English, Fake News
 

Digitally altered image of an old comic strip is passed off as COVID-19 prediction in 1957 itself

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A social media post accompanying the image of a comic strip, wherein the popular character phantom encourages wearing a mask in order to be protected from ‘China Virus’ is being shared widely. The post claims that the cartoon was published in 1957, alluding they predicted the coronavirus back in 1957 itself. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be seen here.

Claim: Image of Phantom cartoon which predicted the coronavirus back in 1957.

Fact: The original comic strip which was initially published in 1957 actually comes with the text which reads ‘Tie it on as I do this will protect you from the ‘sleep death’ in the valley’. This original strip is digitally altered, and text is inserted so as to allude that the comic strip predicted the COVID-19 back in 1957 itself. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

“The Phantom” is a serial comic strip that was first published in 1936. The viral photo is part of a comic strip published between 01 July 1957 and 21 September 1957 with the name ‘The valley of no Return’.

In the original panel, the popular character Phantom encourages people to wear a mask so as to protect themselves against ‘sleep death’, a mysterious illness that puts people to sleep. The actual text accompanying the comic strip reads ‘Tie it on as I do this will protect you from the ‘sleep death’ in the valley.’ The collection of these comic strips can be seen here.

Another strip where the Phantom can be seen wearing mask while dealing with the sleeping mystery can be seen below. From this, it is evident that an old comic strip featuring the phantom is digitally replicated altering the original text so as to make people believe that COVID-19 was predicted back in 1957 itself.

 To sum it up, a digitally altered image of an old comic strip is passed off as COVID-19 prediction in 1957 itself.

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