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Phantom Artists Honored in GI Joe

GI Joe #263, released in April by IDW Publishing, features a special memorial day themed story called "Some Gave All". The story is written by Larry Hama (who has written almost every GI Joe comic story since this series began in 1982) and drawn by SL Gallant.

In this story, the main characters visit the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall in Washington DC to pay tribute to fallen friends. However, in a close-up panel the names on the wall are all comic industry professionals who have passed away. At least three of these are Phantom related.

Harold Fredericks Jr, better known to us as Fred Fredericks was the longtime artist on Mandrake the Magician and for a time also inker of the Phantom Sunday strip. Fredericks was also a continuing collaborator with Larry Hama, as inker on several issues of GI Joe and all issues of Hama's own creation Nth Man the Ultimate Ninja.

Paul Ryan was a Phantom artist for both Egmont and King Features, and the current artist of the daily strip when he passed suddenly passed away in 2016. Hama has previously paid tribute to Ryan, as seen in the following quotes on Paul Ryan's wikipedia page. Writer Larry Hama, Ryan's friend and collaborator at both Marvel and DC Comics, praised him as "an impeccable draftsman, a solid visual storyteller, and really, really nice guy." Hama continued, "I always knew that a plot I sent him would be drawn with a keen attention to detail, aspects of the story would be improved upon, and my mistakes would be corrected."

Herbert W Trimpe, better known as Herb Trimpe, has only one Phantom credit; a cover for Moonstone. But Trimpe was a long ongoing artist on GI Joe, including the very first issue from 1982, as well as several other Marvel titles.

We thank Larry Hama for this heartfelt tribute to his friends and colleagues, of which we have only touched upon the few we've found with a Phantom connection.

A preview of the issue can be read here. The cover of the issue and the full page of the tribute are also included below.

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