Friday, April 2, 2010

Lions, Tigers and Leopards Oh My! Part two: Finland

I recently discovered an index of Finnish Phantoms (or Musta-Naamio , as he is called) and, once again, we see that Jungle cats are second only to pirates in their enmity for The Ghost Who Walks.

Frankly, I find that circus clown even scarrier than the tiger.


  1. Ghost: What pretty covers! Those Fins have it all going on! I love that the majority have a white background, something you don't see much in American comics. I like it! -- Mykal

  2. Oh, this makes me nostalgic - especially that 1977 cover with the lion. I remember being sick and asked my mother to buy the latest issue of Fantomen for me, and it was this issue!
    Most of these covers - if not all - are by Rolf Gohs, and the Finnish edition is more or less just a translation of the Swedish one. I guess they only add the editorial material themselves. Longtime artist Kari Leppänen is Finnish, though.

    Btw: I just put a link to The Ghost Who Blogs in my blog;

  3. Mykal: It just sort of worked out that so many covers with tigers also make use of negative space.

    Pidde: Thanks for visiting and for the link! I love that many of your Fantomen stories are also reminiscences of childhood. I suspected many of these covers were also Fantomen and Fantomet covers, but I hadn't seen any of these in my previous explorations.

    I looked up Rolf Gohs and I found him listed several places (Wikipedia,, etc.) but sadly, I could find no Rolf Gohs website to link.

    You have a very nice blog, by the way!

  4. Rolf Gohs is a legend. Among his first work in comics was ghosting (or GOHSting?!) an Italian Phantom rip-off. I don't remember his Italian name, but they called him Kilroy in Sweden. This was in the 50s or 60s. Gohs used to draw a classic (and later controversial) adventure comic called Mystiska 2:an (The Mysterious 2), but he's mainly known for his cover art. He's made hundreds the last 40 years. Since the Fantomen book is celebrating 60 years this year, you can win some of Gohs's original art in their anniversary contests.

    Yeah, The Phantom - and comics as a medium - were a huge part of my childhood. When I was a kid, we only had two TV channels, no cable, no video, and I was too young to see THE GOOD STUFF playing at movie theatres. So, I read comics as a substitute for movies and TV shows. I wanted to become a comic book artist and drew lots and lots of comics. I became a scriptwriter, not an artist.
    What's pretty cool and interesting about growing up in Sweden in the 70s and 80s, is that when it came to comics, we didn't only get the best of two worlds - we got the best of MOST worlds. We had our homegrown comics. We had the American superhero books. We had the British stuff (mainly sports and war comics). And we had the wonderful French-Belgian comics.
    Since I'm a member of the Swedish Academy of Comic Art, I nominate people for the Adamson Award. Sometimes, I ask friends and colleagues around the world for suggestions, and most non-Scandinavians only mention artists or writers from their own countries. The Americans have never read Tintin, Spirou, Blueberry, Corto Maltese (besides the ones who are interested in European comics). French people don't give a damn about American superheroes, except for little kids. While I read it all while growing up!
    Another thing with Fantomen, was that it always stated who had written and drawn the material, and sometimes had articles about- or interviews with the creators. This made me interested in Comics - how they are made, how the books are edited. Fantomen treated its readers with respect.

    Did you Google translate my blog? ;-)
    (It's mainly about movies)