About a week ago, we reported on Sy Barry's appearance at the Big Apple Comic Con in New York. Now, here is a much closer insight - from a phan who actually attended!
Duncan may have been there on a mission, but he certainly took the time to take in all the Phantom opportunities. We know you will enjoy this report from the newest junior member of the ChronicleChamber team, roving reporter Duncan Munro.
Over the weekend of 14th & 15th April at the Penn Plaza Pavilion on 7th Avenue New York, Mike Carbonaro again hosted his renowned comic and pop culture event, the Big Apple Comic Con. While significantly scaled down from larger US cons, the 2018 BACC still held some treasures for Phantom phans able to make their way to the venue.
The highlight for any Phantom phan over the weekend was the appearance of legendary Phantom newspaper strip artists Sy Barry. Sy only attended on the Saturday, but he sure squeezed a lot of phan time into one day.
As well as offering signings and selling prints and original Phantom dailies and Sundays, Sy attended a panel discussion with peers Ramona Framon and long time collaborator Joe Giella, who worked alongside Sy on numerous occasions on strips such as Flash Gordon and The Phantom, with the pair penciling and inking for each other to cope with the excessive workloads of strip artists at the time. The panel, hosted by comic and book writer Danny Fingeroth, gave precious little time for three such prolific and experienced artists to capture almost 200 years of artistic career between them.
Away from the panel discussion Sy was not taking commissions, but lucky attendees had the opportunity to see him in action as he masterfully rendered some head sketches while an enthralled crowd watched on. Sy was a consummate gentleman paying service to fans young and old. He is masterful storyteller, a joy to watch and an honour to meet.
Also present at the convention was writer Peter David, who penned the 1989 four issue DC run of The Phantom with Joe Orlando and later worked with Sal Vellutto on the Hermes The Phantom single issues which would eventually become the Danger in the Forbidden City trade paperback.
And finally Marvel powerhouse Jim Steranko, perhaps best known for his Captain America pages and covers, was larger than life as he entertained old and new fans and provided support and guidance to aspiring artists bold enough to share their early work with him.
Jim's link to the Phantom is a beautifully crafted Trading Card for the Dynamic Series and a more risque print of a female in the Phantom costume - well partly in it - which was available for purchase at Jim's convention booth.
The Big Apple Comic Con provided many an unexpected surprise for the keen eyed attendees as generations of comic talent and fandom met under one roof.
Original Daily and Sunday art from Sy Barry's 30 plus year run on The Phantom strips can be purchased via his son David on www.sybarry.com.
Joe Giella is contactable via Facebook, and his son manages sales of his work for him.