King Features Syndicate has announced that Mike Manley will succeed Paul Ryan as artist on the Phantom daily strip.
Paul Ryan’s passing was a shock to the Phantom community, but the nature of newspaper strips means that a new artist had to be found quickly.
Manley is the current artist on the Judge Parker strip, an assignment he has had since 2010 (temporary) and 2011 (regular) when he succeeded Eduardo Barreto – another Phantom artist that passed away suddenly.
Manley is a veteran comic book artist who has worked on several DC and Marvel titles. He has also supplied artwork for Egmont in Sweden, though not on their Team Fantomen production of Phantom stories but on Agent Corrigan, another classic KFS comic strip which has been successful enough in Sweden to require exclusive stories.
Manley’s first daily will be seen on May 30, and he will continue as artist on the Judge Parker dailies and Sundays.
You can follow his blog Drawman here.
Along with the same news release, KFS announced that Sunday page Phantom artist Terry Beatty will become writer of the Rex Morgan, MD strip. Beatty began drawing Rex Morgan in 2013, and the plan for him to become writer as well was in the works long before there was a need for a new Phantom daily artist. Beatty’s first strips as writer will be seen in print on May 2 for dailies and May 8 for Sundays.
UPDATED March 24: Mike Manley has made a blog post himself, which includes a teaser image of the Skull Cave from his upcoming daily strip of June 3rd.