He also did something controversial - showing the Phantom's eyes and putting bulges in his cowl where each ear would be. There was an unfounded rumor that Lee Falk had fired Lignante for showing the Phantom's eyes. In response to the rumor, he explained, "I am a realist and thought that if you were proposed to by a 400 year-old gorgeous queen, your eyes would pop out, and I showed them for that reason only. Other than that, it was easier not to draw eyes." Lignante said he never heard from Falk about his work and they only crossed paths at National Cartoonists Association functions.
Lignante's participation as an illustrator for "The Phantom" began in 1961 when Wilson McCoy died unexpectedly. Initially, Lignante used an occasional swipe from McCoy like the hero sitting on a skull throne with Devil at his side. After the obligatory transition period where the change of style was more gradual, keeping a sense of continuity, Lignante's easily identifiable style emerged. His ability to envision a scene from different vantage points served him well in his layouts for comics and was a useful ability for his career as an illustrator.
Lignante left comics to become a court room artist for ABC covering some high profile cases like the 'Charles Manson' case and the 'Sirhan B. Sirhan' trial. His ability to envision a scene from different angles and his quickly rendered pastel drawings showed a good likeness of courtroom events ina time when cameras were banned.
In a story frame, The Phantom tells Diana of how one of his ancestors became ill. Fearing that the Phantom's absence would threaten jungle peace, his twin sister Julie took his place very successfully, but at last crooks discovered that she was "only" a girl. They tracked her to the Deep Woods and made away with some of the Phantom treasure. She recovers the treasure, but the crooks lose their lives in a waterfall through rejecting her instructions. Her brother never realizes her ruse.
Script: Dick Wood
Pencils: Bill Lignante
Inks: Bill Lignante
Letters: Ray Holloway
The Girl Phantom
(Size: 12 MB)