Kjetil Johnsen, the editor of comics from Egmont Norway recently posted on a comics related Norwegian Facebook group (link here) about the future of the Fantomet Softcover Book after the first two issues was released in 2019. The sales was quoted as been 'unimpressive' by what they had budgeted and hoped for.
This is sad as 2018 and early 2019 saw the regular monthly Fantomet magazine being cancelled and long standing newspapers ceasing printing the newspaper stories.
This is a problem for all Phantom phans worldwide as we need to fight for the Phantom being published and seen by current and future phans in as many locations as possible!
The initial news of the Fantomet Softcover Books was greeted with excitement world wide especially with new stories never seen before in Norway (& Sweden) sourced from around the world including publishers Lighting Strikes and Frew. This was seen as a huge bonus however it seems the pre excitement has not turned into extra sales.
Kjetil, has turned to surprising tactic to ask the fans of the Phantom in Norway for their input on ways to ensure the series stays being published.
One of the suggestions by Kjetil and the fans who posted on the Facebook thread, was an annual Christmas special much like their Swedish counterparts which is a tradition that the Norwegians have not seen for nearly 20 years.
The team of CC is greatly disappointed in hearing this news as we generally were excited about this new series. In response to hearing that sales were unimpressive we chatted with several local phans for their input.
The most common problem mentioned was the availability of the book to the public. Many fans apparently could not source the magazine which could have possibly led to lower sales numbers in shops with them sourcing the books online instead.
Norway is different to Australia and the USA with their distribution system of magazines and Books. A regular magazine is sold for 4 weeks, and 6 for the softcover books at the local grocery shops. After this period of time, the unsold books are returned and never to be sold any more.
This leads to an ongoing problem were physical shops do not stock the books as they do not sell them which then leads to less of a chance for new fans to pick up the book.
As far as we understand, the softcover book has not stopped with the editors and decision makers re looking at how they can present and sell a better book for 2020.
In the meantime if you are interested in these books for your own collection, we recommend ChronicleChamber phriend Ivan Pedersen who sources and sells Phantom comics from around the world. You can contact him here.