Released by Story House Egmont, we see the following Press Release, titled Black & White Gives New Color To The Phantom, dated the 20th of May, 2021.
Now the Swedish Phantom fans get a unique opportunity to relive the wandering ghost in black and white. Phantom No. 12/2021 will be the first issue that is completely in black and white since 1990.
In 1991, the comic book Phantom changed to color, after being in black and white for 35 years. A decision that is still debated among Phantom fans today.
But times are changing and now it’s time for black and white drawings to take place in the spotlight again. Phantom No. 12/2021 will be the first issue of Phantom which is completely in black and white since 1990!
The Phantom magazine still receives submissions and posts on social media from fans who miss the black and white and think that the color was a bad decision. Many people seem to think that the coloring would have had a negative effect on the magazine’s sales, but we can state that it was the right decision. The magazine managed to attract new, younger readers and I myself am one of those who became a loyal subscriber precisely because the magazine went over to color, says the magazine’s editor Andreas Eriksson.
Black and white series have actually appeared in the magazine during the “color year”, and since 2019 it has become even more common to refrain from coloring for, for example, reruns that were originally signed for black and white publication. But the main adventure in each issue has always been in color from 1991 until this year.
“Evil lurks in the dark” in No. 8/2021 was this year’s first black and white main adventure, followed by the First World War adventure “Requiem” in No. 12/2021. “Evil lurks in the dark” is about the mythical cannibal Sawney Bean who is said to have ravaged the caves of Scotland in the 16th century. “Requiem” takes place during the First World War in a small French village where the Phantom’s arch-enemies The Buzzards terrorize the vulnerable villagers.
Both stories are written by screenwriter Pidde Andersson, and focus on the Phantom’s fight against evil and cruelty. The black and white drawings match Pidde’s dark and mysterious script.
When I grew up, the Phantom was in black and white, says Pidde Andersson. That I prefer the series in black and white is not only due to nostalgia. The Phantom IS a black and white series. Heavy, black shadows highlight the series’ inherent mystery. The danger lurks in the dark. The abodes of evil become more eerie. Morristown’s shady harbor area is getting gloomier.
Despite the investment in an entire issue in black and white, this does not mean that the editors will henceforth abandon the color completely – already in the issue after, the color is back.
The big difference now is that we will think before we decide what to color and what will be in black and white. We are aiming for a golden mean that will appeal to the rather diverse readership, says Andreas Eriksson.