Thursday, October 1, 2009

TPH #065: Now you can read it, actually (Phantom Daily Strip D-211, The Locust god)

Presenting a Phantom Daily Strip from post-Falkian era.


Of late, Phantom and Diana are missing the warmth of love as they are routinely finding it difficult to spend enough time together alone. Diana is busy with her UN work assignments and phantom is involved in his jungle activities as ever. Finally they decide to go to walker's table for a two day journey where only two of them could be alone for some time.

Here on the top of the mesa, they meet a strange and mysterious person who calls himself "the locust god". he asks phantom to help him nab a fugitive murderer. phantom is amazed to see that the person is well aware of his ancestral trail and also knows about the myth of his immortality. but he promises to help him.

The murderer, together with his son and grandson is passing through the desert, as predicted by the locust god. Phantom and Diana are ready for them and finally got the good of the trio.

My Impression of the story:

the art work by Olesen and Williams is great. These artists once used to be a part of Sy Barry's team before the great man called it a day. The impression of Barry's work is easily visible in the pages. Actually George Olesen worked on the Phantom Strips for 40 years with Barry, but didnot get any credit until his senior was working. After the retirement of Barry in 1994, he got the recognition he deserved. Olesen also retired from Phantom strips in 2005.

The artwork is superb except that the facial expression are not very clearly done. It is here that we miss the great Barry, otherwise there is not much of a difference.

The coloring has been done intelligently, and differently. The scenes of fog and mist in the desert are amazingly drawn. One can actually feel it.

Overall an average story, which also reminds the reader the Falk adventure that took place at the same venue in which a whole village was destroyed in a massacre and phantom, intending to spend a good night on top of mesa, finds himself among the deads. Comparisons are inevitable and that generally proves fatal for post Falkian era stories, which are otherwise having their own charm.

Hope you like the effort. Any suggestions are welcomed.

Starting this daily strip I am beginning a series on those phantom daily strips, which are hitherto not available in good resolution and therefore are not easily readable. I have transformed the small strip pages into somewhat higher resolution, to make them legible and at the same time also converted them to comic book format.

More are following.

12 comment(s):

  1. Thanks TPH.


    his work is very nice. thanks for sharing.

    keep up posting. you are doing a great job.

  2. 900 pixels wide is not enough for you so you "enlarge" them (with loss of quality) ?

    These strips are available at 900 pixels wide at DailyInk (fee apply).

    I was hoping you scanned paper print, not "creating" your own 'larger' width…

  3. Thanks for posting this daily strip. Its really good. Keep up the good work.

  4. Nice effort by you by enhancing strip resolution and converting it in cbr format.
    About the strip,sans-Falk there is no meaning and charm of Phantom,as Phantom died in 1999 along with him.
    These syndicates are merely trying to adjust and proclaim a donkey in lion's hide as lion itself.
    Those who have tasted Falk's original pen,how can they like these ultra-dilute stories.

  5. @Vedha: Welcome Vedha.

    I have heard that Barry enjoyed the assistance of a large supporting staff. He himself was a master craftsman who had this phenomenal ability to draw beautiful faces full of expressions and various gestures. He also drew fantastic action sequences.

    But comic drawing involves a lot more. Olesen was not given due credit, it is really a sad fact.

  6. @Anon: If you have seen the available version of this daily strip, then you know that it was absolutely illegible. I have tried to make enlargement without much affecting the quality. The width is almost doubled in this version.

    Now the strip is easily readable in present form. That's the simple basic idea.

    Sadly, I don't have access to DailyInk at present. :-(

  7. @Satish: Most welcome. Look out for more.

  8. @CW: Thanks and welcome.

    As I already said in the post, the strip is enjoyable only if you don't drag Falk in between. I liked the story upto some extent. At least the drawings are great.

    The coloring quality of most of the post Falk stories is largely better than what we used to see in Indrajal. One has to find the ways to enjoy the character we loved the most. It is painful sometimes, but at some other times, worth the investment. :-)

  9. TPH: TPH no doubt coloring is much vibrant with fog/mist imparting a 3d effect to overall illustrations along with above average pencil work too,but and but without that script which use to evolve from Falk's pen everything seems like a beautiful bride,who is exceptionally charming, decorated with costly and beautiful ornament but dead.

  10. @CW: You are right when you say that the script is no match to a Falk script. But I won't probably consider it dead either. There are more worthy contenders for that title. :-)

    Moonstone, DC, Marvel, so many publishers are there to kill the essential phantom character. Those are absolutely intolerable.

    The best thing about (post Falk) strips is that they provide you with food for thought about how the story could have unfolded, had it been coming through Falk's pen.

    The beginning is familier, the events took shape nicely and then, after the arrival of "The Locut God", when you expect the story to take a sharp turn, it becomes a dull saga. The only thing left for phantom is to catch three silly looking fugitives, that too in the fog clad dark night. Child's play for phantom, you can say.

    And immediately you think that there is no real challenge for the GWW. The surprise element in Locust God doesn't really touches the heart of the reader. What a waste. But it's ok. Had it been by Falk, how the event might have serialised? It's upto the reader, if one is really interested.

    I generally think on such lines and that's a good enjoyment. :-)

  11. TPH: My maternal uncle use to own a dairy in which there were cows and buffaloes and use to sell their milk.The daily milk-giving capacity of these animals were at peak soon after the delivery of their calf.But many of times these calf use to die within a month or two of their birth because of malnutrition and poor look-after,
    resulting in sharp decline of milk output of cows and in turn lowering milk sales,which use to worry my uncle quite a lot.
    An idea came to him to save his sales,he use to stuff the calves by wooden planks,dry grass and other materials after their death and put that skin-effigy near the mother cow while milking.Poor cow/buffalo use to consider it as its living calf and continue giving milk.
    More or less same is happening in the case of Falk/Phantom also.Falk is dead leaving behind a universally popular character 'Phantom'.These syndicates
    (KFS,Moonstone,etc) are trying to milk that 'dead' charisma by stuffing 'lifeless waste' into Phantom's 'skin' left behind by Falk in a hope that cow(readers) will accept it and will continue giving milk(subscribing).
    Personally,whenever i tried to read these post Falk strips i was hugely disappointed most of the times,for me its a better usage of time by re-reading Falk stories again and again rather than investing my time and hope with these non-Falk stories.Reading and re-reading of Falk stories provides me the pleasure which is umpteen times greater than which i use to draw(if any) from these post-Falk stories.

  12. About DailyInk:

    KFS sold its library of comics (back to early|mid 2003) with a width of 900 pixels.

    This is important for the reader to know that large strips exists.

    Now they know that, they can download what you propose in full knowledge (and eventually will download other packages to check if larger|better exists).

    I downloaded small strips long time ago and skip larger for some years until I realized these exists.

    Have a good week…