In Fantomen 6-7/2023 we get a preview of the next Fantomen issue with a story titled "I Radslans Skugga" ("The Shadow of Fear") which is written by a new writer Jörgen Karlsson. If you are like us, we want to know who he is, his history on the Phantom and what we may get from his stories. As you will find out, Jörgen is not new to readers of the magazine.
Chronicle Chamber: First of all, thanks for your time Jörgen Karlsson, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Jörgen Karlsson: My name is Jörgen Karlsson, I live in Luleå, a city in the northern part of Sweden.
I'm 48 years old and work as a graphic designer, mostly making ads for news paper printing. In 2016 I began publishing my own indie comic book called Karl Kämpe The Adventurer.
CC: Do you have a history with the Phantom? If so, can you please tell us?
JK: As most kids in Sweden growing up in the 80's I read Fantomen. As you probably know The Phantom is by far the most popular superhero comic in Sweden, beating Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, The Hulk and all the other comics by a landslide.
When I moved from my home town of Boden to Luleå I gave away all my Phantom comic books and albums to a collector I meet at a stag party. I thought that would be the end of my relationship with The Phantom, how wrong I was.
CC: How did you go full circle and get the opportunity to write adventures of our costumed hero?
JK: Many years later I was writing a still unpublished book about a 18th century adventurer called Karl Kämpe. I thought at the time that the book needed a companion piece to introduce my protagonist. I decided to make a comic book and in that process I got to know Andreas Eriksson, editor of Fantomen.
Just for fun I wrote a script for The Phantom and after getting some critique from Andreas I trashed about 10 pages and rewrote the whole thing. The new script was accepted by the publisher and I can't wait to see it in print.
CC: We cannot either. What can we expect from your first story?
JK: As a comic book with over 2,000 stories The Phantom sometimes can get a little repetitive. We always follow the story from the perspective of The Phantom. For once I wanted to change that. In my story we follow the perspective of a young man called Ashan and The Phantom is more of a secondary character.
The Phantom still play a big part but more as a legend than a real person. I think writers sometimes forget this part of The Phantom lore. The Phantom isn't just a crime fighter, he is also a boogeyman to criminals and evil doers. The Phantom walks in shadows and is the man that cannot die.
CC: Have you written your next story yet?
JK: Yes, I have written a second script called "The Iron Snake". It's an exciting adventure in the life of the 18th Phantom. Dealing with the Scramble for Africa (Find out more about that era here) and Bangalla in particularly.
Bangalla is being connected to the Uganda Railway but evil forces do not want the new railway line to be built. The Phantom must solve the mystery and save the day. I hope the Swedish publisher will accept it but the ball is still in the air on that one.
CC: Who is your favourite character from the Phantom.
JK: Hard to say, there are so many good "one-shot" characters. Not including the Phantom himself I must say Kigali Lubanga who is a foe worthy of any superhero.
CC: If you had free reigns to change / update / add something permanent to the world of the Phantom what would it be?
JK: In my opinion, time should pass in real time, so as a year passes in life, a year passes in the comic. That way The Phantom would get a mini reboot every 20 years or so when the old one die (in some dramatic fashion) and his son/daughter takes over and takes the comic in a slightly new direction.
CC: Will we see any Karl Kämpe references in your story?
JK: No, I don't think I have enough clout to get away with something like that (yet).
CC: For those who want to learn more about Karl Kämpe or yourself, do you have some social media profiles for us to follow your work at?
JK: Thank you for your time. Hope you all enjoy my story and look forward to watching Mikael Lyck's review. You can follow my work at the following places.