Alemar’s Mass Market Books Division

The Phantom comic series was published by Alemar’s Mass Market Books Division in Manila, Philippines in 1977. The series contains 4 comic books, all reprint stories found in the Gold Key Phantom comic book series published in the USA in the 1960s.

Alemar’s Mass Market Books Division was established by Dr. Ernesto and Alegria Sibal in 1945, initially selling American sourced English text book from a small store. The ‘Alemar’ name is derived from joining 2 names together, ‘ALEgria Sibal’ and ‘MARia’ (Alegria Sibal daughters name).

The business grew in the 1950s and 1960s, opening several bookstores throughout the Philippines to cater for the growing demand for local books, school books and imported books. It went on to sell other items besides books, including stationary, clothing, toys, home wares, magazines and comics.

Alemar’s Mass Market Books Division ceased operating in the 1980’s.

Alemar’s Mass Market Books Division produced and published a variety of comic book series in the 1970s and 1980s, reprinted American comics, including Flash Gordon, Hi and Lois, Popeye, Star Wars, The Micronauts, Shogun Warriors, Blondie and Sarge Snorkel.

The Phantom was also featured in his own series, published in full color, containing approximately 27 pages measuring 17cm x 26cm. The comic strip stories are published in English text. Each comic book is numbered from PH101 thru to PH104, with ‘PH’ in the number representing the Phantom.

Three of the 4 Phantom comics found in the series can be seen below, number PH101, PH102 and PH104.

The comic books also contain advertisements for mail-away orders of publications produced by Alemar’s Mass Market Books Division, generally found on the inside covers. The back outside cover of the comics carried a similar image, repeated across the majority of their comic book series. Examples of an internal advertisement and a standard comic back cover are shown below, in Phantom comic PH102.

Alemar’s Mass Market Books Division also offered the opportunity to join the ‘ALEMAR’S Family of Media Characters FAN’S CLUB’, with 8 different character fan clubs available. The Phantom was a character which could be selected, with the below advertisement appearing in a variety of comic books. An image of the Phantom also appears in the advertisement, alongside a variety of other characters licensed to King Features Syndicate.

The advertisement reads:

Hi kids! Here’s GOOD NEWS for you!

Take time out and be entertained by America’s Super-Lovable Comic Chatacters… soon to come your way to win your hearts in a series of thrilling issues worth reading and collecting from ALEMAR’S!

Thrill to the action-packed, death-defying adventures of THE PHANTOM and FLASH GORDON. The timeless, age-less Super-Heroes whose epic tales span the vastness of space – from the deep jungles to the galaxy, linking the past and the future.

Sail out to the seven seas of fun and laughs with POPEYE, the spinach-loving ex-sailor-man, and enjoy his misadventures with Olive Oil, Brutus and Wimpy.

Read through the homey and googy comic situations in the lives of HI & LOIS – as well as BLONDIE and Dagwood. Discover why they’re the most unforgettable families in the neighbourhood.

Feel carefree and vibrant by tagging along with PONYTAIL and her loyal campus crowd. See what makes them click!

Enjoy the endless tug-of-war between hapless BEETLE BAILEY and his day-to-day nemesis – the bulldozing, sweet-toothed SARGE SNORKLE. You’ll simply love their gags.

And watch for other famous heroes and heroines in our other forthcoming series lined up for your TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT!

For your lasting reading pleasure (and for better benefits),

JOIN the ALEMAR’S Family of Media Characters FAN’S CLUB

(Fill up checklist below, including your name and address, Clip and Mail)