A masthead is part of the publication's branding, with a specific font and, usually, color. It may include other details besides the name, such as ornamentation, a subtitle, or motto. What follows is the history of every masthead from a Denmark publisher over a 50+ year period.
My name is Simon Treschow and I have been a Phantom phan since I was in school in 1962. A series that immediately attracted me when I was reading comics in the newspaper was the Phantom. I distinctly remember the last part of The Iron Dragon drawn by Wilson McCoy and today I am 65+ and still enjoying reading my comics.
Today I am looking at logos and mastheads on the Fantomet releases in Denmark. This research has also taken me on a little trip around the world including Norway, France, UK, and the USA.
From 1952 to 1954 Carl Allers published the so-called Fantom-Heft. Some issues had the Phantom as the main story. Therefore, these numbers had Fantomet (The Phantom) as the logo on the front. The logo did not change during the period of this series being published.. On the last four numbers, however, the Fantomet logo was framed in a box.
In 1970, the "Fantomet Annual" was published by Interpresse. It was the first Fantomet Denmark comic release since 1954. The left image is the Denmark Fantomen comic and the right is the original 1968 British Phantom Annual. The contents are the same but translated and The Fantomet logo was new compared to the previous Fantom-Heft series.
In 1971, a new regular publication started named Fantomet and was published as a monthly magazine by Interpresse. The logo was initially copied from the Norwegian Fantomen logo with the Norwegian logo originally modified from the Swedish logo. if you compare the two covers and mastheads below, most would not know they come from different countries.
The Swedish logo that has not changed significantly since 1950 but that is another story.
[Editors note: the below covers that are discussed can be seen in the slideshow below]
In 1977 Interpresse launched a new Fantomet logo with issue #70 which features a different text style and the popular skull in the hole of the 'O'.
In 1983 sixteen years later, Interpresse on issue #219 redesigned the logo to a much smaller Fantomet with the issue number, price and page count much bigger. The skull in the hole of the '0' was also dropped.
That logo design did not last long with it changing again in 1986, issue #272. The issue number, price and page count was all redesigned again with a tidier compact block to the left of the comic. The Fantomet logo is more modern and probably the most minimalist.
In 1990 with issue #321 the whole masthead was simplified again with a return to old. The logo font was returned to a similar style as the 1977 style (minus the skull) and the issue number, price and page count was shrunk to the top right corner. The logo had a white drop shadow and the words "Lee Falk's" was added on top of the "NTO" in Fantomet.
In issue #338 in 1992, Interpresse changed the Fantomet logo back to the 1977 logo with the skull and an outline with no previous drop shadow. The "Lee Falk's" text was added to with the words "Klassiske Junglehelt" which translates to "Lee Falk’s Classic Jungle Hero". The issue number, price and page count was again modified to fit in with the new addition to the top right hand side of the comic cover.
The last change before the cancellation of the magazine happened in issue #343 (cancellation was at issue #369) which saw the words "Klassiske Junglehelt" which translates to "Lee Falk’s Classic Jungle Hero" removed.
Besides the regular magazine, during this time three other series was also released which featured different style masthead styles.
In 1994, Interpresse launched a new Fantomet magazine called "Fantomet Krønikee" which translates to Phantom Chronicle with a logo based on the logo from the "Fantomet Annual" album from 1969. The capital "F" in Fantomet was changed to be larger.
Borgen / Bogfabrikken released three beautifully colored albums with Wilson McCoy Sundays in 1985 to 1987. The Interpresse logo from 1983 was used. These albums were a translated duplicate from the same Swedish Christmas albums.
In 2001, Egmont released a beautifully colored hard cover album with Sy Barry Sundays. This featured a new logo which is the same style as the Swedish book of the same format. Egmont Sweden originally intended this series to be 18 books and covering all of Sy Barry's Sundays. Three were published in Sweden and only one in Denmark.
I hope you enjoyed this journey through out the history of the masthead of Fantomet comics from my country Denmark. Researching this topic has seen me track the popular logo style across continents which I will explore in another article.
[Editors note: Thank you Simon for your time, research and sharing with us your research. If you enjoyed this, please let us know]