Team Fantomen

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Team Fantomen is the collective term for the artists and writers, responsible for the Scandinavian production of stories about the Phantom. It's closely tied with the production of the Swedish Fantomen magazine.

History

The first Phantom story to be produced for Fantomen was "Skatten i Dödskallegrottan" ("The Treasure in the Skull Cave") by Bertil Wilhelmsson, published in 1963. By the end of 2015, over 930 Team Fantomen stories have been published.

The 1960's

Between 1963 and 1967, nineteen Phantom stories was created for Fantomen, all but one by Wilhelmson, with cover artist Rolf Gohs being responsible for the only exception.

The style of these early stories bears more resemblance with the stories of Wilson McCoy, rather than, as the later production, Sy Barry.

By the end of the 1960's the production temporary ceased, as Fantomen started to reprint stories produced by the Italian publishing house Fratelli Spada. Several of the Spada stories was however edited, and - between 1968 and 1970 - even had some new art added to them. The artists known to have participated in the Spada additions are Bertil Wilhelmsson, Özcan Eralp and Anders Thorell.

Anders Thorell also provided the art for a redrawn version of the 1952 Sunday story "The 'Copter Pirates", published as a prologue to a 1969 Fantomen print of the Sunday story "The Super-Jet Gang".

The 1970's

1970 saw the return of original Fantomen stories, and this time artists Wilhelmsson and Eralp was joined by writers Magnus Knutsson and Janne Lundström, forming the first proper "Team Fantomen". In addition to new stories, several Daily and Sunday stories from the Moore and McCoy years was slightly rewritten and provided with completely new art. The last of these stories was published in 1973.

In 1972 Jaime Vallvé joined, and remained as one of the most influential artists of the team until the mid 1990's. When Ulf Granberg turned editor-in-chief of Fantomen in 1973, he also became in charge of Team Fantomen, and under Granberg's lead the production truly was established.

One of the goals of the Scandinavian produces Phantom stories of the early 1970's was to add "social awareness" to the character. As early as in 1969 a Swedish magazine had called the Phantom a fascist, and the left winds blowing over Sweden during the 1970's also affected the Phantom. In a story from 1973 he helped a jungle tribe to start a cooperative, four years later he met up with Fidel Castro, and as the fictional country of Rhodia - based upon the regimes of Rhodesia and South Africa - was introduced in 1972, he joined the fight for to liberate Africa's people from the colonial powers.

Prominent writers joining the team during the mid and late 1970's include, besides Granberg, Norman Worker and Donne Avenell, while Heiner Bade, Georges Bessis, Kari Leppänen and Knut Westad were established as Team Fantomen artists.

The 1980's

During the first half of the eighties the team kept growing with all Scandinavian creators Eirik Ildahl, Diane Alfredhsson, Claes Reimerthi (writers) and Hans Lindahl (artist) joining. In 1986, Fantomen celebrated the Phantom strip's 50th anniversary by reprinting thirteen handpicked stories from its Scandinavian production.

As the political winds slowly started to change during the decade, so did the tone of the Scandinavian Phantom production. However, the political awareness still remained an important part of the stories, with environmental issues and white slavery continuing to be addressed.

During the later years of the decade there was what later has been referred to as a "Latin wave", as several South European and South American artists, including José Casanovas, Carlos Cruz, Romano Felmang and César Spadari, joined in, together with the Scottish writer Scott Goodall, who lived in France.

The 1990's

The early and mid 1990's had artist Joan Boix, and writers Sverre Årnes, Lennart Moberg, Tony de Paul, and Terrence Longstreet joining the team. In 1992 Granberg summoned the most influential writers and artists, along with some editorial staff members, to the first of many seminars, nicknamed "the Brain Trust", to discuss the concept of the team's Phantom production.

As a result of the Brain Trust's work, 1994 saw some severe changes within the world of the Phantom, as Bengali was given a new president, Kigali Lubanga, and the Phantom's relationship with several of his former friends and allies was complicated. However - the reaction from the readers was mixed, and by 1997 most things were back to normal.

The 1990's also saw the return of the practice to reuse old Lee Falk stories. This time around - unlike in the 1970's - there were only minor changes, made by Ulf Granberg, to the original scripts. Between 1993 and 2001 a total of six Dailies and Sunday stories were redrawn.

