Shakti Comics: The Phantom #1 Review

The advent of Shakti Comics as a new publisher with the rights to print The Phantom in English, Bengali & Hindi was reported by us in our X-Band: podcast #195 of July 2021 Comics & News & finally in November 2021 their first issue is out! This is Shakti's first foray into the publishing word, formerly being a retailer of Indian comics.



The 64 page comic is of 17.5 × 23.3 cm size, with laminated covers of 240 gsm paper. The inside pages are glossy 110 gsm paper. Its glue binded (also known as 'perfect binding' in India) something you usually see in thick tradepaperback volumes and not in 64 page books. Very impressive production no doubt!


Regal Publishers had set a benchmark in production quality of their comics & Shakti seems to have decided to raise the levels even higher!


The cover art is by Indian Comic's living legend Anupam Sinha - famous for his work on Raj Comics' mainstay characters of 'Super Commando Dhruva' & 'Nagraj'. The book also has a character bios section written by, yours truly Ankit Mitra and illustrated by Avishek Biswas.


The story included is 'The Curse of Old Man Mozz', which is the 247th Daily Strip story written by Tony DePaul and illustrated by Mike Manley.


A detailed review of the book is in the video. I would urge you to watch it for visual analysis and comparisons and the details of the good and bad. A quick summary of the pros and cons are:


Cons:

  1. Original Lettering has been changed to a basic computer font of comic sans.

  2. In order to give the comic a more 'comic book' look panels have been enlarged. However those have been stretched and the art however too has been stretched. Its not noticeable as such unless you really compare it with the original strip side by side

  3. Removal of some of the inlays in the panels have not been cosmetically made up leading to some strange emptiness in some panel parts. This is rare but present

All the above issues were borne out of the inexperience of the publisher and in a bid to make something unique they made some decisions which couldn't be reversed by the time it went to print. The publisher has since however promised to not repeat these errors.


Pros

  1. Top notch production quality in binding, paper stock, printing, design and presentation.

  2. More Phantom for Indian phans and more opportunity for foreign phans to get daily and Sunday strips in very high quality collected editions.

Overall keeping aside its obvious issues which are borne out of the birthing pains of a first time publisher, the sheer uncompromising attitude towards production quality and presentation easily makes this release highly recommended!

The price for each issue is 200 Indian Rupees which is about: $3.63 Australian Dollars, $2.68 US Dollars, 2.32 Euro and 23.07 Swedish Krona.


Due to licensing limitations, Shakti Comics 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 going to be 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.


Shakti has a webstore you can order from plus they are also available across various comics retailers in India.


For any assistance regarding ordering these books directly from Shakti Comics you can contact them here:


Shakti Comics

Facebook: https://www.shakticomics.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/268814338130861/

E-mail: shakticomics@gmail.com