Fantomen Klubben (which translates to ‘Phantom Club’) was established in 1950, in Sweden by Semic Press (the publishers of Fantomen at the time). This club is considered to be the first Phantom club to be formed and is still running today.
Fantomen Klubben was first advertised in 1950, in Fantomen number 1.
The first 10 members names were published in Fantomen number 5 of the same year as can be seen below. Brothers Nils-Göran and Kurt-Henry Carlsson were the first 2 to become members.
Fantomen Klubben certificates became available to readers in 1950, in Fantomen number 3. The reader was required to complete a coupon and return it to the publisher in Stockholm, Sweden.
In return, the reader was then sent a Fantomen Klubben certificate plus a welcome letter from the publisher.
Various Fantomen Klubben certificates have been released over the years, a timeline can be seen below of how these certificates evolved and changed over the years.
Fantomen Klubben pin’s were also available, with the first advertisement appearing in 1952, in Fantomen number 3. The pin would continue to be advertised in Fantomen comics in 1952, in numbers 5 and 6 (advertisement in Fantomen number 5 shown below). The reader was required to complete the form and return it, with payment, to an address in Stockholm, Sweden. The pin was produced by Abe-Pust Stockholm.
Members of Fantomen Klubben don’t receive newsletters like we traditionally see with other Phantom clubs, instead, letters and pictures are sent in to the editor of Fantomen, with a section of the comic dedicated to these submissions. We see this aspect of Fantomen Klubben as early as 1952, in Fantomen number 12 as seen below.
In 1990, Fantomen Klubben introduced a ranking system. New members began with the rank of ‘Novice and would advance in ranking by completing quizzes and puzzles. Each time a member would pass such a test they would be mailed a new sticker to attach to their certificate that indicated their new ranking.
- Novis = Novice
- Aspirant = Aspirant
- Kandidat = Candidate
- Riddare = Knight
- Mästare = Master
- Stormästare = Grandmaster (the first Grandmasters were announced in 1991)
This same 1990 certificate design was issued to new members through until 1999. Fantomen issue number 26 is the last time this certificate advertised and is made available to readers.
Club Kit Contents – 1990’s
The Fantomen Klubben member kit changed over the years, below is a member kit supplied to new member in 1996. The member kit was mailed in a large paper envelope and it’s contents can be seen below.
- Original large unused mailing envelope (14.25” x 10”).
- Fan Club Membership Certificate (11.75” x 8.25″).
- Graduation letter & quiz (11.75” x 8.5″).
- 5 x blank envelope for Quiz’s to be returned (9” x 6.25”).
- 5 x letter head paper imprinted image (11.75″ x 8.25″).
- Enamel cloisonné stick/lapel pin (2” in length).
- Double sided keychain (2”).
- Inkpen (5.5” in length).
- 1 x sheet of temporary tattoos (6” x 4”).
- Membership identification card with Cipher coding on the back (3.5” x 2”).
- Uncut sheet of stickers (12” x 8”).
Graduation Letter & Quiz Translation
Welcome now you are a member of the Phantom Club, and your degree is NOVIS. It roughly means “beginner”, but you have you must understand that you receive the same benefits as all 5 others in the club. If you want to rise in the ranks, you should start by taking this test. If you can do it, you can call yourself an ASPIRANT and then belong to the second degree. It costs 2 x the current postage, a stamp on the outside of the envelope and one to be sent with. We use this to send back the sticker that you are going to put on the diploma, as well as the next grading test – if you pass this test! If you do not succeed in the test, we will send you a new form so that you can try again.
• Browse through the little story below.
• Answer the questions by checking the appropriate box.
• Fill in your name, address and membership number.
• Ship the form label envelope together with a stamp.
• Paste the envelope again and put on a stamp.
• Put the envelope in the mailbox.
• Wait! It takes about 6 weeks before you know how it went.
• Then place the sticker on the diploma where you have succeeded.
CANDIDATE. If you have missed any question, there will be a new grading test for the degree ASPIRANT Try again. But, if you are careful, it will probably go your way on the first try.
The phantom rode into the clearing in front of the skull cave on his white Hero just as the sun began to descend. Next to the horse, as always, the mountain wolf Devil ran with quick and easy steps, even though he, Hero and the Phantom had been in a commotion all day. From the nearby Bandar, smoke rose from the cooking fires and from there came the little Guran walking to greet his friends a welcome home. The chief of the bands took the reins of Hero and held them while the Phantom sat down. The great white water was low and it had not rained for several weeks, for the only way to get to the skull cave was to ride through a waterfall.
How did it go? Do you know the poachers? Guran asked. Yes, they had set up camp on Longo’s land and a shepherd told them where to take the road. The jungle patrol has probably found them by this time. “Luckily it went so fast,” said Guran. Diana and the twins are counting to get away to Eden. Yes, thought the Phantom, the twins Kit and Heloise really loved paradise Eden. But, it was only he and Diana’s duties and that hindered their vacation, and now it would probably be off again.
Now Mark the Right Answers:
1) Is Devil a wolf or tribal chief?
2) Is Guran a Llongo a Wambesi or Bandar?
3) What is the Phantom’s Cave called, the Main Cave or the skull Cave?
4) Is the Phantoms horse White, Black, or Brown?
5) What is the name of the Phantom’s horse? Devil, Hero, or Thunder?
6) What is the name of the land where the Phantom lives, the dark forest forests, the dense forests or the deep Woods?
7 What is the name of the Phantom’s child, the twins, Kit and Louise, Kim and Heloise or Kit and Heloise?
8) What obstacle do you have to pass to get to the Phantom Cave, A rockfall or waterfall?
I who want to rise to the degree of aspirant is called:
Name: Address: Member: 356. 752. I send with a stamp (regarding letter postage-OBS discount free) and have put a stamp on the outside of the envelope. I will also have patience for 6 weeks, or as long as it takes before the answer comes. IMPORTANT DO NOT FORGET THE RETURN POSTAGE.
Thank you Christopher Smith for assisting with images and information.