Several contests have appeared in Semic Press and Egmont Fantomen comics over the years, the first as early as 1975. Contests generally entailed the comic reader completing a task, and posting in a reply/answer, which normally involved cutting a coupon out of the comic and posting it in to Semic Press.
Fantomen Bockerna Paperback
The Fantomen Bockerna Paperback Novel Lottery is a competition published in Fantomen comic book number 12 by Semic Press in Sweden in 1975. Below we see the comic front cover and the page featuring the competition within.
Entry to the raffle was free of charge. The reader had to simply return the coupon featured in the advertisement to potentially win one of 500 Bockerna number 4 paperback books. The 1973 Fantomen Bockerna series of paperback books were the Swedish language version of the US published Avon paperbacks (15 in the set), which only 4 were published in Sweden.
- Swedish Bockerna No1 – The Veiled Lady. English Avon No4 – The Veiled Lady.
- Swedish Bockerna No2 – The Slave Market in Mucar. English Avon No2 – The Slave Market of Mucar.
- Swedish Bockerna No3 – The Fall of the Tyrant. English Avon No6 – The Mysterious Ambassador.
- Swedish Bockerna No4 – Scorpio Strikes. English Avon No3 – The Scorpion Menace.
Below we see Fantomen Bockerna number 4 which was available to win via the competition.
Trip to Romania
The ‘Trip to Romania’ competition was published in Fantomen comic book number 1 by Semic Press in Sweden in 1976. The competition to win a trip to Carpathia, Romania was advertised on a detachable poster (measuring 19.5” x 10” ) within the Fantomen comic. Below we see the comic front cover and the poster featuring the competition.
To win the trip to Romania, the reader was required to return to Semic Press an idea for a Phantom story. The competition only required basic information on the storyline; the plot, who the characters are and when/where the story takes place. Below is a translation from Swedish to English on what the publisher wished to see, to be a valid entry to win the prize.
Alga Board Game
The Fantomen Alga Board Game contests were published in Fantomen comic book numbers 20 and 21 by Semic Press in Sweden in 1984. 100 Alga Board Games were available to be won per comic book, a total of 200 across the 2 comics. Below we see the comic book front covers that the contests were advertised in.
The contests were run in conjunction with the release of the 1984 Fantomen Board Game by Alga in Sweden. To go into the running to win a board game (see below image of the board game), the reader had to add up how many dice cracks are not visible in the picture (see below competition advertisement) and write down the number on the provided coupon and return it to the publisher.
Secret of the Skulls
The ‘Secret of the Skulls’ Fantomen trilogy comic book numbers 23, 24 and 25 were published by Egmont in Sweden in 2003. Below we see the front and back covers of these 3 Fantomen comics.
Each edition contains a separate competition whereby the reader has the opportunity to win a prize. The three separate prizes included a bag, a watch and a collection of hardcover Phantom books. The reader was required to answer a set of questions via mobile phone text messages to go into the draw to win a prize.
The articles and competitions were published to coincide with the Phantom story printed in each edition titled, ‘Secret of the Skulls’, with the story published in parts over 3 editions. The storyline centers around the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull, similar to one located at the British Museum in the UK.
The British Museum was founded in 1753 as the first national public museum in the world. The museum supported many artifacts donated by famous explorer, F.A. Mitchell-Hedges. Among his other adventures and exploits, F.A. Mitchell-Hedges became well-known for his discovery of the world-renowned Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull. The crystal skull which was later named after him was found on an archeological dig in Lubaantun, Belize, by his adopted daughter, Anna. What is most remarkable is that the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull and the British Museum Crystal Skull have very similar features, except that the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull has a removable jaw.
We see a 2 page article in Fantomen comic book number 25, giving us information about Crystal Skulls.
The following is a translation from Swedish to English of the 2 page article seen above:
Crystal Skulls – messengers from the stars or just a scam?
