Monday, May 22, 2006

The Phantom

I happened to notice that The Phantom movie starring Billy Zane in the title role is going to be on the next day or two. (I set up things to record it -- I forget when exactly it's on.) I've seen the last half hour or so before, and I remember the trailers when it was originally released. And yes, I'm fully aware that it's not a great movie.

But you know, The Phantom is a great concept. You've got this adventurer-type character with a built-in longevity factor. Built-in mystery and intrigue. If you need to update it for different mediums and even genres. It's just a great concept that, I think, has languished WAY too much in the past several decades. Sure, there've been a few attempts to revive the character and he's actually got a decent comic book out now. There was the cartoon about a decade ago or so that I thought was pretty decent, but it got shafted by the network from the get-go.

To my understanding, the Phantom has actually had a fair amount of continued success OUTSIDE the United States. Why am I not surprised? Yet another great quality fiction created outside the U.S. with no real support within the United States.

* sigh *

I'm not sure which is more depressing -- that many of the great concepts I like and appreciate are generated outside the U.S. or that my so-called countrymen dismiss the concept because it's foreign.

1 comment:

Larry Eischen said...

I've loved the Phantom since I was a kid in the 50s and read his adventures every day in the paper. If you go to E Bay and search Phantom comics you'll find Australian comics that number in the high 3 digits if they haven't hit 1000 by now. For a good Phantom 'movie' find the 40s serial. Yes, the Phantom is a sadly neglected American creation as are so many other comic strip characters of the past.