Thirty fifth Event, Malmö March 15th 2008

Attending members: Torbjörn Onegård, Per-Åke Sjögren, Jan-Ola Sjöberg, Björn Harnby, Åsa Svennberg, Arne Olin, Ulf Bennetter, Brian Jensen, Hans-Erik Hansson, Magnus Eriksson and Simon Treschow.
Guest: Germund von Wowern.

Once again came the day to meeting with members of Scandinavian Chapter. Still we remember that SC is a club and not an association! This time the event took place in Malmö (Malmoe). I was very pleased with the choice of place, as I live in Copenhagen. Fourty minuts and I was in Malmoe. The fair ”Serie & Samlar-mässan”, Fågelbacksgatan 13 was easy to find. Soon I found the hard core members of the SC-troops: Brian, Per-Åke, Björn, Magnus, Hans-Erik og Torbjörn. The fair was easy to look over. A few stands with comics and toys. SC member Åsa had a stand, where from she sold magnets and curious things. SC member Arne had a stand with all kind of comics.

At 16:00 hours the fair closed and we went to ”Trader Joe’s Café”. Due to heavy graffiti vandalism the sign said ”Kvarterskrogen”! The meeting began. The thirsty SC members ordered milk! Strong milk, Czech milk, Irish milk, and Danish milk. A few members preferred a soft carbon oxide jungle juice.

Brian opened the meeting and as usual he asked us to introduce ourselves and to present our “dräggelobjekt” (droolingobjects).

On Tradera Thorbjörn had purchased a tote bag with a print of a Phantom soft drink. He brought a home made t-shirt, too. Featuring ”As you were gentlemen!” by Wilson McCoy

Per-Åke showed ”Hjälp”, a copy of an old Swedish funny magazine with a Phantom parody
Björn had a Phantom tea pot and an autograph card from the Phantom Luncheon at Sardi’s Restaurant, New York City, June 2nd 2005, signed by Ed Rhodes, Sy Barry, Alex Saviuk, e.g
Åsa showed a nice ring that looked like a Phantom cigar belt.

Arne had a unique curiosity. An old sweet box; originally filled with “Red Phantom Fruit Gums!

Brian showed his craftsmanship as a mannequin. He wore a knitted cap and scarf and woollen mittens, all in the colour of “Phantom Blue” with cuffs in black and red!

Simon showed Moonstone edition #21 and the special edition (exclusive edition) from ”Comic Collector Live”, only printed in 300 copies. Simon’s copy was certified as no. 60.

The guest of the event was Germund von Wowern (formerly Germund Silvegren). He was born 1974 in Lund, Sweden. Since 1987 a member of NAFS(k), the National Donaldist Society of Sweden (quack), with a special interest in Mickey Mouse comics and adventure comic strips. Presently he is working on his PhD thesis in ecology at Lund University. Germund, who is the editor of Fantomen Krönika, Sweden (The Phantom Chronicles), said about himself:
”I am the editor of Fantomen Krönika and I started as a Donaldist/Barksist and then I started reading a lot of other comics. I have always been exceptionally fascinated by Paul Murrys’ Mickey Mouse drawings; actually I’m more interested in scripts than drawings. I studied ecology in 2006 and needed something else to work with, so I became a comics editor ‘cause I’ve already done some prefaces to Kalle Anka (Donald Duck): The complete Yearbooks and Hall of Fame. My favourites in the comic world are Carl Barks, Roy Crane, Harvey Kurtzman, Floyd Gottfredson, Frank Robbins e.g. Besides I collect original drawings when I can afford it.”

After this the following points were debated:

Moonstone subscription.
Today the club purchases 22 copies of an issue and then put them for sale. This does not work! We have 22 persons who have agreed to buy but usually we only sell 15-16 issues. The result is that 6-7 persons have to be contacted, if not – the club will lose money!

Bosse and Brian suggest that we stop this practise. If 18 persons order and pay for an issue, the club will purchase 18 copies directly from Moonstone.

An alternative way is to introduce a twelve month subscription.

Bosse and Brian have talked about advantages and disadvantages with this system. What do you think is the best?

Future events.
Is the annual event in Eskilstuna a must? The event is still popular but fewer members turn up. Do you have any ideas to something else?

Gift subscription.
The club has donated subscription for twelve month to three children’s hospitals: Uppsala, Stockholm and Lund. The profit of The Old Jungle Sayings Lottery in Gothenburg 2007 made this possible.

Hopefully these subscriptions will tempt new readers of the Fantomen comic book. We have purchased three Christmas albums too, and supplied each album with a sticker telling about the Fantomen magazine, subscription and an advertisement for our club.

In a few months it is time to evaluate with the hospitals and realize the popularity of the magazines.

“Guerrilla marketing
There is a tendency that the numbers printed of Fantomen is declining. We may expect difficulties making an exiting comic book in the future. Today about 20 stories are produced per year. It may easily go down to an amount of 15 per year! That is a fair guess.

We discussed different ways to fight against this tendency. Subscription for children’s hospitals is one option. Another bold option is replacing the Fantomen comic book to a better and more visible position in the stores. Move comics you don’t like so much to a worse position.
Would you dare to do so?

Åsa introduced a brilliant idea: “In your second hand comics shop in your neighbourhood you buy a numbers of Fantomen comic books. Supply these comic books with stickers, that tell that right now a new issue of Fantomen is for sale in the stores, how to subscribe Fantomen on , and about the donation from Scandinavian Chapter . At last you “forget” the magazine at the dentist, the doctor etc.

Do you like the idea and how do we design the sticker?

”News from Brian”
”I am working as hard as I canto make my part of Fantomen as good as possible. I was utterly against the closing down of the Club Pages. I was afraid to loose the connection with the readers and ending up with a dull magazine. I have successfully campaigned for a rebirth of the Club Pages and from next number (08/08) they are back in place.

I hope the readers will appreciate this.”

”The intension with was to replace The Club Pages. Intension good – but the display of the website is pretty bad. It is possible to chat but it is not possible see if somebody is logged in to chat with! The forum is a nightmare and nobody finds the sections of “Fantomgrottan”. Sending newsletters and writing blogs are technically time-consuming.”

”For marketing reasons it is important with a functional site that visitors like use. So in my spare time I am testing and creating a new site. If you like to see the prototype give me a call and I will mail you a link to the site. Please remember that this site is not official and does not “exist” yet.
The last subject was The Goodie Bag. A prime goodie bag containing a lot of interesting items such as copies of covers from Italy and Denmark, a ball pen, a necktie , a deck of cards and a DVD movie.
After this gift orgy the participants were ready for dinner. I ordered a very Swedish dish (never seen in Denmark!!). Planksteak! Usually this dish is served with mashed potatoes, but here at ”Trader Joe’s Café” you eat chips with the steak!! Shocking!!
Event 35 in Malmoe was a good experience. I’m looking forward to meeting you again.