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The Mystery of the Secret Message
posted February 21, 2005

I received this letter from James Sturm, and I have to admit I'm curious, too:
Hi, Tom,

A friend of mine just gave me a September 1966 issue of The Phantom (King Comics). Bill Lignante was the artist (had a very successful career as a courtroom artist covering both the Rodney King and Charles Manson trials). In the one of the panels scrawled in the unhighlighted areas of a page of text some profanity has clearly been written. The last two lines above where it says "Black Sea Gold" appears to read: "FORCE IT UP YOUR ASS SCREW YOURSELF". I know artists, colorists, inkers have periodically snuck this kind of thing onto the printed page before... is this issue of the Phantom issue known for this panel? I'd be curious to know if Lignante was the inker and/or letterer in this issue as well. No credits are given for anyone in the story.

The Phantom is all about the secret caves and treasures -- makes you wonder who this secret code was intended for! In any event, thought it may amuse you as much as it did me...


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