January 19 is turning out to be a great day for news about new Frew initiatives! The publishing company's resurgence under new owners Glenn Ford and Rene White continues apace as they approach the one-year anniversary of acquiring the company.
Their latest innovation (announced on Facebook today) is the Frew Philecards, to be released every week/ fortnight with each new issue and also available via the Frew website.
Glenn told ChronicleChamber: "These [Frew Philecards] are trading card-sized collector cards, showing the cover to every single Phantom comic that Frew has produced, starting at #1. On the back will be all of the relevant information about that issue. ...
"This information consists of the publishing date, the name of the story, the name of the original story, the cover artist, number of pages and cover price. ... Frew has gathered the information from historians Barry Stubbersfield and David Budds, distributor Gordon and Gotch, and their own archives.
In a move clearly designed to encourage phans to buy directly from the company, the Frew Philecards will be included with every comic mailed to subscribers. Each subscriber will get a free pack.
"Each pack will have 9 cards, so every issue will have a new pack of 9 cards, in sequence - i.e. subscribers will receive issue #1775 with the first pack with cards for Frew no.'s 1-9; issue #1776: pack 2 with no.'s 10-18, etc," says Glenn.
Phans who prefer to buy their comic fortnightly from their newsagents will still be able to access the Phile cards through the Frew website, available for individual sale at $3.50 per pack, or a $130/year subscription.
Frew is also planning to make a purpose-made binder available, allowing phans to collect the cards into a handy reference source for all Frews. The binders will hold a dozen 9-card sheets, therefore 108 cards per binder.
This is a massive and long-term undertaking by Frew. Some simple maths:
Currently, 1800 issues actually released.
1800 / 9 = 200
So it will take 200 issues to get the cards up to present day (beginning 2017).
By then obviously, Frew will have released another 200 comics to get there.
So that's an extra 23 packs of 9 to get up to date.
So that's another 23 issues released, and an extra 2-3 packs required to catch up to that...
Assuming Frew continues with 31 issues per year:
225 / 31 = 7.25
So it's going to take over 7 years for Frew to get their Frew Phile Cards to catch up to the issue of the day, which should be approximately the issue numbered #2000. Coincidence, or good planning? Either way, we look forward to having it all up to date in 2024!