I need not have worried how I was going to fill the hours after Doc Savage (Sanctum Books) and Fu-Manchu (Titan Books) end their epic novel reprint runs early this year. News has just broken that Hermes Press, the outfit which has been reprinting the Lee Falk Phantom comic strips and comic books for many years will now offer up the vintage Avon Books Phantom novels which graced the shelves during the 1970's. I only picked up a couple at the time and while I enjoyed them, was not sufficiently plugged into "The Ghost Who Walks" to seek them all out. I've wanted them of course in the years since, but I find them rarely and usually in such condition that reading them would demolish them. Now I needn't worry as within the next three years (according to the announcement) about once every two months a new old novel adapting the Phantom stories will arrive for my reading pleasure.
If you want to listen to the announcement yourself check out this link or listen below. Dan Herman, the publisher of Hermes is doing the talking and after hyping up the latest Phantom comic strip volume announces the novel program. It's at about the three minutes and thirty seconds mark if you don't want to sit through the whole thing.
Now I want to be upbeat about this Phantom news, but to be frank Hermes has a history of not being able to deliver on time. It's decent and often quite good when it arrives, but deadlines have always been a problem. So the promise to do this in under three years seems a bit optimistic to me given their track record, but I will choose to accept it until I have concrete reasons to doubt it. Hopefully this will kick off sooner than later as I would love to have a few volumes to enjoy this summer.
For your viewing pleasure I've included in this post the delightful George Wilson covers which graced the Avon books. Great pieces as always and I'm very much looking forward to seeing them enlarged for the new editions.