And yet there are people in Papua New Guinea absolutely nuts for this guy. The country experienced an influx of Western culture after World War II, and that included Western comic books. But while everyone else was reading Superman, Guineans decided that the Phantom was the perfect subject for their traditional war shields.
Richard/Wiki CommonsWe assume the point is to gain the upper hand by leaving your enemies hopelessly confused.
Guineans create huge shields out of tree trunks and then decorate them with symbols. Western pop culture obviously gave them a lot of new subjects, and according to an art dealer, the Phantom became their favorite for two reasons. First, he's all about protecting his home, and second, his nickname is The Man Who Cannot Die, which is an awesome slogan for a shield. Technically that's false advertising, since the Phantom is a title passed down from father to son whenever the last guy dies, and the whole "can't die" thing is just what they've been telling criminals for 300 years. But there's only so much backstory you can fit on a shield.
Donald Duck Is Synonymous With Christmas In Sweden
Only the most hardcore Disney fans are familiar with the television special From All Of Us To All Of You, if only because it was released in 1958, and surely no one from that distant year is still alive today. It's a cute special, but dated and forgettable ... unless you're Swedish, in which case it's a bigger part of Christmas than Jesus.
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney PicturesViewable here, if you don’t feel like traveling 5,000 miles for a 60-year-old cartoon.
In Sweden, the show is known as Kalle Anka och hans vanner onskar God Jul (Donald Duck And His Friends Wish You A Merry Christmas), and it became so popular that it airs without fail, every single year at 3:00 p.m. on December 24th. This is despite the fact that, aside from some vignettes tying the show together, most of the shorts have nothing to do with Christmas. To show how seriously Swedes take it: In 1982, the "Ferdinand The Bull" short was replaced with "The Ugly Duckling," and it became a national news story. Public outrage was so swift that this dire sin was immediately rectified for the following year. Other attempts to alter the program or its scheduling have also been met with reactions generally reserved for the burning of holy texts.
Walt Disney PicturesLook at all that Christmas festivity!
Up to half the country watches the special every single year, often making it the year's most popular show, and Swedes can quote it at each other like die-hard Rick And Morty fans. Even if you won't watch, don't bother making other plans. The whole country shuts down for an afternoon like an unusually wholesome cult. Why is it so popular? Well, the special originally aired when Swedes were first starting to own TVs, there was only one channel to watch, and it was the only glimpse of American animation they'd get all year. So consider this a valuable lesson in cornering a market.
Henrik Magnusson also enjoys meaningless pop culture and online harassment masquerading as satire in comic form.
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For more, check out 7 Things From America That Are Insanely Popular Overseas and 7 Random Pieces Of US Culture That Are Weirdly Huge Overseas.
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