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Le Fantôme du Bengale

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Le Fantôme du Bengale was a French publication dedicated to the Phantom.

History

Le Fantôme du Bengale was published monthly from May 1949 to April 1953 with a total of 50 issues. The series was published by the Parisian publisher SAGE, a company which had previously published The Phantom in such titles as Aventures, Aventures et Mystère and Collection à 8 Francs. However all these publications alternated Phantom stories with other comics. With this new series, the publisher had finally decided to publish a title exclusively devoted to The Phantom.

Almost all the covers were drawn by French artists, like Jean Frisano (a part of them with his brother Pierre Frisano both signing officially "Sano" from issue #40 after several unsigned covers), Edmundo Marculeta and François Batet. The covers featured a very identifiable logotype at the top of the cover in the form of a green strip. This strip included the title Le Fantôme du Bengale with a small Phantom's head in the letter "O" of the word Le Fantôme. The title itself was coloured in yellow with the word Bengale printed in red.

In the beginning (#1 to #18) the format was 20 × 28 cm; it was then reduced to 18.5 × 27 cm (#19 to #21) before it received the smaller and final size of 15 × 20.5 cm (#22 to #50). As the issues had only 16 to 20 pages, stories - mainly daily strips reprints - were often serialized over several issues.

Unfortunately, in the first years of the fifties, French publishers had difficulties in publishing American comics which were estimated more violent than the French comics. A special "Surveillance Commission of the publications destined to Youth" was even officially established in order, for example, to ban masked heroes…! In such a climate, the SAGE editions finally chose to stop publishing the Phantom series. Also - and although being only the first part of a story - the issue #50 was the last one.

Some albums, reprinting the issues, were also released. For the initial big format issues, the albums are exclusively devoted to the Phantom but, as far as the smaller format becomes concerned, the albums are divided between "King of the Royal Mounted" (also another series of the editor) and "The Phantom". One album cover, in an original Jean Frisano's illustration, is even representing the two heroes riding their horses side by side,.

Issue overview

Regular series

1949 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  
1950 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21  
1951 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
1952 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46  
1953 47 48 49 50  

Albums

1 2 3 4 5