Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Phantom Writer!


It's been a Phantom-Philled week indeed. The final installment of the long-awaited original story from Hermes by Peter David and Sal Velluto finally landed (more tomorrow) as well as yet another stab at the character from the bowels of Dynamite. But Free Comic Book Day also gave us some choice Jim Aparo illustrated yarns from the vintage Charlton run. These 1970 classics are lushly drawn by Aparo who was still in throes of delivering fantastic textures and detail. The scripts though are mystery as they are from a writer known only as "Norm DiPluhm". It has long been assumed that the mysterious "DiPluhm" was in fact Steve Skeates, but Skeates has denied this claim repeatedly. Others suggest the writer in question is the ubiquitous Joe Gill. (Gill wrote so many stories for so many different comics, I grew up thinking "Joe Gill" must be a house name.) (Late Additional Note: Here is a good argument that "DiPluhm" is D.J. Arneson.)


We get two stories from issue thirty-seven of the run, the exotic cover story "Bandar Betrayers" and a tight little action yarn titled "Skyjack".


The very next issue, thirty-eight, supplies two more stories - "The Trap" and "The Phantom's New Faith".


All in all a great overview of Aparo's final days on the series as with the very next issue Pat Boyette would step in to take over "The Ghost Who Walks" with the aforementioned Joe Gill.


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8 comments:

  1. I’m still picking up fair-good readable copies of Charlton’s Phantom series at the local Half Price Books when I see them, both to complete my collection and because these gems deserve to be in a long box home where they’re appreciated…

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    1. Reading copies can still be had, but better ones get very pricey quickly. But I agree the series is worthy.

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  2. How long did you wait for the free comics? For the first time I had to wait an hour. Comics are getting too popular. :) Did you get any other good free ones? The Tick and the Doctor Who were both fun.

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    1. I picked up Rom and the Overstreet book too. A couple of others just because there was a five book limit. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I actually went later in the day and felt lucky get anything at all, but the virtue was little waiting. I've been in some long lines, but never anything that bad.

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  3. Yes, I got the Overstreet Book too. It looks like it has some great articles. I'm looking forward to reading them.

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    1. Lots of little features. Attractive.

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  4. Rip, your post encouraged me to post on my blog about Norm DiPluhm: he's D. J. Arneson. The "Great Scot" with one "t" instead of two is the giveaway in the "Skyjack" splash.

    http://martinohearn.blogspot.com/2016/05/norm-dipluhm-d-j-arneson.html

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    1. Thanks. I saw your post and added a link to it in my original Phantom post. Sounds convincing to me.

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