The 2000's

Around the turn of the millennium, several former core artists and writers were no longer a part of the production. Donne Avenell and Norman Worker had been the team's most influential writers since the 1970's, and with Avenell's death in 1997, and Worker's leaving as a regular writer in the same year, there was a need for new writers. Claes Reimerthi, who had been one of the main writers during the Lubanga-era, kept on as the most influential writer, together with Tony de Paul, and artist Hans Lindahl, who also took up writing. New Zealand-born writer David Bishop (now residing in Scotland) was a popular addition to the team's ranks, and Dag R. Frognes of Norway served as both writer and artist for a handfull of stories.

In 1999 the first story by American writer Ben Raab, was published, and during the 2000's the "American wave" kept sweeping through the Team Fantomen production, with acclaimed American comic book artists and writers like Dick Giordano, Bob McLeod, Graham Nolan, Don Perlin, Paul Ryan, Alex Saviuk, Roger Stern and Sal Velluto all contributing. Additionally, former Team member Janne Lundström returned in 2007.

Notably, in the beginning of the new millennium an increasing amount of the stories revolved around supernatural or fantastic elements, while the politic aspects of the stories slightly faded. By the mid-2000's, the politics of Bengali again became a recurring theme in the stories, as Sandal Singh, the new leader of the Singh Brotherhood became president of the country.

The 2010's

In 2012, Ulf Granberg retired from the position of editor responsible for the production of new Team Fantomen stories. The last published story that he produced was "The Runestone Saga" published in Fantomen 25-26/2012.

Granberg was succeeded by Team Fantomen members Claes Reimerthi and Hans Lindahl. The first published story where they were responsible for the production was "The Bandar Idol" published in Fantomen 1/2013.

Granberg also retired from the position of Fantomen editor and was succeeded in this position by Mikael Sol, who, in 2015, also replaced Reimerthi and Lindahl as head of the comics production. Lindahl also retired from writing and drawing the Phantom, while Reimerthi remains the most productive writer of the team, to which Philip Madden, Terje Nordberg, and John Rassy (writers) and Henrik Jonsson and Rafael Ruiz, amongst others, were added.

Team Fantomen participants

Current team

Since 2015, editor Mikael Sol is managing the Team Fantomen production.

Note that creators on The World of the Phantom is not included in this list.

Name Work Active years Additional work
Heiner Bade Artist and
(previously) writer
1975-present Cover artist 1979-1983 and 2007-2012, 2017.
Jan Bielecki Artist 2015-present Cover artist 2019
David Bishop Writer 2001-present  
Joan Boix Artist 1994-present Cover artist 1998-2003, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2016-2017.
Andreas Eriksson Writer 2018
Dag R. Frognes Writer and
(previously) artist
2000-2002, 2014-present Cover artist 2001-2002, 2013.
Cover artist for Fantomet and Fantomets Krønike.
Jens Hansegård Writer 1997-2004, 2010, 2013-present  
Henrik Jonsson Artist 2015-present Cover artist 2015-2016.
Kari Leppänen Artist and
(previously) writer
1979-present Cover artist sporadically since 1982.
Cover artist for some Finnish publications.
Janne Lundström Writer 1970-1977, 2007-present  
Philip Madden Writer 2013-present  
John Rassy Writer 2014-present  
Claes Reimerthi Writer 1984-present Head of Team Fantomen 2013-2015.
Rafael Ruiz Artist 2015-present Cover artist 2017-present
Alex Saviuk Artist 2004-2006, 2013-present Cover artist 2015, 2017
Göran Semb Writer 1996, 2015-present  
Olof Siverbo Writer 2014-present  
Mikael Sol Artist and
writer
2014-present
César Spadari Artist 1987-present Cover artist in 1992, 2000-2002, and 2007-2012.
Anders Végh Blidlöv Artist 2017
Sal Velluto Artist 2007-present Cover artist 2007-present.

Previous participants

The following artists and writers have written or done artist work for Team Fantomen's stories.

