THE SHADOW

The Shadow not only kept millions of listeners glued to their radios for over 25 years, but he also ushered in a new era of pulp heroes with over 325 adventures recorded in his self-titled pulp magazine.

Created by Walter B. Gibson, The Shadow was radio's most famous mystery man who dominated the airwaves during Radio's Golden Age. The Shadow became one of the most recognized and well known radio programs of all time, running from July 31, 1930 through December 26, 1954.

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows... "

The Shadow not only kept millions of listeners glued to their radios for over 25 years, but he also ushered in a new era of pulp heroes with over 325 adventures recorded in his self-titled pulp magazine.

Created by Walter B. Gibson, The Shadow was radio's most famous mystery man who dominated the airwaves during Radio's Golden Age. The Shadow became one of the most recognized and well known radio programs of all time, running from July 31, 1930 through December 26, 1954.

In 1930, successful pulp fiction magazine publisher Street and Smith wanted to get into the emerging radio market. Adapting stories from their pulp magazine, Detective Stories, they created the radio series initially called The Detective Story Hour for CBS. The narrator, played by James La Curto and then Frank Readick, was referred to only as "The Shadow". Response for the mysterious voice was overwhelming, and Street and Smith with writer Walter B. Gibson quickly launched a pulp fiction magazine defining this new super crime fighter. The Shadow would become one of the most enduring pulp heroes, lasting for 325 novels, 285 penned by Mr. Gibson himself, and over 17 years, marking one of the most successful pulp publishing successes.

On the radio, The Shadow continued to play only the role of narrator until 1937 when the Shadow commanded the lead in fighting crime over the airwaves. A young, 22 year-old actor named Orson Welles, won the audition to become the voice of the Shadow in the new expanded format. Although the famous Shadow laugh continued from the earlier Frank Readick era, Welles' enthusiasm and talent helped propel the radio series to become the highest rated dramatic program. With Bill Johnstone and Bret Morison picking up the cape over time, the broadcast run lasted an astonishing 25 years with as many as 15 million weekly listeners enjoying the mysteries and learning the lesson that "the weed of crime bears bitter fruit... crime does not pay! "

Hollywood assisted The Shadow, his radio alter ego Lamont Cranston, and radio sidekick Margo Lane in making the jump to the silver screen with four movies in total: The Shadow Strikes (1937), International Crime (1938), Invisible Avenger (1958) and the "highly stylized" remake The Shadow (1994) starring Alec Baldwin. Pulp fans recall that The Shadow's true identity from the magazines was Kent Allard.

The Shadow pulp novels reappeared in the 1970s, with paperback reprints from publishers Pyramid, Jove and a few others for a handful of stories. And, throughout the years, the Shadow continued to be a main topic of fanzine articles and pulp history pieces culminating with numerous fan websites on the Internet today.

During the 2000's, the Shadow was back in print, thanks to Anthony Tollin and Sanctum Books. Re-appearing in high quality magazine style reprints featuring two to three stories per edition, The Shadow was introduced to another generation. Sadly, the Shadow is once again out of print.

We have a number of the Sanctum Books editions, out of print The Shadow Pulp Reprints for sale at the Vintage Library Attic.

 

Chronology of Shadows: A Timeline of The Shadow's Exploits by Rick Lai

For the first time in print, Rick Lai's "Chronology of Shadows" (his timeline of the pulp character The Shadow) has been updated & assembled in an easy-to-navigate package.

 

Selected Titles:

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0 Chronology of Shadows: A Timeline of The Shadow's Exploits