Friday, February 22, 2013

Aparo Phakes!

The late and most certainly great Jim Aparo made a splash first at Charlton Comics before he became a DC Comics stalwart. And before he became one of the key Batman artists of the Bronze Age and beyond, he cut his teeth on Lee Falk's jungle hero The Phantom. Aparo's art was sophisticated and sleek and because he did his own lettering, his work was distinctive.

Above are a couple of utterly fantastic Aparo covers his Phantom run alongside a couple of Indrajal Comics which seem to...ahem...draw their inspiration from them. A great detail is how in his original, Aparo has the riding Phantom's arm loose by his side as you wold do on a horse and propped in preening fashion like the copy. On the Pharaoh cover note how much movement and drama Aparo implies, which is woefully missing from the later swipe.

A swipe is a good way sometimes to appreciate what a true talent the original artist really was.

Rip Off


  1. Who has the rights to the Phantom? I recall there was some controversy. The Last Phantom was awful

    1. Hermes is currently publishing reprints of the comic strip.

      Dynamite was the last publisher (as you point out) after sneaking the license away from Moonstone.

      The current status is unknown to me, but I'd guess Dynamite still is in control. Yuck!

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