Father of ‘Red Mask’ Draws for Collectors featuring on the Hurriyet Daily News website in Turkey, gives us an interesting insight into Phantom comic book cover artist, Aslan Şükür.
The article opens with:
Aslan Şükür, who changed the purple outfit of the American comic strip “Phantom” to red and changed its name to “Kızıl Maske” (Red Mask), has been drawing the covers of comics for 25 years and has now started drawing for collectors.
This statement alone gives us a summary into the mammoth contribution Aslan Şükür has made in the world of art on the Phantom in Turkey.
The article continues:
“Sezen Yalçıner, the owner of Tay Publications, signed an agreement with the Americans on Phantom. He said, ‘We’re going to make a Lion Phantom; what should we do?’ I used to read about Phantom in the newspapers when I was a child. At that time, it was published as a comic strip.
When the book was released, we saw that they had worked on the color purple in the U.S. But I thought that the purple color would not suit a hero. I said, ‘Purple color is not suitable for a hero. It was 1971. The purple color is not for men. I think we should do it red.’ Then I made both purple and red colors. The purple color does not stand out. I made it red and named it the Red Mask. I can say that I am the father of the Red Mask,” he said.
The Phantom is seen in a red costume in Turkey, along with other countries such as Spain, Brazil, Italy and France. Aslan gives us a valid reason above as to why the Phantom should be seen in a red costume.
In the 1970’s, Aslan Şükür worked for Tay Yayınları and became their most prolific cover artist. Aslan Şükür created at least 140 Phantom comic book covers. Aslan Şükür notes in the article:
“I drew comic strip covers such as Tombraks, Zagor, Red Mask, Mandrake, Mister No, Bonanza, Jeriko, Captain Volkan and Karaoğlan. So far, I have created 2,000 comic book covers and 8,000 original works such as school books and world classics. I started drawing in 1971 and continued until the 90s. Comic strips were sold at that time. In 1972, 45,000 Tombraks and 45,000 Zagors were sold as fascicles. When Mister No was released, the circulation was 75,000.”
Aslan Şükür has, and continues to make a positive impact on the Phantom in Turkey. Aslan Şükür presents the Phantom in a unique style which is easily recognizable by fans worldwide.