The Phantom has returned to Chile, in a comic book form to be specific, after being absent in the country in any form since the 1980s.
Chile, like some other South American countries have had a short publishing chronology of the Phantom. Appearing first in the 'Pulgarcito' magazine with other comic characters, he finally got his own comic book series from 'Editorial Lord Cochrane' called 'El Fantasma' in 1966.
Running from 1966 to 1968, the series had 24 issues and mostly consisted of Gold Key and King Comics stories with the covers also taken from them. This series ran simultaneously with two other series of 'El Fantasma' comics from Editorial Pasa (Venezuela) and Cambridge Publishing (Colombia). The subsequent Mandrake series from Editorial Lord Cochrane also featured some Phantom stories.
The Phantom or 'El Fantasma' also appeared in the newspaper 'La Tercera' with strips being serialized till the 1980s. He also had some appearances in several parody magazines proving that he was very popular when he was around.
Now, after at least 40 years of absence, the phantom has returned to Chile in the form of not just one, but a series of eight hardcover comic books titled 'Edición De Coleccón El Fantasma'.
Published by a publisher with the name ending with 'Porte', the comic books are seen on the website de Club Lectores EL MERCURIO with the release date of 14th July 2023. Even though that means the books are supposed to be already out, they haven't appeared in any other online comic book marketplaces yet.
From what we can learn from the images of the books provided in the websites, the books are in hardcover format and features modern Daily and Sunday stories with 2 stories per book. The list of the stories will be provided in the end of the article.
The covers of the books are taken from various artworks of different Phan Phavorite artists. Some artists featured are - Sal Velluto, Jeff Weigel, Jim Aparo, Darwyn Cooke etc. Most of them are lifted from the original covers or trading cards and redesigned.
The books are sold on the website both as a pack of 8 books and single issues. The pack of 8 books described as "8 books with his classic adventures in hardcover collector's editions" is priced $71,920 Chilean Pesos ($83.97 USD, 129.89 AUD, kr 914.79 and ₹6,951.27 INR) while the single issues are priced $9.990 Chilean Pesos ($0.012 USD, $0.018 AUD, kr 0.13 and ₹0.97 INR).
However the website states that they can only ship within Chile, and by the time of writing this article, no response has come from them about International shipping.
The website states that only 800 copies of the books were printed and less than 200 copies of each book and less than 500 of the packs are left. Which proves that they have indeed been selling well and the character is still popular there.
There is not much known about these books other than the information provided above. It is still unclear if the books are even licensed or not, also unclear is their contents, from the translated versions of the names we can guess that they are the newer Sunday and Daily stories. The publisher's name and the quantity of pages and whether they are printed in colour or not is also unclear.
Still, it's great to see the Phantom returning to Chile after a long time, hopefully that would mean more publications coming out and would also make way for him to return in the other countries where he's been absent for a long time.
The names of the stories in the books (original and English translated) are provided below.
EL LADRÓN DE TESOROS and EL MOTÍN DEL TERROR, Translation: THE TREASURE THIEF and THE RIOT OF TERROR
JOHN X and QUIÉN ES JOHN X, Translation: JOHN X and WHO IS JOHN X?
EL DESAFÍO and EL FUTURO DE LOS HIJOS DEL FANTASMA, Translation: THE CHALLENGE and THE FUTURE OF THE SONS OF THE GHOST
LA REBELIÓN DE BARONKHAN and ADIÓS A LOS BOSQUES PROFUNDOS, Translation: BARONKHAN'S REBELLION and GOODBYE TO THE DEEP WOODS
EL SELLO DEL FANTASMA and EL REGRESO DE LA LANGOSTA, Translation: THE SEAL OF THE GHOST and THE RETURN OF THE LOCUST
LA COLUMNA RODHIANA and NAUFRAGIO Y RUINAS EN GRAVELINES, Translation: THE RODHIAN COLUMN and SHIPWRECK AND RUINS IN GRAVELINES
LOS LUGARES DEL ELLERBEE and LA CARTA DEL HIJO DEL FANTASMA, Translation: THE ELLERBEE PLACES and THE LETTER FROM THE SON OF THE GHOST
LA MUERTE DEL FANTASMA and ASUNTOS PENDIENTES, Translation: THE DEATH OF THE GHOST and PENDING MATTERS
The images of the pack and covers are provided below.
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