Mandrake the Magician is a syndicated newspaper comic strip, created by Lee Falk (before he created The Phantom). Its publication began June 11, 1934. Phil Davis soon took over as the strip’s illustrator, while Falk continued to script. The strip is distributed by King Features Syndicate. Davis worked on the strip until his death in 1964, when Falk recruited current artist Fred Fredericks. With Falk’s death in 1999, Fredericks became both writer and artist. The Sunday Mandrake strip ended December 29, 2002. As of July 2013, Fredericks has announced his retirement. The now daily-only comic strip will go into reprints on Monday September 2, 2013.
On radio as a 15-minute program, Mandrake the Magician aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System from November 11, 1940, until February 6, 1942. Originally a three-day-a-week serial, it expanded to five days a week in 1941. Uttering the incantation “invovo legem magicarum” (I invoke the laws of magic) was Raymond Edward Johnson, who starred as Mandrake. Juano Hernandez portrayed Lothar, and Jessica Tandy and Francesca Lenni took the role of Princess Narda. The series was directed by Carlo De Angelo.