When news comes out of Frew Publications it comes strong, and so it has been today!
The first item of big news is something that has been anticipated by phans ever since Frew started publishing titles outside their regular numbering: Kid Phantom, Giantsize and most recently, Phantom's World. Given that subscriptions have become such an important part of the business model, it was only a matter of time that these titles would also available directly from Frew HQ. In a Facebook post today, Frew announced that readers would be able to subscribe to each title, saving 30% on the cover price of each.
As they are all quarterly publications, it makes sense that Kid Phantom, Giantsize and Phantom's World are also available for subscription as a package deal.
A very exciting development is the introduction of Phantom's Universe character cards as an incentive to subscribe. In a similar fashion to the Phile Cards that currently accompany subscriptions to regular Frews, Phantom's Universe cards will be included with any of the comics that form part of the quarterly subscriptions. The cards will start with the next quarterly to be published, Phantom's World #2, and continue with the other titles as they are released.
ChronicleChamber has been in touch with Frew publisher Dudley Hogarth and can confirm that every comic will be posted with a different card. "Each comic has its own individual card so that the only ways to receive the full set would be to subscribe to all 3 quarterlies or purchase them individually as they are released," says Dudley. This will mean 12 unique cards per year.
Dudley has also confirmed the size of the set, although this would seem to be a little fluid. "There will be 52 unique Phantom's Universe Cards, one for each character. There may be a few more as new characters appear in new material," Dudley tells us.
The Phantom's Universe cards have a distinct Egmont connection; ChronicleChamber can confirm that the text on the cards was written by former stand-in editor Andreas Eriksson, and the art was provided by cover artist Henrik Sahlström. The cards actually originally appeared in Egmont comics over the last few years, but have been translated into English (with the assistance of our own Jermayn Parker) for release by Frew.
For those who do not want to subscribe to the comics, or who are selective in which titles they'd like to purchase, the cards will also be available from the Frew website at a cost of $2 each.
Further to this, ChronicleChamber can confirm that there will be a Phantom's Universe collectors binder that will be available for phans to display their cards. According to Dudley, "we will be bringing out a collector's folder with sleeves to accommodate the cards in the future."
The second piece of news is the addition of an exciting new tab on the Frew website - the Treasure Room. Apparently going live today, the Treasure Room is a page that lists "whatever we decide is a treasure that is a bit of a one off item that can't otherwise be categorised. It could be art, memorabilia, or any rare piece."
Nine items were listed today, including a slabbed Frew comic from the estate of Lee Falk, and 8 different framed collages of international comic book covers, each complied by former Frew publisher, the late Jim Shepherd. Phans will have to be watchful - all 8 collages were sold within six hours of them being published!
And finally, in a big week for Australians who are into their pop culture, Frew have given some indication as to their plans for Oz ComicCon at Brisbane (23 & 24 September) and Sydney (30 September & 1 October).
While there will not be a dedicated "Frew booth" at the events, Frew will have a presence. "We will be represented by others doing some promotion on our behalf," says Dudley. In Brisbane that means Paul Mason and Andrew Constant, who will available with Kid Phantom prints, comics, bookmarks and stickers. They will also be presenting a Kid Phantom seminar at 12pm on Saturday. A special guest, in the form of a certain Frew co-owner and Phantom artist, is also rumoured to likely be in attendance. And as for Sydney? Only time will tell.
Just another big news day in a big news year for Frew and the Phantom.