At the Museum of Mankind in London there is a crystal skull called the Aztek Skull. The skull has now been removed from the exhibition stand, as staff and museum visitors unanimously claim that the skull moves on its own inside the glass stand. The human skull is a strong symbol that leaves few untouched: a memento that reminds us of our own impending death. No wonder we are fascinated by the remarkable crystal skulls found mainly in South and Central America. Around these has arisen a rich flora of pleasures and performances. Some claim that they have extraterrestrial origins, others that they originate from the legendary Atlantis. The crystal skulls are also attributed to the most fantastic properties. It is said that they can exude holographic images and emit strange sounds, that they can cure the sick and that they store knowledge of the Earth’s past. A crystal is a solid body containing atoms, ions and molecules and are arranged in a fixed, three-dimensional manner – a crystal lattice. A crystal is bounded by flat surfaces, which for certain substances bil- car determined angles. In the 1880s, the Curie couple discovered that certain crystals, when compressed, produce an electric charge. This is called the piezoelectric effect, and in modern technology has found a variety of uses ranging from turntable needles to various food instruments. The crystal skulls are sculpted how large pieces of crystal arise and occur in all sizes. It is usually made of rock crystal, but examples have also been found made of, for example, alabaster, sapphire and agate. Most crystal cranes have been found in cemeteries in Mexico and Central America. Research, in turn, has a tendency to dismiss the crystal skulls as superstitious nonsense without further investigation. Many of the myths and rumors surrounding the crystal skulls seem to have originated around the explorer the famous explorer E.A. Mitchell-Hedges. The crystal skull, “Skull of Doom”, is said to have been found by Mitchell Hedge’s adopted tiny daughter Anna during an expedition to the ancient Mayan city of Lubaantuum in South America in the 1920s. Mitchell Hedges searched for the ruins of the legendary Atlantin, but instead found the beautifully decorated heavy crystal skull, weighing about four kilograms. But Mitchell Hedges’ expedition mates firmly deny that any crystalline scale was found during the expedition, and skeptics believe it proved that Mitchell-Hedges actually bought the skull at an auction at the British auction house Sotheby’s in 1943 for £ 400. In fact, Mitchell-Hedges never mentioned the crystal skull until after that time. According to Mitchell-Hedges, the skull is a single piece of rock crystal, and at least 3,600 years old. It would have been used by the Mayan priests for various religious rites. With the help of the crystal skull, the priests were able to kill people around them with pure willpower. Mitchell-Hedges also claimed that the crystal skull was transported to Earth by an extraterrestrial race, and stored in Atlantis before ending up in South America. In 1970, Anna Mitchell-Hedges Crystal sculptor Frank Dorland examines “Skull of Doom”. He believed that “kra’ was not perfect for crystal viewing and that it emitted sound and light depending on the position of the planets. Many more skulls have mysteriously appeared in the last century, and many of these are claimed to have magical origins. This includes, for example, the one above. “Mitchell-Hedges claimed that crystal skull came to the earth from an extraterrestrial race”. “The British Skull” and “The Paris Skull”, both of which are said to have been found in Mexico in the late 19th century. The Paris Skull represents the Arctic god of death Mictlantecuhtli, who in Aztec art was depicted with a skull as the head. Among Native American tribes in South America, there is an ancient legend, which tells that 13 crystal skulls will one day return to their origin, whereby the answers to many mysteries will be revealed and humanity saved.
Mystery Gold Skull Ring
The Fantomen Mystery Gold Skull Ring is a competition published in Fantomen comic book number 17 by Egmont Publishing in Sweden in 2014. Below we see the comic front cover which featured the competition within.
A two page competition advertisement found within the comic book gives the reader the chance to win prizes consisting of a ‘Real Gold Skull Ring’, Watches and Backpacks by answering a set of questions and mailing in the answers. The competition advertisement pages can be seen below.
The pages translated from Swedish to English can be seen below.
Thank you Christopher Smith for assisting with images and information.