original English audio track on these DVDs - let's hope so!
- Moonstone's The Phantom #7 is out a week earlier than expected, which is a very pleasant surprise. You can preview the comic here.
- Last week you read the news that Volume 2 of the Graham Nolan Sundays is also due for release in November. Now you can preview the inked artwork for Graham Nolan's cover design.
21 June 2005
- While we're waiting for the next Moonstone issue (#7) which is due to hit the stands within the next two weeks (!), here's some more news from the editor, Joe Gentile:
- A new trade paperback of the first 4 issues of the Comic Series and featuring a new cover by Pat Quinn is in the works and should be published in November. Click here for a preview of the pencilled cover art.
- Volume 2 of the Graham Nolan Sundays is also due for release in November.
- Doug Klauba's final cover design for The Phantom #8 is now finished. Click here for a preview.
16 June 2005
- Original Phantom daily comic strip art with pencils by George Olesen and inks by Keith Williams is now available for sale from Catskill Comics. Each comic strip measures 6"x14" and is on bristol board. More than half the daily strips from 1998 are available with prices ranging from US$25 to US$100. This is a great opportunity for everyone to own an original piece of Phantom artwork. Visit the Catskill Comics website to find out more.
- Moonstone's The Phantom #6 hit the stands earlier this month. This issue features part 2 of Damnation Game by Raphael Nieves and Jerry DeCaire. Check the preview on the New@Moonstone page. Also have a read of the review at Silver Bullet Comic Books who matched their rating from Part 1 and again scored it 5 out of 5!
- As reported back in March, Chuck Dixon and EricJ have paired up for Moonstone's The Phantom #10 and #11. A pencilled preview of page 3 from issue #10 is now available.
17 April 2005
- Personalised Plates Queensland have released a special edition Phantom license plate available to use on Queensland-registered motor vehicles. The new personalised plates are available from tomorrow and cost Aus$425 for a new registration or $185 to upgrade from existing plates. Visit the Personalised Plates Queensland website to order your Phantom plate.
2 April 2005
- 99.94 Editions have released a special product for Phantom buffs who also enjoy a good red! The Struzan Shiraz is a magnum of red wine (1.5L) from Allandale Winery in the Hunter Valley. Each bottle features a reproduction of a Phantom painting by the legendary Drew Struzan! This is the same artist who created the wonderful movie posters for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, and many others. This painting is one of several that Struzan was commissioned by Paramount to do for the Phantom movie in 1996. We have no idea why Paramount decided not to use the paintings. The wine comes in a wooden box with a hand-drawn picture of the Phantom on the lid. The picture shows the Phantom sipping a glass of red wine and is done in the style of either Ray Moore, Wilson McCoy or Sy Barry ... your choice! Click HERE to see the McCoy version of the box. The wine is limited to only 100 bottles, and costs Aus$100 plus postage. Contact 99.94 Editions for purchase enquiries.
- Moonstone published their latest issue of The Phantom (#5) a few days ago. You can preview the comic on the New@Moonstone page. Check out the review at Silver Bullet Comic Books who gave it a score of 5 out of 5! You can also read two strangely different versions of an interview with the artist Jerry DeCaire by clicking HERE and HERE.
16 March 2005
- Moonstone have lined up Chuck Dixon (one of DC's most respected writers) to write a one or two issue Phantom story, to be illustrated by EricJ (former artist and co-creator of Rex Mundi, published by Image Comics). It is not yet certain when this story will be published but is probably going to be in The Phantom #10 and #11.
- Preview a couple of coloured pages from the upcoming issues of Moonstone's The Phantom #7 due later this month: page 4-5, page 11.
27 February 2005
- Big Sky Video (BSV) recently released the 1943 Phantom Serial on DVD in Australia. The DVD will play in all regions. The black & white image and sound quality is essentially identical to the Region 1 DVD released by VCI in 2001 (see 31 March 2001 in Phantom News Archive), but the packaging is definitely improved. The picture is crisp and clear (substantially better than BSV's previous VHS release of the serial), and the "Dolby Digital Mono" sound is good considering the age of the film. BSV have used VCI's digitally restored sound on the last 10 minutes of the damaged Chapter 11 (a cast of actors were used to recreate some of the voices based on the original studio cutting continuity). BSV managed to fit the entire serial onto a single DVD by using a dual layer disc, rather than two single-layer discs of the VCI version, and without any discernable loss in picture quality -- an excellent feature! The total running time of the serial is 4 hours 20 minutes with each Chapter lasting about 16½ minutes (the opening chapter runs for about 28½ minutes). Unfortunately, there are some rather clumsy problems with the formatting of the DVD. It has a strange numbering of the chapters: Chapters 1-5 of the serial are actually chapters 2-6 on the DVD, and Chapter 6 of the serial is actually chapter 16 on the DVD. This means that if you use the skip button on your player to move through the chapters, it will jump from Chapter 5 to Chapter 7 and miss Chapter 6. This is irrelevant if you watch the serial straight through or use the Chapter Selection in the Menu screen. Also, the timing on the DVD chapters is not continuous from one chapter to the next; if you want to "rewind" to a position in a previous chapter, if will stop at the beginning of the current chapter -a slightly annoying feature. But overall, you would have to say that this is an excellent product and the thrill of watching The Phantom's high adventures on DVD is not to be missed!
