Artist claims comic book coup

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Brenton McKenna with some of his comic book collection.
Camera IconBrenton McKenna with some of his comic book collection. Credit: 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.”

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