• Mikael Lyck

A possible future for Fantomen?

In Sweden the comic book Fantomen have being published since 1950, it is the second oldest ongoing comic book with only Kalle Anka & Co (Donald Duck) as older ongoing comic book, from 1948.


Fantomen has traditionally been fortnightly published but have also been tried previously as a weekly and a monthly comic book. In 2007, the occurrence of double issues premiered with 2 showing up that year. The number of double issues have increased since that until the current schedule that was introduced 2012 with 7 double issues and 12 regular issues.



I have been told that the biggest reasons to have double issues is that they can be longer at the newsagents and stores, saving costs of sending them there and taking returns. But for many the worries of the Swedish Phantom phan community is that with the issues getting fewer and fewer, it is historically not a good sign, because they are seldom increased again.


For example the Norwegian Fantomet magazine had the same publishing schedule and then they introduced double issues in 2007 and continued to increase them, from 7 double issues in 2012, to 8 double issues in 2013 and from 2014 all of the issues were double issues - so 13 double issues. The 13 issues per year continued until the last issue of the regular series in 2018.


History lesson over, what I want to conclude is that fewer issues are bad for the livelihood of a comic book but it is more cost effective to have fever issues sent to newsagent. The real revenue is converting readers into subscribers.


Back to Kalle Anka & Co, which is published each week, with 52 issues per year. They recently announced that they are starting to only send out every second issue to stores and newsagents and the rest will be exclusive to subscribers.


That should mean that they will save costs from sending half their issues to newsagents and probably increasing the number of subscribers that want all the issues.


One could argue that this since Kalle Anka & Co and Fantomen have the same owner, if this works fine it could be the future of Fantomen too.


Another good thing this could lead to is that they could start with 26 issues a year for subscribers and a problem I have talked about earlier is that some issues aren't good as an introduction to the Phantom for new readers, then these issues could be only for subscribers while more independent stories could be sold in stores to get in more new readers.


What do you think? Could this be a valid option for Fantomen?