Special Features: The menus on the DVD are functional (no sound) and appropriately features a small skull icon for making your menu selections (with glowing red eyes, of course!). The DVD has an excellent audio commentary by Jim Shepherd (publisher of Australia's Phantom comic) and Jim Sherlock (film historian from Melbourne). The commentary runs for a total of 48 minutes, ending just after the start of Chapter 3. Jim Shepherd discusses how he came to become the managing director and publisher of Frew Publications before reviewing the 1996 Phantom movie by Paramount. There is a fair bit of reminiscing about the "good old days" of movie serials and comic books, as well as some general background on Phantom comics. Jim Shepherd goes on to reveal some interesting behind-the-scenes facts about the serial, gleaned from his many conversations with Lee Falk and others. The DVD special features also include short biographies for Tom Tyler (The Phantom), Kenneth MacDonald (Bremmer), Jeanne Bates (Diana Palmer), and B.Reeves Eason (director), plus a (disappointingly) brief comic art gallery consisting of ten Frew Phantom covers (all from 2004) and one serial poster.
The price of the DVD is only Aus$29.95 (compared to US$30 for the VCI version). Order by contacting Big Sky Video, Tel. (03) 9374 3544, Fax (03) 9374 3566, PO Box 545 Niddrie VIC 3042, Australia, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Postage and handling is an extra Aus$7. Pay 10% less for orders paid by money order!
- I'm told that Big W (Australian department store) has two designs of Phantom t-shirts available Feb 10, both long sleeve using old artwork for $20 each. I've not visited a store to see them for myself, but you can preview them in this link (third from left).
- A transcript of the Deep Woods chat with Phantom writer David Bishop on 24th February is posted in this thread on the Phantom Phorum.
16 February 2005
- This is advance notice that an "official" Deep Woods chat session will be held on Thursday 24th February. We will be joined by a special guest in David Bishop, writer of Phantom stories for Egmont Scandinavia. David is the creator of the highly-rated Kate Somerset series, in addition to the award-winning Long Bow of Little John and many others. This is your chance to "chat" with David and learn more about his experiences with comics. The time for the chat is noon UK time (GMT) which is equivalent to ...
Mark 24th February in your diary and don't forget to join the chat session: Enter the Chat Room. If you've never used a chatroom before, please log in beforehand and give it a try. There's really nothing to it!
- 4am USA Western time
- 7am USA Eastern time
- 1pm Sweden & Norway time
- 5:30pm India time
- 8pm Australia WA time
- 10pm Australia QLD time
- 11pm Australia NSW/ACT/VIC/TAS time
- 1am New Zealand time (25th Feb)
22 January 2005
- Great news for all phans from Brazil! After recently cancelling their dedicated Phantom comics, Editora Ópera Graphica have announced that issue #3 of Stripmania - a comic devoted to reprint strips - will have the Phantom in its mix. A preview of the cover can be viewed here. There is no word yet when this issue will be released, but hopefully Editora Ópera Graphica will finally find a successful format for publishing The Phantom in Brazil. My thanks to Thiago Rique for this news.
- And while we're on the subject of The Phantom in Brazil, Thiago Rique has launched a new Phantom Forum in Portugese. He calls it Mawitaan 07.
15 January 2005
- Stop the Press!!! George Olesen has announced that he will be retiring from his pencilling job on the Phantom daily strip. George has been working on the Phantom newspaper strips on and off since about 1962, originally as Sy Barry's layout assistant. After Sy's retirement in 1994, George was officially recognised as the penciller of both dailies and Sundays. Keith Williams inked the daily strips since 1994, but will now move on to other things.
King Features have hired Paul Ryan to illustrate the Phantom daily newspaper strip. A wise choice! Paul Ryan is a veteran comic book artist having worked for many years with both DC (Superman, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman) and Marvel (Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Squadron Supreme). In 2001, Paul Ryan illustrated his first Phantom story for Egmont, Scandinavia and has produced a total of 10 highly acclaimed Phantom stories so far (with more to come too!):
Paul Ryan's first Phantom daily strip begins 31 January 2005, and somehow he will also continue to produce new stories for Team Fantomen. Graham Nolan will of course continue with the excellent work he's doing on the Sundays. My thanks to Paul Ryan and Ed Rhoades for this news.
- The Invisible Phantom (Fantomen 25/2001, Frew #1308)
- The Mysterious Longbow (Fantomen 15/2002, Frew #1329)
- Deadly Feast (Fantomen 22/2002, Frew #1336)
- Return of the Halloween Gang (Fantomen 6/2003, Frew #1352)
- The Ring of Nebuchadnezzar (Fantomen 14/2003, Frew #1360)
- The Crystal Skulls Mystery Pt.3 (Fantomen 25/2003, Frew #1371)
- Dogai Singh's Treasure (Fantomen 8/2004, Frew #1380)
- The 21st Phantom (Fantomen 17/2004, Frew #1390)
- Molok (Fantomen 18/2004, Frew #1391)
- The Black Widow (Fantomen 25/2004, Frew #1402)
- I'd also like to mention that Ed Rhoades will be interviewing Paul Ryan this weekend for Friends of the Phantom. Ed has already seen some sample strips by Paul and says "I know you will like the way his strip looks ... it's very clean and tight." Sounds great! Ed will also be writing a piece on the outgoing George Olesen and Keith Williams.
- All of these interviews will soon appear on the new Friends of the Phantom column at The Deep Woods!
- Moonstone are only days away from releasing their latest Phantom comic: this one is a collection of Graham Nolan's Phantom Sunday strips. The book is expected to go sale on 20 January. Looking further down the track, Moonstone's The Phantom #6 is due to be published in May 2005 with script by Rafael Nieves and art by Jerry DeCaire. The teaser from Moonstone follows: "After Mbeye's newest zombie fails to assassinate him, The Phantom moves swiftly through the streets of Chicago to topple the necromancer's drug empire. He finds in this job some real horror, as the entranced dead are commanded to stop him with a brute power no normal man could ever endure! But this is The Phantom! No spell can hide or shadow any man from his mighty call to justice." See the 23 October 2004 news entry for the preview of The Phantom #5.