Name Work Active years Additional work
Håkon Aasnes Artist 1982  
Diane Alfredhsson Writer 1983-1986  
Peter Andersson Writer 1977  
Sverre Årnes Writer 1990-1998  
Donne Avenell Writer 1978-1997  
Eugenio Benni Artist 1992-2005  
Ingebjørg Berg Holm Writer 2003  
Lennart Bergman Artist 1972  
Georges Bessis Artist 1976-1987  
Kjell Broberg Writer 1976  
José Casanovas Artist 1988-1990  
Carlos Cruz Artist 1988-2004  
Dan Davis Artist 2001  
Tony DePaul Writer 1993-2013  
Anders Eklund Writer 1976-1979  
Terje Emberland Writer 1988-1990 Author of the Phan-Toom article, 1991.
Özcan Eralp Artist and writer 1968-1991  
Jörgen Ewers Writer 1983  
Romano Felmang Artist 1987-2014 Cover artist 1997-2012.
Germano Ferri Artist 1990-2000, 2011-2012 Cover artist in 1997, 2000, and 2008-2012.
Cover artist for Fantomen Christmas Album.
Layla Gauraz Writer 1983-1985  
Dick Giordano Artist 2002-2007  
Rolf Gohs Artist and writer 1966-1970 Cover artist 1957-2012.
Scott Goodall Writer 1989-1999  
Ulf Granberg Writer 1975-2001 Editor-in-chief of Fantomen 1973-1986 and 2003-2012.
Head of Team Fantomen 1973-2012.
Editor-in-chief of Fantomen Krönika 1993-1996 and of issue #58 in 2003
Lennart Hartler Writer 1972-1973 Editor-in-chief of Fantomen 1969-1972.
Per-Erik Hedman Writer 2001-2003  
Per G. Hvidsten Writer 1992  
Eirik Ildahl Writer 1981-1986  
Ken Ikonen Writer 1997-2004  
Anna Jansson Writer 2009  
Ulf Jansson Artist 1973-1974  
Kjell T. Johnsen Writer 1999  
Mats Jönsson Writer 2000-2002 Editor-in-chief of Fantomen 1987-1990 and of Fantomen Krönika 2006-2007.
Cover artist in 1987.
Nils Kajander Writer 2012  
Bane Kerac Artist 2014  
Magnus Knutsson Writer 1970-1975, 2005  
Henning Laugerud Writer 1988-1990  
Hans Lindahl Artist and writer 1983-1989, 1992-2015 Cover artist 1985-2015.
Head of Team Fantomen 2013-2015.
Federico Maidagan Artist 1976  
Kim McLaughlin Writer 1998-2004  
Bob McLeod Artist 2003-2006 Cover artist 2005-2006.
Magnus Magnusson Writer 1972  
Jean-Yves Mitton Artist 1989-1993  
Lennart Moberg Writer and artist 1992-2004  
Edoardo Morricone Artist 1996-2000  
Stefan Nagy Artist 1993-1994  
Bengt Nilsson Writer 1993  
Graham Nolan Writer 2003 Cover artist in 1999.
Nils Nordberg Writer 2005  
Terje Nordberg Writer 1982-1985, 2012 Editor of Fantomet 1984-1985
George Olesen Artist 1991  
Borislav Pavlović Artist 1993 Cover artist for Fantomet and Fantomets Krønike
Don Perlin Artist 2001-2002  
Idar Pettersen Writer 1993-1994  
Pierfrancesco Prosperi Writer 1990  
Ben Raab Writer 1999-2003  
Ilario Ranucci Artist 1994-1996  
Paul Ryan Artist 2001-2006 Cover artist 2001-2013.
Umberto Sammarini Artist 1991-2007 Cover artist in 2006.
Nils Schröder Writer 1992-1995  
Magnus Seter Writer 2005  
Roger Stern Writer 2004  
John Stokes Artist 1986  
Tommy Sydsæter Artist 1985  
Anders Thorell Artist 1968-1970  
Christer Thunborg Artist 1995-1998 Editorial staff member of Fantomen. Cover artist 1993-1997.
Jaime Vallvé Artist and writer 1972-1996 Cover artist 1976-1989, with reprints in 1999 and 2007.
Claudio Waldrag Artist 1989-1995  
Knut Westad Artist 1979-1989 Cover artist 1978-1985.
Cover artist for Fantomet and Fantomets Krønike.
Rod Whigham Artist 2006  
Bertil Wilhelmsson Artist and writer 1963-1988  
Norman Worker Writer 1976-2004  
Ebbe Zetterstad Writer 1960's Editor-in-chief of Fantomen 1958-1961.

