Some of those who follow the Phantom newspaper strip adventures daily would have noticed the art style looked slightly different on June 13th 2022. A closer look will also show that there was no Mike Manley credited.
Tony DePaul makes a small mention of this in his blog post published on June 8th 2022.
Finally: we’ve had a rough couple of weeks on the Phantom enterprise, hence you can expect to see a bit of news break by Monday, at the latest. I’d tell it if it were my news to tell, except it ain’t.
Due to some personal reasons the popular daily artist has had to temporary hand over the pencils and inks to Bret Blevins. Let us stress, this is just a temporary fill in. Expect to see Mike back soon.
Bret is an American comic book artist, animation storyboard artist, and painter. He is perhaps best known for his stint as the regular penciler of New Mutants and has produced covers for Moonstone Books' Phantom comic series.
Here are the covers he drew.
Ghosting for Mike makes sense as in the past two years Bret has also inked specific panels for Mike in times of need. He has ghosted various panels back in March to July 2020 and May to October 2021. This is the first known time he is penciling and inking the whole strip.
From what we understand, Mike Manley will be back on the drawing board soon and he wish him all the best. From us at Chronicle Chamber, congratulations to Bret Blevins for joining the ranks of an illustrious few.