For Those Who Have Come In Late: Moonstone Books in 2008 ran a contest for up and coming artists to draw a Phantom cover and the winner as chosen by Mike Bullock and Joe Gentile would get their cover published.
The response was of such a high quality that they ended up publishing the top three as voted by the judges. The winners were Vivek Goel (India), Lindsay Walker - formerly Mick Collins (Australia) and Eugenio Mattozzi (Italy). They appeared in the "Ghost Who Walks" series #1, #3 and #4.
Interestingly as found out by listening to X-Band: The Phantom Podcast episode #160 with Luca Erbetta he also entered in the competition and came fourth.
You can see the covers and Luca's entry that came in fourth below.
His entry will look familiar for a lot of Phantom phans as it was the drawing he submitted for the Phanfare / Frew Gallery Trading Card Series 2. This card is number 71.
All four artists had success after the Moonstone competition.
Vivek Goel (Indian) the winner went onto creating two Moonstone covers for the "Ghost Who Walks" series. Vivek has been on the record that his covers for Moonstone were a 'game changer' that launched his international career and he was very challenged in his second cover which saw him present 27 different thumbnail sketches until both he and Joe was happy - talk about going the extra mile.
Vivek is the founder & CEO of Holy Cow comics from India.
Lindsay Walker - formerly Mick Collins (Australian) should be no stranger to Chronicle Chamber followers with her being on the first ever X-Band: The Phantom Podcast with Joe Douglas. Lindsay before passing, did four covers for Moonstone, Hermes Press and Frew Publications along with several very popular prints including one that was partial inspiration for the IKon Collectables Phantom on Hero statue.
Lindsay also drew and coloured several Moonstone stories both of the Phantom and other characters. You can read more about her here.
Eugenio Mattozzi (Italian) is perhaps the most known from a Phantom point of view of the four as he has a long list of 60+ Phantom covers for Moonstone, Hermes Press, Frew Publications and Team Fantomen. A lot of his work is a collaboration with Sal Velluto but he is a very fine and highly credited artist by his own.
Sal and Eugenio recently produced a set of quality prints of their collaborated work, you can find out more about them here. Eugenio also is available for commissions with several pieces currently available for purchase.
The best place to learn about Luca Erbetta is with his podcast interview with us. He may have come fourth in this competition but as long as he continues to draw Phantom covers for Frew Publications and Team Fantomen at the same high standard as his first 10 he may end up being the most popular among Phantom phans of the four.
Attached above are the other covers and prints from the four artists.
It is far to say that Moonstone Books, Joe Gentile and Mike Bullock have a lot to be proud of their work on our character. They helped bring The Phantom back from the brink of extinction in the USA and in looking in isolation on this competition they helped play important roles in four talented artists in their careers.