News has filtered in the last week that Aftenposten, one of the major Norwegian newspapers, has cancelled The Phantom strip. After the current story ends, so does their relationship with the character. What makes this heartfelt is their long history with the character, and their connection to perhaps the greatest ever Phantom history story of all time.
The full page in the newspaper explaining that it is all about to end
The story goes that Aftenposten used to smuggle in the Phantom strips from Sweden during the WWII Nazi occupation of Norway, and that this inspired Norwegian readers and Resistance fighters. They took it as a sign that Nazi propaganda about the Americans being defeated was false.
This legend has morphed into the great story (that is of course unable to be verified today) that The Phantom was used as a password for the Resistance and underground fighters.
Whether it's legend or not, it's a great story that Lee Falk was very happy with and retold countless times!
Each time the readers and locals have stressed The Phantom's importance to the newspaper and they have gone back on their decision to cancel the strip. Only time will tell if this happens again. Aftenposten has also cancelled many other King Features strips in the past; like a lot of other newspapers, their comic section is growing smaller over time.
It must be said that newspapers and magazines will only cancel a publication or a strip if it is too costly and they do not make money from the product. Sadly this only happens if phans step away from the magazine and stop buying.
It is no consolation prize in any way, but the newspaper has made mention that The Phantom will continue in a fashion, with "classic" stories appearing on their website.
There is no further news yet regarding the promised extra Egmont book / trade paperback being released or even announced.
Thank you to Kristian Hellesund, Ola Ragnar Fridheim and a few others who told us about this cancellation that has added to the bad news our Norwegian brothers have had to endure with the Phantom slowly being removed from their country's popular culture.