I grew up with the Phantom — the Ghost Who Walks, Guardian of the Eastern Dark. My first exposure to comic books were the collected editions of Lee Falk’s newspaper strips reprinted by the now defunct Indrajal Comics. Like many of my generation from India, I am a rabid “phan”.
So I mentioned this fact in the passing to Ron Marz, who recommended me to Joe Gentile of Moonstone Books. Joe was putting together the second volume of the anthology of new Phantom stories and as the stars aligned, I got the chance to contribute. My story “The Plague” is exclusive to the hardcover edition (by the time I spoke with Joe, the deadline for the book was already past). Joe was extremely accommodating (once he realized how big a “phan” I was 🙂 ) and by the time he received my story, it was almost time for the book to go to print. Due to some other engagements, I was unavailable for the edits within the extremely crunched timeframe. So CJ Henderson kindly stepped in and did the required edits as per Joe’s directions.
Today I received my author’s copies in mail and truth be told, it’s a dream come true for me. Not only did I become (as far as I know) the first Indian to write a licensed/commissioned Phantom story, but it is definitely so very cool to see my name in an author list that includes (among others) Harlan Ellison and Tom DeFalco. 🙂