Sunday, November 1, 2009

PS P.S.: Skybox Trading Card - 1993

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This card--from the same set as the Tim Hunter subset from earlier in the week--is a real beauty, and I'm glad a couple of you pointed out its existence to me.

Regular IATPS commenter (and now Fantom Stranger) MW Gallaher first told me about the card (and pointed me to his neat Jim Aparo blog to see it), and then uber-helpful Fantom Stranger Richard Duncan sent it to me. Thanks fellas!


Even though this card came out sixteen years ago, I had never seen it before, so it was an especially nice treat to see the late, great Jim Aparo drawing the Phantom Stranger one more time. So when I decided to wrap up the blog with the items I missed, this seemed like the perfect item to go out on.


...and that's about it. Many of you commented that you hoped the blog would go out on October 31st, because, being Halloween, that would've been the perfect moment to wrap it all up. Initially I didn't think we'd make it, but thanks to you committed PS fans, here we are-ending it all with an exact year of posts (okay, a year and a day), a really nice way to go out.


Of course, The Phantom Stranger as a character isn't gone--if anything, the Stranger has made more appearances in the last few years than he did in almost all of the 90s, and he'll continue to be an ongoing concern in the DCU.

He's also scheduled to make his first animated appearance in an upcoming episode of Brave and the Bold--I can't wait to see the show's take on him!

And, like all of my blogs, IATPS isn't really gone forever (one of the things I love most about the blogs, they are as final as you want them to be)--I plan to do occasional updates as the Strange racks up more appearances. Like the character itself, this blog would pop up when you least expect it!


My thanks to everyone who came by and checked out what I was doing here, left a comment, or sent something in. I Am The Phantom Stranger never had the audience of some of my other blogs, but it was a remarkably consistent one--meaning the people who liked what I was doing stayed with me through this whole journey, which was great.

I also have to thank Mike W. Barr, Alan Brennert, Gerry Conway, Nick Cuti, Dan Mishkin, and my pal Paul Kupperberg for taking time out to talk to me for the blog. Getting to talk to the people whose work I've loved so much is one of the best things about doing these blogs, and each one of them was great fun to talk Phantom Stranger with.

Some of you wrote in to ask if I ever tried to interview Len Wein, who wrote arguably the best run of Phantom Stranger stories with Jim Aparo. The answer to that is I tried--I contacted Len about an interview, and he agreed. I sent him the questions, but not too long after that he had that terrible fire that destroyed his home, so obviously after that he had a lot more to worry about than doing our interview.

I felt so bad over the news that Len and his family lost almost everything in the fire that when Mark Evanier spearheaded the "Let's Rebuild Len Wein's Comic Book Collection" effort, I promptly sent Len my copies of all the Phantom Strangers he did with Jim Aparo--as much as I enjoyed having those great books in my collection, I decided I'd enjoy the idea of them residing with the author even more.


So that's it! Thanks to everyone for coming, and I hope you all enjoyed our time following The Phantom Stranger!


12 comments:

Johnny B said...

That newer Aparo illo seems to be a redo of the cover for Stranger #24- I remember the three guys in the foreground and the carnival backdrop...

M W Gallaher said...

Good catch, Johnny B! My copy has Jim's signature on it, obscuring the statue of Christ on the mountaintop behind it, so I didn't make the connection between this and one of my favorite PS covers.
And now my public thanks to rob! I always used to love those index magazines that documented various heroes' published histories, and this will stand as the definitive look back at one of comicdom's most unique characters. And as an essential supplement for any Jim Aparo fan, you can trust it'll retain its permanent link on the front page of my Aparo blog.
I'm not buying any new comics these days, but I'll be back at the local comic shop next year when Phantom Stranger returns to the stands...and then I'll head right back over here!
B & B Seeing You elsewhere in the blogosphere, rob!

rob! said...

Thanks MW! And yes, IATPS will definitely be back for when Phantom Stranger #42 comes out!

Wings said...

Thanks for all the hard work you put into this blog, as usual. Much fun!

Bribaby said...

What a good person you are for sending Mr. Wein those treasured comics!
Thanks for the blog, I've really enjoyed it over the past year. It was a labor of love and it shows.
Take care!

Butch R said...

And let me add my Thanks for your hard work and fine writing. Glad to know you'll update this from time to time. Enjoy your break and know your readers await your return.
Thanks Rob!

RC said...

Yes, thanks! It's been tremendous fun walking with the Phantom Stranger through all of his appearances.

R Duncan said...

You're uber-welcome, Rob! I loved every post.

Brian said...

Thanks for putting together this incredible blog. I had no idea PS was in so many different stories until this. I thought you might have a couple dozen good posts and then it would end, but you proved me wrong! It took a lot of time to put out this quality of material, and it was wonderful reading it.

RC said...

Hey, don't know if anyone's monitoring these comments anymore...but did anyone notice that the Stranger popped up in the New York Times last week? A story about Joe Kubert auctioning off his art features a generous-sized image of JK surrounded by DC universe notables. Check on the large version of he image: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/arts/design/17kubert.html
That has to be the Stranger, in his pre-medallion garb, standing behind GL right? I mean, who else could it be? I've seen the print version, the color is great.

Christopher said...

This is my favorite blog of all-time. The Phantom Stranger needed an in-depth look, and you provided it. Many thanks for the hard work in covering his entire lifespan as a character. A shame the fun had to end at some point...

rob! said...

Chris-

Thanks for stopping by---better late than never!

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