Monday, 7 July 2008

The Phantom Shield of Oxford

And so, after a couple of days spent wandering around Oxford with my ten-month-old son, I return to London and the piles of unread comics that await. Nice place Oxford. If you ever find yourself there make sure to check out the Pitt Rivers Museum, a dark treasure trove of bizarre objects including this beauty...

A tribal shield from Papua New Guinea featuring none other than The Phantom! Apparently The Phantom worked his way into Papua New Guinean consciousness via the comic books left by American soldiers fighting the Japanese along the coast back in the '40s. The books eventually made their way into the interior of the country and the phantom started popping up on shields some time in the 1960s. Presumably the tribesmen who painted the images came into contact with other superheroes, but The Phantom seems to be a favourite.

There are lots of New Guinea Phantom shields knocking about. If you have a spare $7000 you can even buy yourself one HERE. Much better than that Spider-Man costume you were thinking of wearing to your next comic convention eh?

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