The Chronicle Chamber is passing on the news that Claes Reimerthi is retiring from The Phantom.
Claes Reimerthi is retiring and it is going to leave a huge gap in the Phantom world. There will be questions on everyone’s lips after the news broken by stalwart Kari Lappanen who posted on his own website that the story he is currently working on is his last script.
Claes Reimerthi has been writing Phantom since 1984 and has just under 300 credited Phantom stories published for Team Fantomen, the Daily and the Sunday newspaper stories.
Claes is second behind only Lee Falk as the most credited Phantom writer who wrote 345 Phantom stories between 1936 and his death in 1999. It was always interesting to some if Claes could ever take over as the most published Phantom writer. Unless he decides to write freelance, he will fall short.
As mentioned above Claes, during his 37 years of writing Phantom comics, did write a few stories for the syndicate comic strip. From The Phantom Wiki:
After the death of Lee Falk, Reimerthi supplied scripts for the Phantom newspaper strip from 1999 to 2003, in total nine stories, two of which were remakes of earlier Team Fantomen stories.
After Falk died Claes wrote the Sunday strip for three years before turning it over to Tony De Paul. He also sprinkled in a few daily stories after De Paul took those over after Falk’s death. Claes never got a credit on The Phantom syndicated strips.
Thirteen years ago the Chronicle Chamber interviewed Claes:
CC: It has always been popular among fans to discuss who will become the 22nd Phantom and if the 21st will ever die at all. What is your opinion on … the death of the 21 Phantom?
CR: This is an incredibly difficult question. Those who favor change claim that it lays in the series’ concept that the Phantom dies and is replaced by the next generation. That is correct, but simultaneously it is a fact that Lee Falk never took this step with the 21st Phantom. Something that was reasonably justified long before Falk passed if one looks at the different Phantoms’ average life-length. It is simply two widely different cases to have the 17th Phantom die and have “our” Phantom die. My personal perception is that the 21st Phantom’s death would bring changes so big that it would no longer be the same comic. The risk is so big that one would throw the baby out with the bath water.
The Phantom © King Features Syndicate