At last we got words from a major speaker of the Phantom in Sweden, and also a profiled member of the "Scandinavian Chapter", typical enough posted in CC where the person know he will not get any debate from me since honest opinions are not welcome in that forum:
This is the best collection of early Phantom strips ever released. It has several errors. These are facts, and not a contradiction. Since no proofs exist for the first two and a half stories, it is a painstaking process to put these stories together in the first place, and to have it "error free" is something near impossible for any book, let alone one of this kind! Other publishers of strip reprints (Peanuts, Rip Kirby, Dick Tracy) have had errors in their reprints - and have received fair critisism for the errors but still deserved praise for the books and series on a whole. Among some Phantom fans, the understanding for errors seem to be very low despite knowing the background, and one error is more than enough to wish the book had never been published at all.
There are individual strips that can be found of higher quality in other reprints - thus, this book could have been better. I was still apalled that several of the comments pointing out errors have used words like "catastrophic", "terrible" etc. When strips where proof sheets couldn't be used are not perfect, and the whole book, series and publisher are deemed "terrible" and all of us "losers" I just think all sense of proportion has been lost. Hey, we are getting a chronological reprint of the Phantom newspaper strips! In hardback, large format, and proofs used wherever available! I certainly don't feel like a loser when I'm holding this in my hand. Some might see me as not being a big enough fan of the Phantom, I see it as being too much of a fan to not like it. I am also more of a reader than a collector, so I have actually used this book mainly to read the stories, and not seen it as a collection of newspaper strips that might aswell have been a collection of stamps. As a book for readers, it's a wonderful book I highly recommend. For strip collectors who want every dot and line to be in the exact right spot, I guess I won't recommend it.
I had expected those with such interest in strip restoration and corrections to offer their assistance to Hermes the minute the series was announced - and Hermes did ask publicly for assistance in interviews published here on CC for example: "We can't do this without the assistance of the Phantom fan community". With all the delays, there was plenty of time to do so. Some who have voiced their complaints the loudest now (not necessarily in this thread) are those I had expected to volunteer to be at least proof readers, if not suppliers of material. The more important a thing like this is for a person, the more important it would be to participate early in the process, right? The time spent after the book came out to find errors could have been spent before the book came out. I mean, we are talking about reprinting Phantom strips here. It's not a huge publishing giant with enormous resources catering to millions of buyers and getting rich in the process. It's an enthusiastic publisher doing their best to bring a good product to dedicated fans, who compared to fans of many other comic strips are small in number. We are all, publishers and active fans on the Internet, pretty much on a first name basis with each other. It's non an anonyomous mass of people on either side.
I have only seen Dan from Hermes respond publicly to one provocative review, and he didn't say that no errors existed but that the strip in question was not taken from Frew as speculated, instead it was assembled from several sources of material they had collected. That no proofs existed for the first stories has been mentioned in interviews, messages from Hermes (posted on CC several times) and in the book itself. And in all the fuss about the strips with errors, we seem to be forgetting that the strips we find correct now, may have had many errors that were fixed before the book even reached us.
I agree that for a second edition of the first volume, it would be nice if these errors could be fixed based on suggestions and help from fans. But will there ever be a way of reprinting these early strips and make everyone happy? And does the knowledge of that make people who could be of assistance stay away from being part of the process to avoid being a participant in a book that is bound to be critisized no matter what?
First of, I think Andreas has kept his head in the sand for some time, and are assuming to much.
As I have said in several posts, I am willing to "forgive" Dan for every error, as the book is indeed nice enough. But Dan has shown no interest in discussing this and his first words were denials and "no errors exist"!!
What do Andreas know about the "offer of help" part?? Should such be done in a public forum?? I have never denied to lend a helping hand, in fact I was asked from Dan what I got of strips, and told him very politely, but did not get a word back. Well, no wrong in that, but I have not been refusing anything. Anyway, why offer help to a person who tell us about all the nice proofs he has and how well the book will be?? I admit I may have been a bit naive here, but I actually did believe Dan.
Dan clime my reviews is about hate from the start!! How wrong can a person be?? If there is a reason other than wanting to review a new publication it is disappointment and perhaps a bit anger for destroying such a fine collection where there is no need to.
Finally, I have never said Dan copied from Frew. But it is clear that Frew is the only place you see such an "error", and it looks like Dan had something from Frew. Of course it is not copied, but ...!!!
About the reading of the book!! Well, reading the strips in a nice way have been possible for more than 10 years, now it was time for a correct collection edition.
And I think it is sad that Egmont Sweden listen to Andreas and co, and deny the errors in the book. Even the "title" stating that the books have a year more than it has has not been changed. And no words about the errors on their forums, why I wonder???
I was hoping, but not expecting Andreas to be brave enough to publish his opinion in a forum where everyone could answer, and not where he knew that any disagreement would not exist because of the banning policy of Dougy and his pack!!