Veronika’s Love for Phantom

Phantomcomics2Starting from the very beginning, my love for comics was instilled in me with the introduction to Phantom, Mandrake and Flash Gordon. Back in those days, they were some of the most popular and not to mention, easily available comics! Needless to say, back then, a girl reading comics was not something parents would be too happy about and in my case, my father had a deep-seated hatred for my obsession with these “picture books”! Growing up in an old house with plenty of corners however was a blessing for me. Up the stairs and on the roof, I would huddle in the chicken pen we had with a torch and devour those comics away from unapproving eyes! And with each passing day that I read more, I could not help but develop the biggest possible crush on Phantom- The Ghost Who Walked!

Created by Lee Falk, for the longest time, thanks to the number of translated copies available and the bountiful land of Bangalla depicted in the comics, I was under the impression that this young man in the striking purple suit was one do-gooder India had come up with. But with the years, I realized that this young British boy growing up in the ‘wild’ was yet another reason to love American creators! Though I did encounter quite a few superheroes, my love for Phantom grew more and more upon realizing that unlike most of the other heroes, this man did not have superpowers or enough money to make up for the lack of superpowers. This man, had wits, incredible strength and a very smart idea to instil fear in the hearts of those who preferred to be up to no good! Managing to convince the world he came from about his immortality, the Ghost and his faithful group of friends managed to remain a part of my life till I was quite old.

Old enough for marriage in fact! I still remember the day I was taken to meet my husband… and of all the things I could want in my IMG_20131111_110121future husband, the only thing I really wanted was for him to be tall like Phantom! As it turned out, he really was tall!

After all these years, when I think of the world of comics that I am so far moved from now, I really miss them! Though my daughter refuses to read comics, my son is a huge Batman fan. Though I haven’t read comics in years now, comics will always be a part of my life. Much like the stories my grandmom used to tell me when I was young… stories that I haven’t revisited, yet stories that will remain in my memory forever.