Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mattozzi's Matinée

As promised on a previous post, here's Eugenio Mattozzi's original illustration for the cover of The Phantom: Generations # 15, later revised for The Phantom: Generations TPB. (Moonstone, June 2010)
What do you think?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

R.I.P. Dick Giordano

Legendary artist/editor/entrepreneur Dick Giordano passed away today, at the age of 77. Besides being one of the most famous  and influential artists in the history of comics, Dick has been a member of Team Fantomen contributing illustrations for eight stories and one cover, between 2002 and 2007.
I was privileged to work for Dick  when he was Executive Editor at DC Comics and to have him ink one of my stories, which appeared on DC's Showcase '95 # 9 . I met Dick Giordano in person and  greatly benefited from his advice, sense of humor and love for the comic-book medium. I will always remember him with great fondness. Riposa in pace, caro amico!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Future Felmang

Here's the image of an upcoming Egmont cover, I have just received from  Phantom Artist Extraordinaire, Romano Felmang. What do you think?
(Image Courtesy: Romano Felmang - Click to enlarge)

A Glimpse into the Future

Yesterday I posted about a Trade Paperback reprinting my old POWER PACK stories.
Today I'd like to spotlight another TPB, and its cover, which was masterfully executed by my cover colorist Eugenio Mattozzi.
The volume: "The Phantom: Generations  TPB" (Moonstone Books - June 2010)  is  a 376 pages collection of one shot comic novellas, with each story (by a different creative team) telling a tale of one of the 21 Phantoms
Included are two bonus never-before-published stories by Tony Isabella and Mike Bullock as well as work by creators like Ben Raab, Pat Quinn, Tom DeFalco, Don Hudson, Mel Odom, Michael Stribling, Will Murray, Enrique Alcatena, Joe Bucco, Danny Fingeroth, Mike Baron, Alex Saviuk, Gordon Purcell, Greg Cox, Steven Grant, Justin Gray, and more!
Congratulations to Eugenio for illustrating the cover of such a prestigious volume.
P.S. : If I receive enough requests, I'll try to convince Eugenio to let me post a variant version of this cover .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Blast From the Past!

My career in comics started back in 1986, when Marvel Comics hired me to draw five issues of Power Pack and the Graphic Novel "Power Pack & Cloak and Dagger: Shelter from the Storm."
Twenty-four years later, Marvel is reprinting my material (along with other creators')  in a Trade Paperback titled POWER PACK CLASSIC VOL.2
The volume will be in stores on May 12, 2010.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My First Phantom [3]

I am pleased to present a series of short stories describing the first time we read The Phantom.
This third installment has been written by "The Ghost Who Blogs" himself, Aaron Bias. If you want to share the memories of your "First Phantom" with the readers of this blog, please contact me.

 Part 1:

What was my first Phantom?  That's actually a difficult question.  You see, unlike Jermayn and Pidde, I grew up in the U.S.- the point of origin for The Phantom, but ironically a country where The Ghost Who Walks is overshadowed by his progeny.

My first memory of even seeing The Phantom was in a book I checked out of my local library as a kid. The book was "Draw 50 Famous Cartoons" by Lee J. Ames. I was mostly interested in learning how to draw Scooby Doo.  I was also fascinated by the drawing of Flash Gordon, who I knew from the Filmation cartoons on Saturdays and the Dino DeLaurentiis film my dad had taken me to.  Who was this Phantom guy? He sure looked cool.

You have to understand, at this point even Charlton had stopped publishing a Phantom comic (the only comic book I read regularly at the age of 7 was Chip 'N' Dale) and our local newspaper didn't run The Phantom. I remember being 7 and trying to draw The Phantom, laying on my stomach on the TV room floor, fat pencil in hand, carefully trying to draw the shapes on my drawing tablet.  My mom was an art teacher and always encouraged me to draw and paint.  I decided pretty early on that I wanted to do comics.

