Comics never used to include or record credits so many comics created prior to the 1980's has had that important information lost. One of the goals for resources like Phantom Wiki is to try and find that lost information. With many of the creators sadly passed away it can be painful trying to piece the jigsaw puzzle back together.
Recently there has been confirmation on three exciting creators who now have Phantom credits (Jerry Siegel, José Delbo, Gary Poole and Joe Musial) and Pat Fortunato who has another story credited to her. You can read more about Pat in this article where we originally said that we believe she wrote another story.
Credit must go to the guys over at Phantom Wiki (Andreas Eriksson and Marko) and also Kristian Hellesund for bringing the information to our attention. The information was originally listed at the "Who Created the Comic Books" blog and the Heritage Auctions website.
Jerry Siegel is one of the biggest comic book names who is famous among other things for his Superman creation. In some past interviews Jerry has mentioned that he once wrote a Phantom and Mandrake story, no one knew which one. New details have emerged that the Phantom story he wrote was "The Invisible Demon" which was published in King Comics #20 in 1967. It was originally believed to be written by Bill Harris.
Sal Trapani is credited for many Charlton comics which isn't a surprise being the brother-in-law of Dick Giordano who was the editor for Charlton. He inked the story "The Secret of the Golden Ransom" from Charlton Comics #30, released in February 1969.
However no one knew who penciled the story, recently Phantom Wiki have confirmed that the penciler was Trapani's frequent collaborator José Delbo. To learn more about José who is still alive and accepting commissions go to his website.
This same story is the second credited story for female writer Pat Fortunato. Interestingly as she was not hired by Charlton it is suggested that this story was created for King Comics and when Charlton took over the rights, they got the story to publish as well.
Gary Poole has had a long history writing and drawing comics and books. He wrote two Phantom stories for King Comics and Charlton Comics titled "The Story of Hero" (King #27 - 1967) and "The Living Legend" (Charlton #30 - 1969). He also wrote several Mandrake and Flash Gordon stories for the publishers.
The front cover for Feature Book #57 published in 1949 was always down as unknown on Phantom Wiki and other comic websites. Recently the original art was sold on Heritage Auctions and on the back cover there is a note with Joe Musial was the artist. (It would be good to see the auction company actually photograph the note for providence).
Since the 1930s he was a ghost artist for King Features and art director of the comic book division until taking over the strip The Katzenjammer Kids until his death in 1977.
So there you go, recently lost information has now been found. Keep up the great work all.
If you would like to read the original blog posts, comments and the online auction, the links are:
If you ever find any other useful information on long lost Phantom creators, we would love to hear about it, please email us at email@example.com. Thanks to Andreas Eriksson, Marko and also Kristian Hellesund for their research for this article.