The Phantom may still be living in a cave, but Frew Publications has jumped into the digital age by offering their books as digital comics via the popular ComiXology platform. At this stage it is nothing more than a soft launch with only three volumes available, but word from Frew is that more will be added soon.
You can view the Frew Phantom comics available at ComiXology here.
Phantom comics have been available digitally for decades, albeit in a very non-Phantom way, with the vast majority found on various pirate websites and torrents. So far as legal downloads go, a limited range of titles from Hermes Press have been available for some time, however Frew's move marks a massive entry into the digital world for our hero. This is the first time that a current producer of new stories has moved towards digital publication, and it could well help bring The Phantom to a new mass audience.
Frew have proven that they are not afraid of trying something new, with recent innovations including: Kid Phantom; continuing Giantsize after 50-odd year break in publication; the board game sold via Kickstarter and now; digital comics. Indeed, Frew have already dabbled with providing digital content through free downloads of posters etc direct from their website. Obviously they recognise the need to keep trying to reach the next generation and we applaud this latest attempt.
Chronicle Chamber have confirmed that, as a general rule of thumb, the prices for digital content will be approximately half the recommended retail price for a hard copy of the comic or trade paper back. See below for a current comparison of prices between comiXology (digital) and Frew's website (hard copy).
Trade Paperback #1 - For Those Who Came in Late
Trade Paperback #2 - Phantom: 70th Anniversary
Giantsize Issue #1
Digital comics may not appeal to many of the current Australian phans who enjoy reading and collecting their hard copy comic, whether via subscription or the fortnightly visit to their local newsagent. However, digital comics have a massive global audience creating a market that no reputable publishing company can ignore.
In North America alone, sales for digital comics are $90-$100 million each year (measured 2013- 2018). That's a lot of reasons to go digital. Read more about the impact of digital sales here.
As an arm of the online retail giant Amazon, comiXology is the big fish of digital platforms. ComiXology includes comics and content from over 125 publishers, as well as thousands of independent creators from around the world. This allows them to use the best software available for viewing and reading comics and, of course, helps them limit the biggest problem for all media - the pesky pirates!
All in all this will be very welcome news, especially if you're already a reader of digital comics or a Phantom phan located outside Australia.
To download the comiXology application on your devices follow these links: