Editor’s Dispatch: PHANTOM Sundays

By Brendan Burford

Some of you may have learned about the passing of our dear friend and wonderful cartoonist, Eduardo Barreto back in December. Eduardo had been the steady hand on the JUDGE PARKER strip for several years before facing health issues that forced him to step aside from his duties. After a positive recovery, it was clear Eduardo wanted to get back to work. Around the same time, Paul Ryan, the gent who makes the PHANTOM jump off the page every day called me, expressing his desire to scale back to just doing the dailies – leaving us a hole to fill for the Sunday page. It was clear that Eduardo would be a great replacement – and he was. Eduardo brought his patented panache to the Sunday PHANTOM for a few months before his untimely death.

The events put us in a bit of a tailspin, but the ever-reliable Paul Ryan stepped in for a couple of Sundays to help us bridge the gap, and the great wordsmith, Tony DePaul kept the stories coming, as he always has. But we needed to find a good and dynamic artist to be the ongoing replacement for the Sunday. Paul and Eduardo set a high bar, so the search was on to find someone with a classic mastery of the ink-soaked brush. It quickly became clear that Terry Beatty would be a great choice for the job. Many of you saw his first page back on Sunday, the 29th – a beauty, I think you’d agree.

It’s funny, the way we work in this business. Terry has already turned in several pages, and the panic of finding a replacement for Eduardo, while still dealing with the sadness of his passing seems so long ago. We work far ahead in this business due to all of the editorial and production work that goes into bringing you these great comics every week. So to me, Terry already feels like an old hand on this. But for all of you, he’s brand-spanking-new. With that said, please join me in welcoming Terry to the King Features family – I, for one, will continue to look forward to seeing his stunning work every week.