Flash forward a few years: One day last year I was reading a new blog.  The blog was Gold Key Comics by Mykal Banta.  Mykal had been posting complete scans of single issues of various titles by the now defunct but beloved Gold Key Comics (I was a HUGE fan of Turok, Son of Stone when I was 10).  Mykal posted  The Phantom # 8, "The Belt," drawn by Bill Lignante.  The Belt had a story that was just perfect. The Phantom hears through the grapevine that some former pirates have an island where they run a semi-legitimate gambling operation.   And the head pirate has a very peculiar trophy hanging framed on his office wall- a gunbelt and brace opf pistols worn by The Phantom!  Seems the pirate managed to gain The Phantom's confidence enough to stab him in the back.  Of course, that was the previous Phantom, the current Phantom's father.  The pirates believe they are safe from the Phantom, because he's obviously dead.  The current Phantom decides to disabuse them of their erroneous belief. It was a great story!  And  I was really excited by Bill Lignante's artwork. Lignante has a peculiar inking style that reminds me of old, copperplate engravings.  And let's not forget the dynamic, painted cover by the late George Wilson, a true master of cover illustration. Could I have been missing out on a great comic all these years?  I read a few vintage, Charlton Phantom comics on another blog, Diversions of the Groovy Kind. I was sold!

So, What was my first Phantom?  I can't really decide if it was Gold Key issue #8 "The Belt" or if... for the sake of nostalgia... it was really Draw 50 Famous Cartoons by Lee J. Ames.  The 7-year-old boy who wanted to be an artist says it was probably the latter.  I'll let you all know which one I've chosen, as well as relate the rest of my encounters with The Ghost Who Walks over the years over at my blog "The Ghost Who Blogs".

Aaron Bias is a sometime, freelance - illustrator and full-time stay-at-home-dad. His work has appeared in newspaper advertisements and on toy packages.  He has a wonderful wife and two beautiful sons. In addition to being the author of the comics blogs "Silver Age Gold" and "The Ghost Who Blogs" as well as "Refrigerator Art: The Online Sketchbook of Aaron Bias", Aaron conducts a monthly comics chat  on comicschatcast.com.  Aaron and his family currently live in Columbus, OH.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My First Phantom [2]

 I am pleased to present a series of short stories describing the first time we read The Phantom.
This second installment has been written by Phantom Super-Phan, Jermayn Parker . If you want to share the memories of your "First Phantom" with the readers of this blog, please contact me.

I was lucky enough to grow up in Australia where The Phantom is part of tradition, like sport and eating meat pies. My Step Dad used to have his collection of Phantoms that I used to grab and read without
him knowing. However my first ever story was Frew 1120, titled "The Set Up" by Lennart Moberg and Hans Linahl.

I was a young kid (about 12) on my way to a Mission/ Family Trip to Indonesia and we had to grab something to read on the plane so I grabbed the Phantom while my brother grabbed an Archie comic. The Phantom comic had more pages, was more exciting and it was like reading an action comic. I read it about 20 times on the flight and on the trip, so it came back with rips, tatty corners etc. As soon as we
got back, I then spent weeks of advance pocket money to get as many issues as possible.

I then discovered the Internet which turned into eBay and I became an addict. When I was at university (college), I would go without food so I could get the latest Phantom and every time I got some extra cash, I was straight on eBay or swapping comics with other phans around the world. 

To this day "The Set Up"is still one of my favourite stories.

Jermayn Parker is a married man who plays on the net as a freelance web designer, who blogs/ tweets for fun. However, his wife thinks he spends too much time on the Internet. 

Here are some links to Jermayn's websites and blog:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Sy Barry!

Tomorrow, March 12, 2010 is Sy Barry's 82nd birthday.
I hope you'd like to join me (by adding a comment to this post) in wishing Sy all the best.
Above is a little drawing I did  for Sy's 80th Birthday Celebration  which was held at Sardi's in New York, and sponsored by The Friends of the Phantom. Below is a photo of Sy looking at my drawing and thinking "Sal... who?" ;-)
Following is a drawing included by Lars Johansson in his comment to this post.