Artist claims comic book coup

Broome Advertiser - - Happenings - Carly Laden

A lo­cal comic book artist scored a dream gig when he was re­cently of­fered an op­por­tu­nity to work for the pub­li­ca­tion be­hind the fa­mous Phan­tom comics.

Long-run­ning Aus­tralian comic book pub­lisher FREW Pub­li­ca­tions has of­fered Bren­ton McKenna an op­por­tu­nity to be the artist for a new comic se­ries.

McKenna said as some­one who had had a long in­ter­est in comics, be­ing of­fered the job at FREW Pub­li­ca­tions was a dream come true.

“As long as I could re­mem­ber I’ve been draw­ing my whole life, I’ve def­i­nitely been draw­ing longer than I could read,” he said.

“As much as getting a gig with ei­ther Mar­vel, DC or Dark Horse comics would be awe­some, The Phan­tom is the pre­de­ces­sor to them all.

“It was an hon­our to be asked to il­lus­trate Kid Man­drake af­ter so many years of work­ing on my own graphic nov­els and feel­ing like I wasn’t even close to breaking into the in­dus­try.”

Kid Man­drake tells the tale of the Phan­tom’s old­est ally, Man­drake the Ma­gi­cian, as a child.

Man­drake mas­tered the mystical arts in Ti­bet and has strengths in il­lu­sion and hyp­no­sis among his mag­i­cal tal­ents.

The new comic will be a spin-off se­ries of the pop­u­lar Kid Phan­tom se­ries, writ­ten by An­drew Con­stant and il­lus­trated by Paul Ma­son, which fol­lows the Phan­tom’s ad­ven­tures when he was a child.

McKenna said he was cer­tainly a fan of The Phan­tom comics grow­ing up and the se­ries had had a large in­flu­ence on comic writ­ers, artists and en­thu­si­asts.

“There isn’t a comic reader or creator out there that hasn’t picked up a Phan­tom comic at some point,” he said.

“It has been around longer than Mar­vel and DC. It didn’t mat­ter if you liked him or not, The Phan­tom set the bench­mark for comic book stan­dards.”

Pic­tures: Carly Laden

Bren­ton McKenna with some of his comic book col­lec­tion.

Some of the art­work set to fea­ture in Kid Man­drake.

Man­drake, the cen­tral char­ac­ter in the up­com­ing Kid Man­drake se­ries.

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