FCBD Interview: Daniel Herman Talks About The Phantom
Apr 22, 2015
The Phantom is one of comic's earliest costumed heroes, and Hermes Press' is celebrating this enduring character's legacy with a special issue that highlights some of the Phantom's greatest stories since his debut in 1936! Featuring exciting adventures and some truly spectacular artwork, fans new and old will enjoy this fantastic look at a classic comic hero.
Free Comic Book Day talked with publisher Daniel Herman about the Phantom Special, Hermes Press' 2015 Free Comic Book Day offering.
Free Comic Book Day: For those who might be new to your comic book, give a quick rundown. What can we expect to see in terms of story and art?
Daniel Herman: The Phantom, one of the classic masked heroes, really the first one, has been around since 1936. The Phantom showed up in newspapers before Superman made his first appearance, before the creation of Batman, and before the creation of the great Marvel heroes as well. Right now Hermes Press is publishing a 6 book story arc with a script by comic book stalwart veteran Peter David with incredible art by Sal Velluto. Issue #1 hit the stands in November and has received nothing but fantastic reviews. Issue #2 of this new series will hit the stands in the next two weeks. Our 2015 free comic book day Phantom special is a treasure trove of new material as well as classic material by such artists as Sal Velluto, Don Newton, Bill Lignante, and Jim Aparo. We have made a sample of the Jim Aparo story available through Diamond to wet everybody’s appetite for the book. The free comic book day Phantom special has something for everybody. This book presents a four page origin of The Phantom taken from two sources, part from a famous Don Newton story and half from our first issue of the current Phantom comic book. It also gives readers two complete Phantom stories as well as some surprises.
Free Comic Book Day: What has been your favorite part of the book or character to tackle?
Daniel Herman: As with anything you really love, it is hard to pick any particular portion of the book to single out, but the four page origin beautifully presents both Don Newton’s art work and Sal Velluto’s art work, dovetailed together, just for this book, which succinctly retells the origin of The Phantom or, as we refer to him, The Ghost Who Walks.
Free Comic Book Day: Tell FCBD fans why they should pick your book first on Free Comic Book Day!
Daniel Herman: If you love mysterious superheroes who are both historic and exciting, this is the book for you. Not only does this book present a retelling of the origins of the myth of The Phantom, it presents two complete stories which will leave readers ready for more.
Free Comic Book Day: What other titles would you associate with your FCBD book? “If a comic reader likes _______ , they should pick up my title"?
Daniel Herman: If you like the Phantom special, I’d pick up our other Phantom titles. For over five years Hermes Press has been creating comprehensive reprints of all of The Phantom dailies from 1936 onward. To date, we have seven volumes in print, each of which would be a perfect accompaniment for the FCBD special. Hermes Press also has produced two complete volumes of Phantom Sundays, the complete Gold Key Phantom comics in two hardcover reprints, the complete King Features Phantom comic books in one gigantic volume, three volumes of the Charlton Phantom comic books, and last but not least, our new ongoing Phantom series by Peter David and Sal Velluto. All of these would be great to read alongside the free comic book day Phantom Special.
Free Comic Book Day: What’s your favorite thing about working in comics?
Daniel Herman: Getting the opportunity to bring classic myths to life every day and to take the great historic characters, which we specialize in presenting, the likes of Buck Rogers, Brenda Star, Zorro, Dark Shadows, Johnny Hazard, Roy Rogers, The Phantom, and many more, and exposing these classics to all new audiences.
Free Comic Book Day: What do you think is the best part about Free Comic Book Day?
Daniel Herman: Clearly every publisher involved in free comic book day has an opportunity to get a young reader interested in comic books and to further inspire new readers to get involved in this unique art form; keeping it alive and growing.