Friday, March 15, 2013

Phace Of The Phantom!

The great Sy Barry outdid himself with this beautiful painting of Lee Falk's groundbreaking comic strip hero, The Phantom. Barry's Phantom was typically a confident smiling heroic figure, capable of violent acts, but not defined by them in any way. If anything, Barry's Phantom was almost too benign, his charm so resonant even behind the mask that there seemed little for crooks to truly fear from "The Ghost Who Walks".

In this unusual rendering, Barry gives us a possible glimpse behind that mask at the face of Kit Walker, the scion of the Phantom heritage of heroism and courage. Again, the man illustrated here seems reasonably unaffected by his lifetime of fighting the forces of piracy and crime. This is the family man, also a large part of the tradition that Falk established in the legend of his hero. Here's a link to an interview with Barry in which he briefly discusses this image.

And finally here's a simply luscious painting by longtime Mandrake the Magician artist and storyteller Fred Fredericks featuring Mandrake and Lee Falk's other great creation The Phantom in a slam bang action scene. I'm unclear whether the fire in the background is real or the projection of Mandrake's hypnotic powers, his own way of joining the fray the Phantom is involved in so vigorously with is pistols.

Great art by great artists starring great characters.

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