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Hey! When did The Phantom become Mary Worth?

Are you sure you know who you're in bed with?

Somehow I missed the announcement of Paul Ryan's death back in March. Ryan had been the artist of the daily Phantom comic strip since 2005, and he was fantastic, a real throwback to the Alex Raymond school of action comics.

Is there a trophy for most exposition between punches?

Ryan's last strip ran at the end of May. His replacement is Mike Manly, who happens to also be the current artist on Judge Parker, a strip so boring that non-disclosure agreement contracts make more interesting reading. Needless to say, the change in styles has not been seamless.

And thus begins the adventure of the Briarson School vs the NCAA

This is a good case illustrating how important an artist is to comic art. The strips' writer is still Tony Depaul, who's been on the job since 1999. So the characters haven't changed, just their appearance. Is it enough to make me stop reading The Phantom? Probably not. But it's enough to make me miss how good it used to be.

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To be continued...

 

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