The Phantom in Comics - Dispute Resolved?
by by Matt Brady
Date: 29 July 2008 Time: 03:10 PM ET
Moonstone Still Has Phantom
With no offense meant to Diana Palmer, the Phantom has been seeing more action lately he has in a long time.Just running things down quickly: at WizardWorld: Chicago, Dynamite Entertainment announced that it would be rebooting and publishing the classic Lee Falk character with Alex Ross himself contributing new designs and an overall visual style. That announcement led some fans of the character to question how Dynamite could publish comics based on the character, when Moonstone was currently publishing The Phantom. Moonstone Publisher Joe Gentile responded, stating for the record that Moonstone did, in fact, still hold the rights to publish comics based on the character. Dynamite responded in an interview with its President Nick Barrucci which laid out how it saw the rights situation, and how it had chosen to wait two years until it began publication of its own version. And Moonstone responded one last time. The end result – more than a little confusion among fans, and apparently battle lines being drawn between the companies over the character. And today, Newsarama reported that Daniel and Charlie Knauf (Carnivale) have written a script for a new The Phantom movie/pilot for Sci Fi – news that was met with generally positive response from fans. And now, in regards to The Phantom in comics, there is peace in our time. Just prior to San Diego Comic-Con, Newsarama received a joint statement from the two respective heads of Dynamite and Moonstone which reads: Nick Barrucci: "Joe and I have only known each other for a year, but I think he's a really good guy. What transpired here was a domino effect that no one would have been able to believe. It was a ‘hurricane’ where one thing happened after another, and it's unfortunate, as something that should have been resolved right away dragged out for a week or so more. Joe and I have spoken this week at least three times, and we're on the same page." Joe Gentile: "I must hand it to Nicky for phoning me and starting the conversation that led to a better understanding between us. He gave me a magnanimous heads-up a year ago on something, which I have not forgotten, which goes to show that he's a good guy. The one thing that we both are very happy about, is that through all of this, a long overdue spotlight of attention has been shined on this great
character!"Specific publication details were not disclosed at this time, but it was strongly suggested that Moonstone will continue publishing The Phantom, at the very least, for the immediate future, with Dynamite’s version waiting in the wings.