Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Phantom Sallies Phorth!

Hermes Press which has been releasing Phantom reprints for some years now has just announced that they are publishing some new Phantom adventures later this year. That's fantastic as the artwork is supplied by the awesome Sal Velluto, one of the finest artists of recent years, a guy with a lush vivid style. Here's the news bulletin:

"The Phantom returns to comic books with Hermes Press!  Starting in September, Hermes Press will begin the release of an all-new, six part mini-series featuring the classic Ghost Who Walks, helmed by super-star writer Peter David with artwork by seasoned veteran and Phantom chronicler extraordinaire Sal Velluto.

Hermes Press Publisher Daniel Herman observed that, “When we asked King Features to allow us to build on the mythos of The Phantom we were clear that we wanted to expand the canon of one of comics’ greatest legends by embracing the character and his history, and by building on it.  We want to create new stories that Lee Falk would be proud of!”

Herman said that the selection of Peter David was the obvious choice as he is a well known fan of the strip and understands its mythos.  David has written extensively for comic books for over twenty-five years, as well as for television and film. He is currently hard at work creating a story arc that fans won’t want to miss.

David pointed out that, “I’ve been a huge Phantom fan for years, and even had the chance to work on him for DC many years ago.  I’m thrilled that Daniel approached me about this series and I’m taking the opportunity to produce a story I’ve literally been thinking about for a couple of decades.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing Sal’s pencils and putting the book out there for the fans.”

Velluto is also hard at work crafting the art for issue #1.  “This will be a classic story that will attract both fans and those who have yet to enjoy the adventures of The Phantom,” he commented.

Issue #1 will be solicited in August Previews and will hit comic shops boasting two covers by Velluto as well as variants by seasoned Phantom artists Alex Saviuk and Graham Nolan.  A special poster created by Velluto will also be released at the San Diego Comic-Con to mark the new series.

“For the last five years Hermes Press has published reprints of Lee Falk’s classic comic strip together with our comprehensive reprint series of the Gold Key, King, and Charlton Comics adventures of The Phantom—now we’ll have the opportunity to add to that material with original comic books,” Herman said, adding, “We couldn’t be more excited and we think fans will be too.”

I have no idea how this affects Dynamite's work with the Phantom character. He was most recently part of their King's Watch storyline, but that has shifted its focus on just Flash Gordon for now. Curious indeed.

Here's a glimpse of the greatness Velluto brings to the "Ghost Who Walks" with some outstanding covers from Sweden's Egmont "Fantomen" series:

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  1. The art looks very good! I'll be checking this out. My only familiarity with the Phantom is the Billy Zane movie and a couple Jim Aparo comics.

    1. I love the Billy Zane movie, it "gets" the Phantom! And Jim Aparo was the guy who made me realize the Phantom was exciting!

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