When Glenn Ford and Rene White, collectively known as The Frew Crew along with Dudley Hogarth, took over Frew they said they had some big ideas for The Phantom. Well, we’re starting to see the first of these with the announcement of two variants of Frew’s comic.
To be fair “variant” in the usual sense of the word in relation to comics – that of the exact same issue with only a different cover created simply for collecting purposes – isn’t exactly correct here. Rather, what Frew have done is produced an edition of the comic specifically for the New Zealand phans and a “premium” edition as well.
The New Zealand edition of the comic will for all intents and purposes be the same as the “regular” Australian version of the comic with one important difference – it will be created with New Zealand in mind. What this means is that the New Zealand price of the comic will be the most prominent and the Phantom will be sporting a brown costume, the “official” colour in New Zealand. The first of these Kiwi Cover issues, as Frew is calling then, will be available with issue #1747 which is out March 24th. You can see an image of the cover below.
Secondly, we have the Signature Series. These will be issues signed by the cover artist and come in a polybag along with backing board and a certificate of authenticity. 100 copies of each issue will receive the Signature Series treatment and, as far as we can tell, will be available only through Frew’s website. Issues #1745 and #1746 are already available.
Glenn Ford contacted us with pricing information on the Signature Series:
The pricing on the signature series is as follows: $5 extra for a local artist and $10 for an international one. This covers airmail postage and insurance. On this year’s Annual it’s $19 instead of $14, which represents good value, I think. We’ve also decided to number them, as well, on the certificates. Also, as an aside, the Annual will obviously be taken out of its shrinkwrap and rebagged into a polybag. The shrinkwrapping that has been used, historically, on the Frew Annuals is a low grade plastic and will eventually start to ‘leech’ the colour out of the comic’s cover. Collectors do insist, though, on keeping them bagged!!!