In the first of a new series of interviews looking at phans who have, arguably, more money than sense we talk to Jermayn Parker about his impressive Phantom collection.
A member of the Phantom phan community for many years both here on ChronicleChamber and other on-line communities Jermayn is known as Germ. Constantly attaining new items for his collection CC asked Jermayn to share with us what a closer look at his ever growing horde of Phantom goodies.
CC: Hello Jermayn, thanks for sharing your collection with us on CC. To start with can you tell us what it is about The Phantom that drew you to the character and made you decide to collect the various merchandise associated with the character.
JP: I always grew up with comics thanks to my step father who always borrowed (for good) Asterixs, Footrot Flats, Phantoms, Tintins, Commandos, Archies and some of the British comics (Beatle I think they were called) but it was not until I was 12 and going to Indonesia for a Church Mission Trip and I was brought into a newsagent and told to buy something to read on the 4 hour flight to Jarakata. I picked up Frew #1120, The Set Up, and was enthralled, it was an amazing story of action, a good storyline with a bit of mystery and I was hooked. I read it about five times during the trip and before even landing in the airport I had decided to myself to buy the next issue in two weeks time when back in Australia – the rest as they say is history.
That was back in 1995 but it was not until I started earning more than just pocket money did I focus on merchandise in 2000 which was annoying as I missed out on all the 1996 movie merchandise and it has cost me a mini fortune since.
CC: How long have you been collecting for?
JP: I have been collecting comics from 1995 and collecting merchandise from early 2000 when I discovered eBay while I should have been studying at TAFE. I started focusing on comics around the world back in 2009.
CC. Where do you source your collectibles from?
JP: I daily visit eBay and have a bunch of RSS feeds but I also source collectibles from around the world from other phans around the world including Norway, Sweden, Hungary, USA, India, Canada etc. I do enjoy going to the local comic store/ book stores and sifting through back issues in Perth but also whenever I go to other cities and towns around Australia. I usually plan a whole day to visit as many as possible and I am lucky enough to have a wife who will come with me.
CC: Is there an particular kind of collectible you concentrate on?
JP: All of them….
I go through phases where I focus on certain stuff, I am like a little kid in a lolly store where you go from one place to another excited and counting your pennies to buy as much as possible. That is me… I focused a lot on the trading cards and now have almost them all including the famous G0 card and the 3 Chromium Animal card subset which all cost me a fortune.
I now am focusing on countries published around the world – I use the www.phantomwiki.org website for my research and have been able to identify about 40 odd different countries around the world. At last count I have 25 different countries including some super rare ones from Israel, Egypt and Angola (in Africa).
I also love original artwork and whenever possible buy sketches, sketch cards and commissions. Overall it costs me a lot which means I do a lot of extra work around the house to stay out of trouble with what I spend.
CC: If you could choose one item from your collection you are most proud of to have found, what would it be?
JP: I am fairly proud of some of the rare comics I have from Israel and Angola. It took me 6 months to track down an Israel seller who had a Phantom comic. It may seem weird but I do not really have a one favourite item, I am proud of them all and with most of them there is always a story behind them which I love telling phellow phans.
CC: Are there any items you are yet to track down that you’d love to have in your collection?
JP: I would love to get a Fijian and Papua New Guinea comic but they can sell from $400 to a few thousand so I may have to wait for those. If anyone has any they would like to sell, please do contact me!
And apart from that and getting the other 15 country comics I yet to have I would love to get artwork from as many current and past Phantom artists.
CC: Some Phantom collectibles are very expensive. Do you have a limit to what you spend on any item?
JP: With comics from countries I want, there is no limit except what I have in the bank account. For various merchandise I know will be on sale somewhere again someday I usually am more stingy and never pay what the price guide says.
CC: Lastly, what advice would you give to other Phantom collectors, be they seasoned collectors or just starting out?
JP: First of all never outbid me on eBay!
Second, it can be hard to buy and collect everything Phantom related so focus on what you enjoy and what you like the look off. I know people who spend majority of their money and time collecting rings, clothes, artwork, comics around the world, English comics, figurines etc.
Also most items will appear again on eBay so unless its super rare and or you have no patience, be patient and wait for it to appear again. I waited an extra year to get one of the Phantom Candles with the ring in the bottom but it meant I saved myself $30 and a bidding war.
CC would like to thank Jermayn for giving us a look into his impressive collection.
If you’d like to see more of Jermayn’s collection check out his Picasa collection gallery.