Name variations

Note that several creators have used more than one name as a Phantom creator:

  • Norman Worker used the pen-name "John Bull" during his first years as a Phantom writer.
  • Romano Felmang (a pseudonym for Romano Felice Mangariano) was called "Roy Mann", or "Roymann", 2001-2003.
  • Terje Nordberg has never used his given name, having signed his stories as "Th. Pelerin", "Ed Redno", or "Falco Pellerin".
  • The writing team consisting of Ken Ikonen, Jens Hansegård and Kim McLaughlin adopted the collective name of "Terrence Longstreet", starting in 1999.
  • Claes Reimerthi used the pen-name" Michael Tierres" until 1993.
  • Terje Emberland and Henning Laugerud used the pen-name "Johan L. Borgnes" when working together.

Additionally Diane Alfredhsson used the pen-name "Dai Darell", and Eirik Ildahl signed his Phantom stories as "Idi Kharelli"; Eugenio Benni's pen-name is "Benny", Edoardo Morricone's is "Morrik", Pierfrancesco Prosperi's is "Piero", Borislav Pavlovic's is "Boro", Ilario Ranucci's is "Rancho", and Umberto Sammarini's is "Usam". None of them ever signed their stories with their proper names. Georges Bessis usually signed his work as "George Bess".

Cover artists

Before the Scandinavian production of Phantom stories began, the Fantomen covers was made by several European illustrators, including George Camitz, Lennart Ek, Martin Guhl, Göte Göransson, John Lindblom and others. In 1957 Rolf Gohs made his first Fantomen cover, remaining one of the most profilic Phantom artists until his retirement in 2012, at which point he had provided 911 covers (only counting cover work for the Fantomen magazine). From 1960 to 1975 Gohs was responsible for every single Fantomen cover to be produced, with the exception of six covers in 1966.

In 1976 Jaimé Vallvé produced his first Fantomen cover, and since then has cover material been produced by several of the Team members (i.e. Bade, Boix, Felmang, Ferri, Frognes, Giordano, Jonsson, Jönsson, Leppänen, Lindahl, McLeod, Nolan, Ryan, Saviuk, Spadari, Thunborg, Sammarini, Vallvé, Velluto and Westad). In addition, some cover art have been made by artists who hasn't done any Team Fantomen stories; these include Terje Aspmo, Tony Bagge, Sy Barry, Alex Biffignandi, Iván Boix, John Cassaday, Peter Friman, Mats Indseth, Elin Jonsson, Alexander Klingspor, Erik Larsen, Eugenio Mattozzi, Juan Miguel, Brittany Pezzillo, Silio Romagnoli, Henrik Sahlström, Tom Smith and Rudy Walk.

Most covers for Fantomen Christmas Album have been made by Fantomen cover artist, but Bo Majgren and Jonathan Case also created one cover each.

The Norwegian, Finnish and Danish Fantomen counterparts (Fantomet, Mustanaamio and Fantomet, respectively) generally use the cover material produced for the Swedish magazine. However - there are also covers made specially for the Norwegian magazines; the previously mentioned Westad, Pavlović, Frognes, Larsen and Aspmo all have made covers that have exclusively been used by Fantomet, Fantomets Krønike and other Norwegian publications. Artists who only have produced cover material directly for the Norwegian market include Sebastià Boada, Yngve Eriksen, Liv Jacobsen, Kent Jensen, Morten Myklebust, Per Henning Olsen, Erlend Tønnesen and Volker Zibell, as well as signatures Kokstad, H. Jakobsen and Arcadia. In addition, there are a handful of Fantomet covers from the late 1970's whose creators still remain unknown.

Kari Leppänen has produced a couple of covers for Finnish publications, as has Harri Sulonen. Søren Haakansson have done some cover work for Danish publications.

See also