Samir is a publication that was printed in Egypt by government-owned Dar al-Hilal which was founded in 1956. It was the most popular comic magazine in the Arab world in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
The 1956-7 issues printed mainly focused on educating Egypt’s young citizens in a nationalist mold in the early years of the Egyptian republic. Some of the recurring strips feature characters created from local contexts, such as Basil, a young adventurer who battles networks of smugglers to protect Egypt’s borders, or Samira, a girl who often demonstrates the smarts and strength of female characters.
Some strips draw on internationally known characters. Amongst them were Tarzan, Zorro, Popeye, Tom and Jerry, Dan Dare, Tintin and of course the Phantom.
Samir included educational strips of influential factual historical figures. Texts and comic strips also retell the events and aftermath of the 1952 Egyptian revolution.
The Phantom comic strips within Samir comic books featured on only a few pages per edition, with the Phantom first appearing in issue number 158. The Phantom would go on to appear in a total of 368 issues and only 15 times on the front cover.
It should also be noted that the comic spine is on the opposite side to western comic books, being on the right-hand-side instead of the left, with 1 staple holding the comic together.