It is The Phantoms 85th Birthday - on this day back in 1936, something amazing happened with the debut of a comic strip in the newspapers that has changed the world and many peoples lives.
We at Chronicle Chamber have celebrated the birthday by talking about each of the decades in detail and going over what we believe are the key moments through out the Phantoms history.
Have a listen and tell us what you agree with and do not agree with. Have we missed any key dates or moments? We would love to hear back from you. Here are a few moments we discussed in the podcast. The video will have images showing the dates.
Oath of The Phantom, Comics being published around the world, strong character development, top stories, world wide appeal.
WW2, Frew Publications, Wilson McCoy and Alfred Bester filling in for Lee Falk and Ray Moore, First mainstream merchandise, serial featuring Tom Tyler, the first engagement, Mr Walker alias, love interests from other characters to Diana and The Phantom.
Heaps of new countries (Brazil, Sweden, Indonesia, Denmark, Norway etc), Jungle Patrol, the good mark and the Female Phantom were both introduced. Our Phantom was first introduced as the 21st Phantom
Sy Barry started on the Daily and Sunday strips, modernisation of the Phantom being moved to Africa and Bengalla becoming independent breaking from its former colonialism rule. RGE/Semic started creating their own stories. Luaga, General Bababu, Eden, Rex, Whispering Woods, Keela Wee, Phantom Peak and Bomsbay Prison were all introduced.
The Phantom and Diana finally were married and then had two children. The stories from Sweden had a left lean towards them and emerged as the biggest producer of Phantom stories in the world. Old Man Mozz, Kit and Heloise, Dogai Singh, Mori tribe, Wasaki Tribe, origin of the Bandar friendship, the Dolphins, Hzz and Steggy were all introduced. The 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 18th Phantoms are all introduced to readers also.
Jim Shepherd took over Frew and modernised the comic. There was an explosion of merchandise in Australia and Sweden helped by the popularity of the clubs. Comic numbers sold in Brazil, Sweden and Australia all peaked. Defenders of the Earth was introduced. Fantomen Land in Sweden was opened and Frew went from the dominate blue cover to yellow strip top.
The 1996 Billy Zane movie, Sy Barry retiring and Lee Falk passing away was the big three of the decade. We were also introduced to Lubanaga, perhaps the biggest foe the 21st Phantom has ever dealt with. Fantomen moved to colour and Semic sold their rights to Egmont. Unfortunately with Lee Falk nearing his end and Sy barry retiring the newspaper stories hit an all time low. We also saw the 2040 Phantom TV show.
Moonstone started publishing comics, Ulf Granberg was instrumental is saving the newspaper strips existence with Cleas Remeirthi and Tony DePaul. Continue decline in Egmont and Frew sales. Introduction of Sandal Singh and the Python as major arch nemeses to the 21st Phantom.
End of an era with Ulf Granberg retiring and Jim Shepherd passing away. Frew Crew picked up the mantle and ran with it. Kid Phantom and Fantomen Kids started. Introduction to the Nomad and numerous swapping of newspaper artists. A bigger focus on Australian created content.
We then discussed our favourite decades and had a go at predicting what we believe will be key moments throughout the 2020's.
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