Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Famous Firsts Week: Don Newton's Phantom Debut

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! FAMOUS FIRSTS WEEK keeps on truckin' with Charlton's Phantom! Charlton had been licensing King Features' Ghost Who Walks for quite some time. It was always a solid mag with art by the likes of a young Jim Aparo, Pat Boyette, Frank Bolle, and many others. Not since Aparo, though, had an artist captured both the mystery and exoticism of The Phantom while setting fandom on its ear, but when Don Newton arrived on the scene he did just that! Don's art was perfect for the strip. Moody, realistic (but not overly so), organic, classic, and lively. His painted covers rocked, too! Don did 67-68, 70-71, and 73-74, plus all the covers for those issues--and the cover for #69 as well. Ish #74 was Charlton's final Phantom, but thankfully Don quickly made the leap to DC where he did Aquaman, Return of the New Gods, and eventually Shazam! and Batman. What say we take a look at The Phantom #67 (July 1975), where it all began? Ol' Groove thought you'd like that! Here's the amazing art of the late, great Don Newton over a Joe Gill script..."Triumph of Evil!" (All this and an origin story, too!)


  1. I had posted the Indian reprint of this comic book in a friend's blog. We in India were so used to the Phantom as drawn by Sy Barry.

    But Newton was definitely something different. His art was almost "cinematic", in my view. It was almost as though they were alive and the whole comic was as though you watched a movie.

  2. I have to confess that back in the groovy age my preference was more toward cleaner lines than Newton's blacker tones.
    Just when I was growing to appreciate his work he was gone.
    I'm currently sort of eyeing off the recently released Batman hardcover featuring his work.

  3. Yes!Groovy indeed!
    Thank you,Mr Groove!
    I don't know why or if I'm wrong,but I get the feeling that these pages are drawn with love.
    Like;this is not just done for the money.Don Newton in the mood!?
    /Mr Anonymous
    p.s.Happy New Year!

  4. The first time I read The Phantom, it was in a British comic called TV Tornado back in the '60s. The Phantom strips were reprints from an American source. I'm unsure if I saw the character in the Captain Action ads before or after I read TV Tornado 'though.

    But Newton? He was something else - especially his Alcala-inked Batman strips.



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