Some Egmont readers may have noticed an article in the last Fantomen comic (18-19/2017 released September 7) talking about some new facts emerging about our earlier article on the first phantom comic. Again this article (translation below) has been jointly written and researched by a few phans from around the world including Andreas Eriksson, Swaroop Chand, Jermayn Parker, Helio Guerra, Sérgio Takara and Marko Davidovic.
As outlined in our original article, we identified that the Brazil comic was in fact released before the Italian comic - you can read the whole article here. Now thanks to Indian collector Swaroop Chand, he recently hunted down these two Yugoslavian comics which identify important dates that make these the new FIRST Phantom comics.
Some feedback from the first article people asked questions about magazines and newspaper supplements or paper booklet and if they count along with the first appearance of the Phantom inside a comic. We are talking here about a FULL comic dedicated to the Phantom and not just as a backup character or a throw away supplement.
For the record the first newspaper supplements or paper booklet featuring the Phantom was L'avventuroso a weekly Italian magazine, published from 1934 to 1943 by the editor Mario Nerbini with an appearance in the issue #101, dated September 13, 1936.
The first comic featuring the Phantom is Mika Miš 68 Published February 2, 1937.
For a long time, it was believed by Phantom collectors all over the world that the world's oldest publication dedicated to The Phantom was released in Italy in May, 1937. This has been mentioned in several books and articles.
The second place would then be a Brazilian publication, long believed to have been released later in the same month of May, 1937. However, closer inspection has confirmed that the release date mentioned in this publication is April 25th, 1937.
But both these publications are already beaten! It was a know fact that the Fantom publication from former Yugoslavia was released early on, and that the first issues should have been released sometime during 1937. Lack of a printed publishing date in this publication made it difficult to determine the exact release date - until now! Sharp eyed Phantom collectors who have found this rare comic noticed that it contains an advert for a lottery. The date for the lottery draw is mentioned in the ad as April 14 and 15, 1937. We can thereby confirm that both issue 1 and 2 of Fantom were released before the Brazilian and Italian publication, as the advert is printed in the two first issues of Fantom.
The Yugoslavian Fantom series lasted 32 issues, and worth noting is that the same illustration was used on the first nine covers - only the background colour was changed!