Saturday, August 15, 2015

Kizilmaske...The Phantom in Turkey

Kızılmaske (Red Mask) was the Turkish series for the Phantom comic book published by Tay Yayınları. A total of 381 issues were released between 1973 to the late 1980's. Cover illustrations were by various Turkish artists, but the most prolific was Aslan Şükür. He painting in quash, usually in an 8.5 x 8 inch format for the cover image, with the masthead being added later. With no formal art training, Şükür was good to capture the action and enthusiasm in every situation his red clad hero was thrown into on these bright little gems. Being able to produce his detailed artwork very fast, Aslan did hundreds of covers, usually with his own composition. Occasionally though the artist just reproduced the Italian samples he was provided, not thinking he could improve on the images from the original publication. The first Kizilmaske series started August 13, 1973 and the last issue (#295) ended on March 30, 1979. It was a weekly publication that had 36, 44, or 52 pages per issue. The stories were either newspaper strip reprints, Team Fantomen or Fratelli Spada stories that sometimes had additional art from the Swedish Fantomen magazine. A few stories made exclusively made by Turkish artist/writer Özcan Eralp were published in Turkey only. The series started out printing two enlarged panels per page, but that format changed for the second and third series, and occasional one shots to follow. All the Kizilmaske issues were collected in albums later, with three or four issues per album. But the real draw for young Turks were the brightly colored covers as shown in the examples provided below.