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What was the Best of Frew 2023? The Phans have spoken!

The results from Chronicle Chamber's annual poll of Frew phans' phavourites results are detailed here!

Thanks so much to all the phans who voted over the Christmas break, letting us know what you loved about the work of Frew Publications last year. While voting numbers were down a little on previous years, there was still a huge range of phans who took the time to tell us what they thought and certainly enough for a firm indication on what Frew did well last year.

Before the individual results, a serving of kudos for team at Frew for the variety of Phantom goodness they keep sending our way. The results speak for themselves, with the publishing complany providing a little something for everyone:

  • 29 of 30 covers received votes (i.e. was in someone's top 3)

  • 62 of 66 stories received votes (i.e. was in someone's top 5)

  • ALL 30 issues received votes (i.e. was in someone's top 3)

Frew are certainly continuing with their winning formula of variety leading to broad phan appeal.

And for a full break down of the results, the CC team have a full examination and exploration in episode #271 of X-Band: The Phantom Podcast.


Phan votes for Best FREW Cover of 2023

According to the popular vote, where people nominated their Top 3 covers of the year:

Points of note:

  • Massive congratulations to Jeremy Macpherson, with his two Frew covers for 2023 taking out 1st and 3rd spots in the phan poll. A Frew cover artist since 2016 (Jeremy actually produced the cover for #1735, the first issue under the new Frew Crew regime), this is his first year in the top 3.

  • Glenn Lumsden may prove to be a loss as he steps away from the Giantsize covers in 2024. While both his top 5 selected stories were for regular issues rather that the retro collection, he is clearly a phan favourite and will be missed.

  • Younger artists Alex Trpcevski and Daniel Piccioto continue to deliver, featuring again in the top 10 for the thrid and fourth year in a row respectively.

  • Two first time artists have achieved top 10 status, with German artist Timo Wuerz and Indian artist Tadam Gyadu making a splash with their Frew debuts.

  • Frew readers once again seem to be a patriotic bunch, with 7 of the top 10 positions filled by Australian artists.


Phan votes for Best FREW Story of 2023

According to the popular vote, where people nominated their Top 5 stories of the year:

Points of note:

  • Extraordinarily, an 8-page silent story tucked away at the end of the 180-page 75th Anniversary special has romped home to take out top spot in this year's poll. It goes to show that classic themes and heart-warming Phantom phun still works with phans - congratulations to Dean Rankine and Jeremy Macpherson.

  • Paul Mason is clearly a huge winner in this year's poll, with three of his "Phantom in Nam" series in the top 5, together with part 1 of his "Fury" collaboration with Amanda Bacchi slotting into 8th place. Four of the top eight stories is nothing to sneeze at!

  • Paul and Dean Rankine join Phantom royalty in Tony De Paul and Claes Remerthi as the only authors to have multiple stories in the top 10 - not bad company for the Australia pair.

  • It's interesting that two of the more controversial newspaper strip stories of recent years, "Phantom's End" and "The Visitor" have been hits with Frew phans and feature highly in this poll. It goes to show you can't put too much credence in the peanut gallery that is social media, and need to wait until the silent majority have their voice!

  • Debut pair Jason Franks and Kay Boris may surprise some with their 6th place finish, but it goes to show that phans do enjoy mixing up the stories involving their hero.

  • Up from 7 in 2022 and 2021, in 2023 no fewer than 8 of the Top 10 phavourite stories are original commissions by Frew.


Phan votes for Best FREW Issue of 2023

According to the popular vote, where people nominated their Top 3 issues of the year:

Points of note:

  • It really would have been a shock if first place had gone to any other issue, with the phenomenal full colour, all new collection in Frew's 75th Anniversary special rocketing to the top of this poll.

  • Backing on to the above point about the newspaper stories, it is worth noting that gathering Tony De Paul's long-running "Wrack and Ruin" Daily story into book form (seen here in the 2023 Christmas Annual) is a hit with phans and sees them support it in droves.

  • Having Shane Foley or Paul Mason contribute the 'back-up' story certainly does no harm to a comic book, with their offerings featuring in 5 of the 8 regular issues to make the top 10.

  • Likewise, Claes Reimerthi (or under his pseudonym Michael Tierres) is still popular with phans, posthumously contributing 5 stories to Frew's top 10 issues for the year.


​Thanks to all voters, and a huge "Well done!" to everyone who finished rear the top of any category - with Frew pumping out an amazing 30 books and 66 stories last year creating a highly competitive field, to emerge as a popular favourite is no mean feat.

Most of all: well done, congratulations and THANK YOU to Glenn Ford, Rene White and Dudley Hogarth - the core of the Frew Crew and the men who make all of this possible.


Prize Winners!

After all that of course we need to say a special congratulations to the five winners of our lucky prize draw, selected at random from all respondents.

The live draw of winners was conducted toward the end of our "Best of 2023" episode X-Band: The Phantom Podcast (#271), which you can listen to on your favourite platform or watch on Youtube.

Hugo Lundqvist and Mike are our lucky winners of the Frew Crew badges - well done.

The next three voters drawn at random are winners of a set of ChronicleChamber merch - congratulations to Adrian Wade, Joshua and Peter McGlynn.

Make sure you all keep an eye on your mail as the prizes make their way to you!


So what are your thoughts? Did the right issue, cover and story win? Any surprise placings for you? Can you complain if you didn't manage to vote? Please let us know via any of our social media platforms!


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