Regal Publishers: The Phantom '2020 Christmas Special' Issues #5 & #6 Review
Regal Publishers from India opened December 2020 by releasing issues #5 & #6 of their English, bi-monthly, full colour, 'The Phantom' comic series. The production quality of Issues #3 & #4 of October 2020 set the bar quite high, with a significant upgrade in paper & print quality over issues #1 & #2. I thought they had hit the proverbial ceiling for quality, but I was wrong.
Issues #5 & #6 , branded as the 2020 Christmas Special, has even thicker & now, glossy 'art paper'. Similar in thickness & feel to the paper on the FREW 'The Phantom' full colour trade paperback series of books, this 90 gsm art paper gives these comics a nice heft to them & makes the pages durable with little to no chance of degrading over time. The glossy quality of the paper accentuates the detailed linework & makes all the colours really pop!
Regal have to be commended for the outstanding print fidelity in reproducing these 'Sunday strips'. Every line, colour, & hue is intact, even in the most detailed of panels, with no overlap or bleed at all!
Regal have also made some design changes in the inside pages. Gone are the usual red borders on each page which mentioned a header with the story name & 'Regal Comics' & the footer mentioned the page no. Along with removing the borders they have also switched to a much nicer looking font for the header and footer texts. In my opinion it enhances the presentation of each page giving it a much cooler and smarter look from its previous installments.
Both issues, reprint post-Falk Sunday Strips, run 56 pages, & come with a free sticker each. The art on each sticker is from the covers of issues #1 & #2 by Vincent Moses Raja. All the stories featured have been written by Tony DePaul, drawn by the late Paul Ryan, and coloured by Tom Smith. Comics veteran Tom Smith's colours are simply outstanding and Regal does justice in reproducing and presenting them with utmost integrity.
Issue #5 has cover art by Vincent Moses Raja and consist of the stories 'The Love Triangle' & 'The Lost Kingdom of Avaria'. Issue #6 has cover art by Sanjay Valecha and reprints 'The Accursed Land' & 'The Dirty Half Dozen'. Personally I prefer the story selection on Issue #6 as they are much more dramatic and modern.
The price for each issue is 200 Indian Rupees which is about: $3.6 Australian Dollars, $2.7 US Dollars, 2.24 Euro & 23 Swedish Krona.
I consider these books to be of the finest production quality at par or better than most single issue monthly comics put out by heavyweights like DC, Marvel or Image Comics. Irrespective of my personal opinion of the cover artworks not doing justice to the quality of the contents inside - Regal Publishers have definitely raised the bar in terms of production quality among all the active Phantom monthly publications across the world. I truly am excited to see where they can take things from here!
Due to licensing limitations, Regal can only sell & ship to addresses within India - so for Phans living outside India, I recommend you befriend an Indian Phan & have these books bought & shipped to you by them. If not, FREW are selling some copies of this series via their website, and I'm sure these issues too will show up for order there - although in very limited quantity.
For any assistance regarding ordering these books directly you can contact Regal Publishers here:
Whatsapp & Phone No: +91 94810 52592