The ‘Friends of The Phantom’ club was established in 1993, in Catawissa, PA, USA. The club ran for 12 years, ending in 2004.
The ‘Friends of The Phantom’ club was founded by Ed Rhoades and Pete Klaus with other key contributors including David Lomazoff (Assistant Editor), Steve Higdon (Publication Designer) and Chris Smith (Archivist & Columnist).
Although the club was not officially licensed, it was sanctioned by both King Features Syndicate and by Lee Falk. Each newsletter was submitted to King Features Syndicate for prior approval before being mailed out to members.
A total of 24 newsletters were printed between 1993 and 2004 (1993 – 4 issues, 1994 – 4 issues, 1995 – 3 issues, 1996 – 3 issues, 1997 – 2 issues, 1998 – 2 issues, 1999 – 1 issue, 2000 – 2 issues, 2001 – 1 issue, 2002 – 1 issue, 2004 – 1 issue).
An example of a newsletter can be seen below, issue number 21, published in 2000.
The ‘Friends of The Phantom’ was a non-for-profit club, yet it’s newsletters were undeniably the most comprehensive, concise and fact filled fanzines relating to the Phantom to date.
Aside from the club newsletters, those members who made a yearly donation to the club were offered several unique collectables.
These included an uncut sheet of color trading cards (9 cards per sheet, see below example), an uncut sheet of Black and White artist trading cards (9 cards per sheet), a set of artist prints (12 in the set), a pewter coin, a timber coin, a button set (10 in the set) and a binder to store the newsletters.
Thank you Christopher Smith for assisting with images and information.