The Opposite of Popular

The online home of alleged author Victoria Leybourne

The Phantom’s Shadow


I’ve written at least three blog posts since my last one that I haven’t actually posted because they were all terrible. Or maybe because my self-esteem and energy levels are in the toilet at the moment. Anyway, I thought I would show you this instead. It’s something I was working on at university: a modern adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera set in a high school. I wanted it to be a novel with visual and comic book elements. Unfortunately, I can draw well enough to not suck at Pictionary and that’s about it. You’ll notice that the only character I got round to putting facial features on is the one wearing a mask. Bearing all that in mind, though, I just discovered it and found that I was kind of proud of it, so I thought I’d show it off.

screenreader users: I usually try and describe pictures on my blog for you but I'm really tired and that would take a long time with these. If anyone is particularly interested, though, please email me and I'll do it!

More under the cut.




These were kind of meant to be terrible lyrics but also I am kind of terrible at lyrics.





Let’s just not talk about whatever is going on with Chrissie’s leg there.

That’s as far as I got. It’s not a great loss to culture or anything but I think there are one or two interesting ideas in there. I was utterly obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera in my early teens after having all sorts of strange and hormonal feelings awoken in me by the Andrew Lloyd Webber movie with Gerard Butler in it. (Curiously, I don’t really fancy Gerard in anything else.) In retrospect, this is obviously kind of creepy, since Lloyd Webber’s Phantom is a vastly softened, weepy version of the original character and is still a stalktastic murderer. Phantom was my Twilight. I guess, in a way, this was my attempt to point out to my teenage self how utterly terrifying it would be if something like that actually happened to me.


8 thoughts on “The Phantom’s Shadow

  1. Another ‘PotO’ fan here although I heard the music in middle school and fell in love with it. I re-read the novel a few years ago for a Halloween article, and it hit me how creepy the entire thing really is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The book is much more overtly creepy, I think, but maybe I’m thinking more of the way I interpreted the musical than what was actually there. I remember thinking of Raoul very negatively in comparison to the Phantom (I thought of him as parallel to Gaston in the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast) when actually he’s a perfectly good romantic hero and the Phantom is a villain, albeit a tortured one. I still like PotO but it’s very weird to think about how differently I used to see it.


      • Oddly, I saw it as a love triangle. Given that I didn’t see it on stage until I was in HS a lot of the story from the musical was created in my head and gleaned from the dialogue.


    • I guess I saw it as a love triangle too (so the Gaston parallel is inexact), but I felt very strongly that Raoul was the wrong choice and that all that kidnapping and murdering the Phantom was doing was super romantic.

      Were you surprised by any part of the story when you saw it? I’m trying to remember how much of what happens isn’t sung…


      • I can’t remember if I’d read the book before or after I saw the musical live, but I know all the stuff at the very end is confusing if you’re just listening to the music. I had no idea that the Phantom’s obsession had gone far enough to kill Raoul or threaten the entire opera house.

        Some of the set up where Raoul and Christine meet again is a little confusing, too, if you’re just going by the songs.


      • I actually just fast-forwarded through the movie in my head to figure out what you were talking about and now I’m amazed at my own geekiness. (I have seen it on stage but only once, whereas I basically watched the movie on a constant loop for a year or so!) But yes, if I remember correctly, Raoul gets a verse in “Think of Me” but then goes to see Christine in her dressing room and it’s all dialogue. And the bit at the end is just people yelling at each other musically, so that makes sense!


      • There’s also a small amount of singing where he and Christine are talking about how they met/what they did as children when Christine’s father was still alive, but it’s out of the blue if you don’t have the libretto!


      • On the other side of the coin, of course, I suppose it shows how powerful the music is that you loved PotO without really knowing what was happening!

        Liked by 1 person

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