[Editors Note:] Chronicle Chamber team member Kristian Hellesund has wrote an article in a local newspaper with his review of the Fantomet landscape 2022 Album. With his permission we have included a translated version of the original newspaper article here.
It is good to see The Phantom included in any newspapers. If you find anything Phantom related in the local newspaper, please contact us.
In 2022 we will also get an annual album with The Phantom. It is a mix of old and new stories with the Ghost Who Walks. Last year's album with Fantomet was a success. This is Norway's only new Phantom release for the year and includes three American newspaper stories.
It starts with “The Golden Sands of Keela-Wee”, which was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Sy Barry. The story was originally printed in American newspapers in 1966 to 1967 and the story has been previously published in Norway in Fantomet 22/1971 and 10/2001.
In this album, the story is complete including a new translation and coloring by Ivan Pederson. The action takes us to the 17th century, where we get the background to why Keela-Wee Beach is in the Phantom's possession. It is a pleasant historical story and also recaps The Phantom's first encounters with the emperor Joonkar. The story has its fair doses of suspense and melodrama including Joonkar's wife being kidnapped and rescued.
The oldest story is “The Imaginary Playmate” by Lee Falk and Wilson McCoy which ran in newspapers in 1953 and 1954. It is a sentimental story about a boy who becomes the Phantom's friend for lack of other
playmates. While there is some tension in the story including a kidnapping of the boy, the highlight is seeing the Phantom playing with little Conley.
The story has been out in Norway three times previously – most recently in the collection book Fantomet Chronologisk no. 7 from 2018.
In my opinion the most important story in this years album is the recent story “The Llongo Forest” by Tony DePaul and Mike Manley from 2020.
This daily strip story is both exciting and offer some doses of psychologising around the character. There there are moments where it is uncertain whether the Phantom is hallucinating or actually experiencing what is depicted in the narrative. It is closely related to the current Daily stories recently published in newspapers around the world about the Phantom's future including a possible death of the 21st Phantom.
While I always find it nice to see classic adventures with The Phantom, in my opinion it's strictly speaking the newer material which I find the most interesting and important. These old daily strips and Sunday stories have already been published several times already and I think you should use the limited space of one issue per year to release new stories.
Phans who want the nostalgia feel of reading classic stories can buy The Phantom chronological collections which are still released every quarter. Most Norwegian newspapers has stopped printing the current daily and Sunday stories I would like to see these modern new never before published stories included in the albums. It will give phans a good opportunity to keep up to date on the adventures of the Phantom.