#4 The Phantom Shadow

| November 4, 2010 | 4 Comments

Yeah, this one is silly. But probably no sillier than anything else I’ve come up with as an inside joke.

This idea came from looking at one of the back issue cases at Jim Hanley’s Universe and seeing an issue of The Phantom next to an issue of The Shadow and blurring the words together.

Concept: While I’d love to do this as a straight pulp from the 30’s and set it then, I really want to push the expectations of pulp, and set it today, like Brubaker & Phillips’ Incognito.

Design: I’m going to keep some pulp tropes; the hat, the mask, and, like his namesake, a scarf, but what we’re looking at…what my intent is…is a hipster as a pulp hero. Tight v-neck sweater, black jeans, Converse All-Stars, black leather gloves and a fedora. Domino mask combined with the shadow of his hat combine to obscure his eyes entirely. The scarf is an odd-ball element. I wanted something that emulated a cape, but had that element of pulp mystery. I like the idea of his sweater and scarf being somewhat malleable after a fashion. What I mean is, the sweater won’t always be black, but gray, navy, crimson or forest green…dark colors. Likewise, the scarf will always be dark, but could have patterns. Theoretically, I’m pushing the idea of shape as costume, where his silhouette would play a role as identifier.

Note: My limitations as an artist are really starting to come to the surface. This one took four tries before I saw the character in what I was drawing, and I’m still not 100% happy with it. Furthermore, he should be wearing a black raincoat (not a trenchcoat), but again, I have limits to what my pen can represent on a page.

EDIT: Now with art by my bud, Attila Adorjany!  See above!

EDIT 2: Check out Danny Kelly‘s version!:

Copyright © 2010, Vito Delsante.

Danny Kelly - The Phantom Shadow

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Category: Drama, Superhero

About the Author ()

I'm not exactly sure what I should put here, so here goes. I'm a writer, written for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, AdHouse Books, and Simon & Schuster, among others and his stories have been reprinted in other countries. Mostly concentrating on creator owned work right now, so the challenge suits me just fine. I live in Queens (Astoria/LIC), NY with my wife, Michelle, and two dogs, Kasey and Kirby. I'm not sure what else needs to be said, but I'm sure I'll keep changing this. Oh, here's something. I contribute to the Project Rooftop site. The RetroFix column was kind of my idea, so I feel like that experience will help me out here.

Comments (4)

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  1. “Theoretically, I’m pushing the idea of shape as costume, where his silhouette would play a role as identifier.” That’s really, really clever. Interesting idea.

  2. Thanks, Rolando. It’s really kind of a big idea, but I have no idea how to truly implement it as a form of comic art, you know? It’s a theory, and until an artist sees the practical application of it, it’s still just going to be a theory. But it seems to be reaching folks, so that’s positive!

  3. Samar Ertsey says:

    I dig it.
    I might be willing to experimant on it, after the challenge. May I?

    I wish I’d been that good at drawing hats when I started into the biz.

  4. Neil Burke says:

    Are these characters still open source, Vito? I’m writing something atm and would love to use this guy. I’ve always been a fan if his look and the idea behind him.

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