Into the Jungle

Some good news for a change. Yep, one of those irons in the fire is ready to come out.

I will be writing a story featuring the Ghost Who Walks for Moonstone’s forthcoming Phantom anthology. Currently, there’s enough in the works that they are projecting this as a two volume project, the first of which is tentatively slated for a December 2006 release.

Growing up on Long Island, I was drawn to the Phantom’s adventures in the pages of the long gone Long Island Press and have been a fan of the character ever since. I’m sure the fact that he was the only costumed adventurer on the comics page initially drew me to him. Then, I was captivated by the jungle setting, the notion of the 20 Phantoms that preceded him and even the clean art by Sy Barry.

I later learned that Barry lived in the same neighborhood. My best friend Jeff and I interviewed him for a fanzine and he gave us a souvenir Sunday page, which we foolishly cut into pieces so we could share it. That interview never saw print since the zine folded but when I created Comics Scene I had Jeff re-interview Barry and the article ran in the first issue.

I have all the novels from the 1970s and was thrilled to edit the character at DC. Hell, I got Joe Orlando to return to the drawing board for the miniseries, written by Peter David, and had some fun with that. Then I launched the monthly with Mark Verheiden and Luke McDonnell and think we did some terrific material.

During the process, I met a few times with the Phantom’s creator, Lee Falk who appeared a character out of the past. He always wore an ascot and was very clear on how he wanted his character portrayed. As a result, he felt the stories Mark was writing were too violent and we had to pull back from traditional comic book mayhem to something closer to the strip.

When Joe Gentile at Moonstone made the offer, I was thrilled. He’s also allowed each writer to suggest or lineup an artist for the 1-2 spot illustrations each story will sport. With luck, another old pal will agree and this will be even more fun. I’ve done my research and refreshed myself on his world and will be starting the writing today.

2 comments

  • Paul Balze

    That’s great news, Bob. I’ll watch for the solicitation.
    I remember Peter David writing about how Lee Falk was displeased with the miniseries because Peter had written the Phantom shooting to wound–apparently, the Phantom NEVER shoots to do anything but knock weapons out of opponents’ hands.
    I quite liked the alternative technique used in a recent Sunday sequence, though: Shoot the target in the chest from so far away that the bullets don’t penetrate the skin.

  • Muy excellente!! I’m looking forward to your contribution to The Phantom Mythos.