ChronicleChamber.com Merch

As some of you may know, I started the Phantom phan site, ChronicleChamber.com, all the way back in 2006. I ran the site pretty much by myself until 2018, when I made the decision to stay in the UK.

The Phantom, sadly, has basically no presence in the UK, so it made sense to hand the reigns over to those who were in a better place to continue delivering Phantom content. Thus, the current runners of the site stepped in.

Some pretty cool stuff happened during that 10 year run though; not only was it the biggest (and, if I say so myself, best) Phantom website out there, we also started up X-Band, the worlds first, and so far only, Phantom-dedicated podcast.

We also started regular phan meetings at conventions such as Supanova and the Phantom Preservation Project, which aims to archive and preserve all Phantom-based material that has been released but is not longer in publication, such as newspaper articles, fan club newsletters, old music and so on. I’m really proud of what myself and the others achieved in that time.

Well, the other day I received a package that contained some brilliant gifts. Those currently running the site have taken it from strength to strength and one of the things they’ve done is produce ChronicleChamber.com t-shirts and stickers to give away at cons to help promote the site. Kindly, they sent a bunch my way!

I absolutely love these, and they are going to have a very special place in my collection. It’s thirteen years since I started ChronicleChamber.com, and even though I’m not working on it myself any more it makes me extremely proud to know it’s still going so strong!

But enough from me, check the goodies out below!

Gemr – History of The Phantom

My second article for collector website Gemr.com went live recently. This one was an absolute pleasure to write as it looks at the history of my personal favourite comics hero, The Phantom.

The article takes a bit of a different tact than most “history of…” articles thought in that it doesn’t just recount how the series came to be and where it is today, but rather the impact it had on the people who read it and how that in turn influenced their culture and the character himself!

Lots of research went in to this, so if you take a moment to read it (pleas do) I hope you enjoy it.

Read the full article on Gemr.com

The 10 Best Graphic Novels NOT in the 100 Greatest List

Recently I picked up the magazine The 100 Greatest Graphic Novels of All Time! magazine from Future Publishing. I thought it’d be interesting to go through the magazine and see which ones I’d read and which ones I needed to. The magazine was very well written with some really thoughtful commentary on the books presented within resulting in my “to read” list gaining quite a few additions.

While the magazine covered many great graphic novels – and indeed you’d need a slew of magazines to cover all the graphic novels that you should read in a lifetime – there were of course a few of my personal favourites left off. Thus, I thought I’d write up my own list.

Continue reading “The 10 Best Graphic Novels NOT in the 100 Greatest List”

The Issue With Variants

Variant covers for comic book issues have been a staple of the industry for some time now. The first comic book to have a variant cover was 1986’s The Man of Steel #1While there were technically variants before this, they were all due to small differences such as distributor logo. Man of Steel #1 was the first to receive variant artwork, which is what variants are mostly known for nowadays.

Variants played something of a not unsubstantial role in the “spectator boom” of comics in the 1990’s. There are a lot of pieces to the spectator boom puzzle which I won’t go into here, but if you’re interested you can read this great article by Michael McCallum on ComicBooked.com.

To give a brief history of the boom, people suddenly got the idea that buying a comic and holding on to it for 10, 20, or 50 years would eventually put their kids through university or pay off their house. Big firms such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times wrote articles about the possible future value of these once unpalatable items and so people started buying comics by the armful.

Continue reading “The Issue With Variants”