“Phans”, not “Fans”: The Phantom and Australian Comic-Book Fandom

PHANS NOT FANS Fig2 -The Phantom No439 - 1971I’m pleased to announce that a research paper based on my PhD thesis has recently been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal and is now available for all to read. My paper, titled         ‘ “Phans”, not “Fans”: The Phantom and Australian Comic-Book Fandom’, examines the status of the Phantom as a heroic figure in Australian popular culture through the activities of Australian “phans”, as documented in club newsletters, comic conventions, fan publications and online fora. It explores the publishing history of The Phantom comic strip in Australia from the mid-1930s to the present-day and suggests reasons why this American comic-strip hero, arguably more than any other, continues to fascinate generations of Australian readers. This paper has been published in the latest issue of Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies (November 2012) and can be downloaded here. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this paper and I look forward to receiving your comments either here at this blog, or on other Phantom “phan” websites. I should also add that this issue of Participations has a special section devoted to the study of comic-book audiences, featuring studies from Australian and international researchers, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in all aspects of comic-book fan culture. (Image courtesy of Rare Book Collection, Monash University Library)