Lara Bell’s grand tour

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It’s not often that outsiders get to see the treasures of antiquity guarded by the Ghost Who Walks. In 1941, with Ray Moore at the drawing board, a gang of thugs and layabouts took advantage of the Phantom’s absence, did battle with the Bandar and looted Skull Cave. The Phantom knew he was on the right trail when he saw a Chinese emperor’s 2,000-year-old necklace hanging around the pretty neck of Rita, known in those days as a swell dame, a real doll. It all ended badly for the gang, as you may imagine.

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Flash forward to 1962, and Sy Barry’s first Sunday story.

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Notice how even-tempered the Phantom is, despite the snooping. No Voice of the angry Phantom chills the blood (Old Jungle Saying). He even gives the interloper a tour of the Major Treasure Room before dealing with him and his cohorts.

Some of the things Lara Bell will see in the next several weeks were disclosed in that 1962 story. But be on the lookout for a few treasures that the great Lee Falk chose not to reveal at that time!

Tony DePaul, January 22, 2014, Rhode Island, USA


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12 thoughts on “Lara Bell’s grand tour

  1. The 1941 sample strip is drawn by the first PHANTOM artist, Ray Moore … not Wilson McCoy. Wilson drew much prettier women, while Ray Moore’s women were generally, as noted, “swell dames.” I have Sunday original art by both artists on my wall.

    • You’re obviously and absolutely right, Anthony! That’s just me scribbling on the blog before morning coffee. Will make the correction for other readers. Thank you!

  2. I don’t understand the current story. Why does the Phantom show his secrets in the Skull Cave to Lara Bell when he doesn’t have to do so at all? I hope that her memory will not be swept away by the notorious bandar medicine! The Phantom that I know would never act so unethically.

    Sorry for my criticism, but I think that very rare post-Falk stories are good. Stories go forward too slowly. Dialogue is poor. There are far too few panels. Art is too stiff and lifeless. You could do much better Phantom.

    • The Bandar forget-it powder was used today. I really appreciate the tour in the cave’s dependencies, but don’t like this trick. Is there something else to happen next week to enhance this ending?

      • Yes, unfortunately the powder was used in the way like it was hinted beforehand. My Phantom is not this kind of unethical jerk, who plays with people – first shows them Skull Cave treasures and then gives them forget-me-not medicine! This is one of the worst Phantom stories I have ever read. And I have read them hundreds. Those great Moore and Barry examples above just prove my point.

        Also in general, do you guys realize that you are doing your dream job? There are countless of artists, writers and editors, who would like to be in your places in doing Phantom! So please give us better Phantom. You are skilled professionals. So please give us better art, better dialogue and please know even the Phantom character.

        • I have enjoyed all your stories and the art work, and I know you have a great ending planned.

          I see nothing wrong with all you have done, other than not moved on to the 22nd or 23rd Phantom by now. Changing the Phantom generational numbers shouldn’t have been that difficult, None of us would want to know the 21st had died, But if the Phantom were to talk to you, he most likely say no one lives forever in ‘my line’ of work.

  3. I have been a fan since I was a kid back in the early 50’s- some episodes I remember
    Includes ‘The Crybaby’, and ‘The Goggle Eye Pirates’. All of the story lines in the papers in the past 10 years have been enjoyable- some better than others, including the graphics, and characters’ depictions. Can any fans share a link where I can see past episodes of The Phantom that were featured in the daily, and Sunday papers? Thanks!

    • Comic Kingdom has archives going back to 1998 of the newer color stripes, Vintage go back July 2, 1945, thought I thought they went back farther… Hope that helps

  4. I have enjoyed all your stories and the art work, and I know you have a great ending already written/planned for Lara Bell’s grand tour, and I’m sure it will be a unexpected one.

    I see nothing wrong with all you have done, other than not moved on to the 22nd or 23rd Phantom by now. Changing the Phantom generational numbers shouldn’t have been that difficult, None of us would want to know the 21st had died, But if the Phantom were to talk to you, he most likely say no one lives forever in ‘My Line’ of work.

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