The Whew Phantom Poster was produced by the United Book Guild in New York, USA in 1966. The poster depicts the Phantom grappling a tiger, exclaiming ‘Whew’, hence why the poster is commonly referred to as the Whew Phantom Poster.
The United Book Guild was founded by Jacob R. Brussel (21st June 1899 – October 1979). Jacob was an antiquarian bookseller, printer and publisher in New York, USA from the 1940’s thru the late 70’s. His brother I.R. ‘Ike’ Brussel, a book hunter was billed as “the last of the great book scouts”. For many years Brussel operated a bookstore under several names including Atlantis and Ortelius, on New York’s famous Fourth Avenue ‘Book Row’, more specifically 65, 4th Avenue in New York City, NY, USA. To add to its colorful history his shop was raided by police in 1940 and Brussel was sentenced to three years in jail on obscenity charges. After WWII, he carried on the storefront business while focusing largely on publishing under various imprints, including Brussel and Brussel, New York Medical Press, and United Book Guild.
The Whew Phantom Poster measures a large 55” x 33”. On the front of the poster we see an image illustrated by Ray Moore, with the reverse of the poster left blank.
At the bottom left of the poster, we see the details of the company who produced the poster, the United Book Guild.
It’s believed that Brussel – United Book Guild was commissioned to print 2 series of promotional posters. The vibrant and colorful posters feature comic book characters from an array of publishers.
The first series of posters, which included the Phantom poster, included other King Features Syndicate comic book characters. The characters featured are Mandrake the Magician, Flash Gordon and Prince Valiant.
Also produced in 1966, the second series of smaller 38″ x 25” posters included Captain Marvel, The Lone Ranger, Batman and Robin.
Advertisements for the various posters produced by the United Book Guild could be found in comic books at the time. Below we see two examples of advertisements, with the Whew Phantom Poster found on both advertisements. The reader is given the option to mail-away a coupon to purchase the poster/s of their choice.
The prominent Batman poster advertised in the above left advertisement can be seen below.