Team Fantomen is the collective term for the artists and writers, responsible for the Scandinavian production of stories about the Phantom. It's closely tied with the production of the Swedish Fantomen magazine.
The first Phantom story to be produced for Fantomen was "Skatten i Dödskallegrottan" ("The Treasure in the Skull Cave") by Bertil Wilhelmsson, published in 1963. By the end of 2010, over 850 Team Fantomen story have been published.
Between 1963 and 1967, nineteen Phantom stories was created for Fantomen, all but one by Wilhelmson, with cover artist Rolf Gohs being responsible for the only exception.
By the end of the 1960's the production temporary ceased, as Fantomen started to reprint stories produced by the Italian publishing house Fratelli Spada. Several of the Spada stories was however edited, and - between 1968 and 1970 - even had some new art added to them. The artists known to have participated in the Spada additions are Bertil Wilhelmsson, Özcan Eralp and Anders Thorell.
1970 saw the return of original Fantomen stories, and this time artists Wilhelmsson and Eralp was joined by writers Magnus Knutsson and Janne Lundström, forming the first proper "Team Fantomen". In addition to new stories, several Daily and Sunday stories from the Moore and McCoy years was slightly rewritten and provided with completely new art. The last of these stories was published in 1973.
In 1972 Jaime Vallvé joined, and remained as one of the most influential artists of the team until the mid 1990's. When Ulf Granberg turned editor-in-chief of Fantomen in 1973, he also became in charge of Team Fantomen, and under Granberg's lead the production truly was established.
One of the goals of the Scandinavian produces Phantom stories of the early 1970's was to add "social awareness" to the character. As early as in 1969 a Swedish magazine had called the Phantom a fascist, and the left winds blowing over Sweden during the 1970's also affected the Phantom. In a story from 1973 he helped a jungle tribe to start a cooperative, four years later he met up with Fidel Castro, and as the fictional country of Rhodia - based upon the regimes of Rhodesia and South Africa - was introduced in 1972, he joined the fight for to liberate Africa's people from the colonial powers.
Prominent writers joining the team during the mid and late 1970's include, besides Granberg, Norman Worker and Donne Avenell, while Heiner Bade, Georges Bessis, Kari Leppänen and Knut Westad were established as Team Fantomen artists.
During the first half of the eighties the team kept growing with all Scandinavian creators Eirik Ildahl, Diane Alfredhsson, Claes Reimerthi (writers) and Hans Lindahl (artist) joining. In 1986, Fantomen celebrated the Phantom strip's 50th anniversary by reprinting thirteen handpicked stories from its Scandinavian production.
As the political winds slowly started to change during the decade, so did the tone of the Scandinavian Phantom production. However, the political awareness still remained an important part of the stories, with environmental issues and white slavery continuing to be addressed.
During the later years of the decade there was what later has been referred to as a "Latin wave", as several South European and South American artists, including José Casanovas, Carlos Cruz, Romano Felmang and César Spadari, joined in, together with the Scottish writer Scott Goodall, who lived in France.
The early and mid 1990's had artist Joan Boix, and writers Sverre Årnes, Lennart Moberg, Tony de Paul, and Terrence Longstreet joining the team. In 1992 Granberg summoned the most influential writers and artists, along with some editorial staff members, to the first of many seminars, nicknamed "the Brain Trust", to discuss the concept of the team's Phantom production.
As a result of the Brain Trust's work, 1994 saw some severe changes within the world of the Phantom, as Bengali was given a new president, Kigali Lubanga, and the Phantom's relationship with several of his former friends and allies was complicated. However - the reaction from the readers was mixed, and by 1997 most things were back to normal.
The 1990's also saw the return of the practice to reuse old Lee Falk stories. This time around - unlike in the 1970's - there were only minor changes, made by Ulf Granberg, to the original scripts. Between 1993 and 2001 a total of six Dailies and Sunday stories were redrawn.
Around the turn of the millennium, several former core artists and writers were no longer a part of the production. Donne Avenell and Norman Worker had been the team's most influential writers since the 1970's, and with Avenell's death in 1997, and Worker's leaving as a regular writer in the same year, there was a need for new writers. Claes Reimerthi, who had been one of the main writers during the Lubanga-era, kept on as the most influential writer, together with Tony de Paul, and artist Hans Lindahl, who also took up writing. New Zealand-born writer David Bishop (now residing in Scotland) was a popular addition to the team's ranks.
In 1999 the first story by American writer Ben Raab, was published, and during the 2000's the "American wave" kept sweeping through the Team Fantomen production, with acclaimed American comic book artists and writers like Dick Giordano, Bob McLeod, Graham Nolan, Don Perlin, Paul Ryan, Alex Saviuk, Roger Stern and Sal Velluto all contributing. Additionally, former Team member Janne Lundström returned in 2007.
Notably, in the beginning of the new millennium an increasing amount of the stories revolved around supernatural or fantastic elements, while the politic aspects of the stories slightly faded. By the mid-2000's, the politics of Bengali again became a recurring theme in the stories, as Sandal Singh, the new leader of the Singh Brotherhood became president of the country.
In 2012, Ulf Granberg retired from the position of editor responsible for the production of new Team Fantomen stories. The last published story that he produced was "The Runestone Saga" published in Fantomen 25-26/2012.
Granberg was succeeded by Team Fantomen members Claes Reimerthi and Hans Lindahl. The first published story where they were responsible for the production was "The Bandar Idol" published in Fantomen 1/2013.
