In a rather shocking turn of events, Tony DePaul, the man who has been behind the Sunday and Daily The Phantom strips for the last 17 years, is stepping down.
As detailed in a lengthy post on his blog, DePaul is leaving the strip after negotiations with Hearst/King Features Syndicate broke down regarding his contract going forward, and how he would be paid if any characters or story elements he created during his 17 year run where to appear in any possible future The Phantom movies.
Basically, DePaul was told that if he wanted to continue writing The Phantom strip he would have to give up the rights to any character/story he created, both retrospectively and going forward. As you can imagine, this did not sit well with the celebrated writer.Yet another horrible tale of creators being given the proverbial bird by money men, something that happens all too often in both comics and Hollywood.
Having created some of the most celebrated stories in the last two decades, Phans are sure to miss DePaul. The final strips of his last story are set to see print during the American Autumn (September 22 - December 21).