Easter Eggs – Cameos

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A cameo role or cameo appearance (often shortened to just cameo) is a brief appearance of a known person, sometimes appearing as themselves. An easter egg is an in-joke that a comic book creator (typically the artist) has hidden in the pages of the comic for readers to find (just like an easter egg).

In Mandrake stories

Several of Lee Falk's manuscripts contain elements that fall under the designations Easter Eggs or Cameos. Like names of characters whose are borrowed from people in the circle around Lee Falk, either directly or slightly rewritten. Occasionally one can find place and street names in stories that are clearly related to where Lee Falk stayed when the story was written. Now and then also the artists have added easter eggs and cameos into some panels.

Easter Eggs

by Lee Falk

by Fred Fredericks

by Fratelli Spada artists


by Lee Falk

by Fred Fredericks

In The Story of the Phantom novels

Cameos - Easter Eggs

by Lee Falk

  • In the novel "The Mysterious Ambassador" (page 67) the two new pilots in the rescue crew are named Davis and Fredericks.
  • In the novel "The Curse of the Two-Headed Bull" (pages 35-36) the president of Bangalla, Lamanda Luaga, telling that he won the Rhodes scholarship and went to England for premed and medical school. After graduating Washington University School of Medicine in 1937 Lee Falk's brother, Leslie Epstein (Falk), was awarded a three-year Rhodes scholarship. He continued his studies in Oxford, England.

Appearances in other comics

Li'l Abner

Al Capp was Lee Falk's silent partner at the "Boston Summer Theatre" (including "The County Playhouse" and "Marblehead Summer Theatre") in the years 1948-1956. In Lil' Abner he made some Merry Christmas strips in 1947 to 1950 with wishes for merry christmas to many named people, including Lee and Connie Falk.

In addition some characters in the L'il Abner strip were named after Mandrake: Mandrake P. Mothball (of the obscure statistics section of the U.S. department of obsolete records) figured in the strip of March 10, 1946; L'ill Mandrake in the strip of October 9, 1948; and Mandrake the Musician (with friends: Steve Carrion, Little Orphan Andy, Bagwood Bumphead, Rip Derby, Little Danny Rooney, Goon Mullins and Hop-Eye) in the strip of April 9, 1952.

Secret Agent X9

Naming Mandrake the Magician.

by Randolp Holmes

In the story "And here he is.. The artist himself" by Randolp Holmes (Death Rattle #2 from Kitchen Sink, December 1985) Lothar turns up. The artist said that he hired Lothar when the old Mandrake strip folded.