Team Fantomen participants
|Name||Work||Active years||Additional work|
|Alex Saviuk||Artist||2004-2006, 2013-present|
|Claes Reimerthi||Writer||1984-present||Head of Team Fantomen 2013-present.|
|César Spadari||Artist||1987-present||Cover artist in 1992 and 2000-2002, 2007-present.|
|Germano Ferri||Artist||1990-2000, 2011-present||Cover artist in 1997, 2000, and 2008-present|
|Hans Lindahl||Artist and writer||1983-present|| Cover artist since 1985.|
Head of Team Fantomen 2013-present.
|Heiner Bade||Artist and (previously) writer||1975-present||Cover artist 1979-1983 and 2007-present.|
|Janne Lundström||Writer||1970-1977, 2007-present|
|Joan Boix||Artist||1994-present||Cover artist 1998-2003, 2008, 2010.|
|Kari Leppänen||Artist and (previously) writer||1979-present|| Cover artist sporadically since 1982. |
Cover artist for some Finnish publications.
|Romano Felmang||Artist||1987-present||Cover artist 1997-present.|
|Sal Velluto||Artist||2007-present||Cover artist 2007-present.|
The following artists and writers have written or done artist work for Team Fantomen's stories.
|Name||Work||Active years||Additional work|
|Bertil Wilhelmsson||Artist and writer||1963-1988|
|Bob McLeod||Artist||2003-2006||Cover artist 2005-2006.|
|Boroslav Pavlović||Artist||1993||Cover artist for Fantomet and Fantomets Krønike|
|Christer Thunborg||Artist||1995-1998||Editorial staff member of Fantomen. Cover artist 1993-1997.|
|Dag R. Frognes||Writer and artist||2000-2002|| Cover artist 2001-2002, 2013-present. |
Cover artist for Fantomet and Fantomets Krønike.
|Jens Hansegård||Writer||1997-2004, 2010||He has also been a part of the writing team Terrence Longstreet.|
|Ebbe Zetterstad||Writer||1960's||Editor-in-chief of Fantomen 1958-1961.|
|Graham Nolan||Writer||2003||Cover artist in 1999.|
|Ingebjørg Berg Holm||Writer||2003|
|Jaime Vallvé||Artist and writer||1972-1996||Cover artist 1976-1989, with reprints in 1999 and 2007.|
|Johan L. Borgnes||Writer||1988-1990||Author of the Phan-Toom article, 1991.|
|Kjell T. Johnsen||Writer||1999|
|Knut Westad||Artist||1979-1989|| Cover artist 1978-1985. |
Cover artist for Fantomet and Fantomets Krønike.
|Lennart Hartler||Writer||1972-1973||Editor-in-chief of Fantomen 1969-1972.|
|Lennart Moberg||Writer and artist||1992-2004|
|Magnus Knutsson||Writer||1970-1975, 2005|
|Mats Jönsson||Writer||2000-2002|| Editor-in-chief of Fantomen 1987-1990 and of Fantomen Krönika 2006-2007. |
Cover artist in 1987.
|Paul Ryan||Artist||2001-2006||Cover artist 2001-2010.|
|Per G. Hvidsten||Writer||1992|
|Rolf Gohs||Artist and writer||1966-1970||Cover artist 1957-present.|
|Terje Nordberg||Writer||1982-1985, 2012||Editor of Fantomet during the 1980's.|
|Ulf Granberg||Writer||1975-2001|| Editor-in-chief of Fantomen 1973-1986 and 2003-2012.|
Head of Team Fantomen 1973-2012.
Editor-in-chief of Fantomen Krönika 1993-1996 and of issue #58 in 2003
|Umberto Sammarini||Artist||1991-2007||Cover artist in 2006.|
|Özcan Eralp||Artist and writer||1968-1991|
Before the Scandinavian production of Phantom stories began, the Fantomen covers was made by several European illustrators, including George Camitz, Martin Guhl, Göte Göransson, John Lindbom and others. In 1957 Rolf Gohs made his first Fantomen cover. As of 2011, he has provided over 900 covers, and still remains one of the most frequently appearing cover artist of the Scandinavian Phantom magazines. From 1960 to 1975 Gohs was responsible for every single Fantomen cover to be produced, with the exception of three covers each made by Börje Nilsson and Göte Göransson in 1966.
In 1976 Jaimé Vallvé produced his first Fantomen cover, and since then has cover material been produced by several of the Team members (i.e. Bade, Boix, Felmang, Ferri, Frognes, Giordano, Jönsson, Leppänen, Lindahl, McLeod, Nolan, Ryan, Spadari, Thunborg, Sammarini, Vallvé, Velluto and Westad). In addition, some cover art have been made by artists who hasn't done any Team Fantomen stories; these include Terje Aspmo, Tony Bagge, Sy Barry, Alex Biffignandi, Iván Boix, Mario Caria, John Cassaday, Peter Friman, Mats Indseth, Alexander Klingspor, Erik Larsen, Eugenio Mattozzi, Tom Smith and Rudy Walk.
The Norwegian, Finnish and Danish Fantomen counterparts (Fantomet, Mustanaamio and Fantomet, respectively) generally use the cover material produced for the Swedish magazine. However - there are also covers made specially for the Norwegian magazines; the previously mentioned Westad, Pavlović, Frognes, Larsen and Aspmo all have made covers that have exclusively been used by Fantomet, Fantomets Krønike and other Norwegian publications. Artists who only have produced cover material directly for the Norwegian market include Yngve Eriksen, Liv Jacobsen, Kent Jensen, Morten Myklebust, Per Henning Olsen, Erlend Tønnesen and Volker Zibell, as well as signatures Boada, Kokstad, H. Jakobsen and Arcadia. In addition, there is a handful of Fantomet covers from the late 1970's whose creators still remain unknown.