Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vale Jim Shepherd

Dear Karin,
Thank you for allowing me to use your popular blog to write about the passing of Jim Shepherd, who was the director of Frew Publications.
Frew has been publishing the Phantom comic in Australia since 1948 and I sincerely believe that I would not possess the enthusiasm for comics I do today were it not for the newsagent next to my Dad's restaurant that used to give me Frew Phantoms.
One of the most endearing qualities of these particular comics is that Jim himself would write an introduction to each issue. I do not know how familiar your readers are with the story of the Phantom, but he is the 21st in a long line of crime fighters. Often, issues will focus on the heroic deeds of past phantoms, and in these issues Jim would usually provide a little more detail on the historical setting, which was a nice touch. Other times, he would simply speculate on the direction of the story, and what lay ahead for the 'Ghost Who Walks'.
Most of all, his introductions betrayed the fact that he was a genuine fan of the Phantom. In an era where comics are an increasingly cynical medium driven by merchandising and licensing, it was nice to know that there was still someone who had a genuine regard for the character, and respect for the readers.
I understand that Jim died today after collapsing whilst out dining. I am saddened by this loss, but happy for the humble legacy he leaves.
Thank you again for publishing this. I would also like to encourage your readers to seek out the Phantom at their local newsagent or comic book shop. Its a great book and suitable for men and women of all ages.


  1. Actually The Phantom collapsed and died at home after a day in the Office, which he obviously referred to as the Skull Cave.
    He will be missed.
    Steve Shepherd

  2. Thanks Steve. My condolences and apologies for the misinformation.

    Kind regards,