It's been 23 years since Series 1 was in stores, and almost three since the promo card came with Frew's 80th Anniversary Special, but finally - The Phantom Gallery - Series 2 trading card set is available for sale!
Creator Glenn Ford is understandably relieved that his vision of over two decades has finally been realised. "It all got done - it's looking amazing, it's looking fantastic." he tells us in Episode #121 of X-Band: The Phantom Podcast. Glenn was speaking to ChronicleChamber in the lead up to Sydney Supanova, where the Gallery Series 2 will be officially launched.
Gallery Series 2 completes the Chuck Dixon / Graham Nolan story that was left on a cliff hanger in Gallery Series 1. "It's all wrapped up", says Glenn. "It's a shorter story. I had no idea how Chuck was going to wrap it up, but Chuck just started at chapter 2 basically, putting The Phantom in Shanghai and off they went. That turned out really well."
It also features some extraordinary Phantom art from around the globe, all drawn by published Phantom artists. Some that we have been able to identify as featuring in the base set include: Jan Bielecki, Keith Chatto, Luca Erbetta, Felmang, Shane Foley, Jamie Johnson, Douglas Klauba, Antonio Lemos, Bill Lignante, Glenn Lumsden, Jeremy Macpherson, Mike Manley, Lou Manna, Paul Mason, Luke McDonnell, Don Newton, Jason Paulos, Don Perlin, Ruben Procopio, Alex Saviuk, Aslan Sukur, Knut Westad, Cannan White and many more! "It's been a three year job, dealing with nearly a hundred artists," Glenn explained, "it's been like dealing with a hundred of me!"
100 cards in the base set
six Level 3 chase cards, with art by Felmang, Jeff Weigel, Rafael Ruiz and Bane Kerac, as well as the late Lindsay Walker and Paul Ryan
three Level 2 chase cards, a subset drawn by Sal Velluto
one Level 1 chase card, with art by Sy Barry. The Sy Barry card has been inserted at a ratio of 1 per 650 cards, i.e. one in every two boxes (no guarantees!)
a carton card, by Massimo Gamberi
Each pack of nine cards is guaranteed to include one chase card, either Level 2 or Level 3.
There are special Supanova prices for those able to attend - or send a mate! However, they are already available for purchase online.
The cards retail at $6 for a pack of nine.
They can also be purchased in bulk, with a box of 36 packs (324 cards) costing $170.
For serious aficionados, you can also purchase in bulk, with 5 boxes (1620 cards) setting you back $535. As a sweetener the rarest card of all, the carton card by Massimo (could we call it a Level 0?), is included with the 5 box deal.
A dedicated folder is available, again with cover art by Massimo. This will set you back $35.
Happily, all prices include postage.
The cards, boxes and folders are currently available on Glenn's Phanfare website. Promotional material for the cards has also been published on Frew's Facebook page. They are not yet available on Frew's website, but one imagines that this might happen in the future.
Glenn has also confirmed that the trading cards will also be distributed Australia-wide, through Gordon & Gotch, into 2,000-odd newsagents that already sell The Phantom comics and also into various comic shops. ChronicleChamber are hoping that this really takes off and helps return The Phantom into the broader public consciousness!
ChronicleChamber congratulates Glenn on the culmination of his vision all those many years ago, but he takes it all in his stride. "Thanks - now I can get back to work."
ChronicleChamber has started with a review of Gus, a 10 year old kid opening the cards and getting very excited with the whole process. To come a detailed collector review.