Bibliography: pulp characters

Listed below is bibliographic information for books and articles dealing with pulp characters.

If you know of a book or an article not listed, please let us know by e-mailing ThePulp.Net.

Comments regarding entries appear below the bibliographic information. Unsigned comments are those of ThePulp.Net staff; comments by contributors are credited.


Avallone, Michael. “Doc Savage,” Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Vol. 45 No 5 (May 1981).
Avallone, Michael. “G-8 and His Battle Aces,” Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Vol. 45 No. 7 (July 1981), 80-81.
This one-page essay celebrates the flying spy with a bit of background and personal recollection by author Avallone. A drawing of G-8 by Frank Hamilton faces the essay.
Avallone, Michael. “The Phantom Detective,” Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Vol. 45 No 9 (September 1981).
Avallone, Michael. “Operator 5,” Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Vol. 45 No 8 (August 1981).
Avallone, Michael. “The Shadow,” Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Vol. 45 No. 3 (March 1981), 86-87.
In another single-page essay, Avallone recalls reading The Shadow magazine as a youth and offers a slightly incorrect history of the pulp character (for instance, he lists the number of pulps at 329, but the actual figure is 325). A drawing of The Shadow by Frank Hamilton faces the essay. Also, on page 4 in the contributor profiles, Hamilton tells how he got into drawing pulp characters and how he befriended Doc Savage artist Walter Baumhofer.
Avallone, Michael. “The Spider,” Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Vol. 45 No 6 (June 1981).
Bishoff, Murray. “Shadow of the Ages,” The Collector Fall 1973, 46-51.
Brunner, Frank. Eyes of Light: Fantasy Drawings of Frank Brunner Vanguard Productions, 2003.
What makes this collection of mostly paperback book art of interest to pulp fans are the preliminary illustrations for a proposed Doc Savage cartoon program.
Carr, Nick. America’s Secret Service Ace: Operator No. 5 Pulp Classics No. 7, 1974. Starmont, 1985.
Carr, Nick. The Flying Spy, A History of G-8 Pulp Classics No. 19. 1974. Starmont, 1985.
Carr, Nick. The Horseback Gladiator: The Life and Times of the Rio Kid The Secret Society of the Sanctum, 1997.
Carr, Nick. The Other Detective Pulp Heroes Tattered Pages Press, 1992.
Carr, Wooda N. (Nick). The Pulp Hero, Wild Cat Books, 2004.
Cohen, Diana, and Irene Burns Hoeflinger, eds. The Shadow Knows Scott, Foresman and Co., 1977
Sixteen scripts from The Shadow radio program are featured in this textbook on radio drama. The book also includes a pronunciation key, glossary of radio terms and a short quiz for each episode.
Cotter, Robert Michael “Bobb.” A History of the Doc Savage Adventures in Pulps, Paperbacks, Comics, Fanzines, Radio and Film McFarland & Co., 2009
Cotter, Bobb. Doc Savage: Inside and Out Flying Tiger Graphics, 4 volumes, 1989/90, 2008.
These four chapbooks collects artwork from the Doc Savage pulps. Most of it is black and white interior illustrations, particularly title page works, though the books also include some black and white cover reproductions.
Cox, J. Randolph & David S. Siegel. Flashgun Casey: Crime Photographer: From the Pulps to Radio and Beyond Book Hunter Press, 2005.
Curtis, Sandra R. Zorro Unmasked: The Official History Hyperion, 1998.
Curtis, who is vice president of Zorro Productions, provides a 280-plus page history of the masked hero of Spanish California. The first chapter discusses Zorro’s pulp beginnings, from “The Curse of Capistrano” to the final pulp appearance in “The Mask of Zorro,” and his creator Johnston McCulley. The third chapter, “Early California,” places the adventures in an historical setting. Both chapters include several short excerpts from the stories. The rest of the book details Zorro’s appearances in film, starting with Douglas Fairbanks, through the recent animated TV series. Issued to coincide with the release of The Mask of Zorro, the book also includes a “making of” chapter about the 1998 movie. The appendix includes a complete list of McCulley’s Zorro stories and when and where they appeared.
Deisher, Jeff. The Adventures of Doc Savage: A Definitive Chronology Green Eagle Publications, 2000; Fantom Press, 2013.
Eisgruber, Frank Jr. Gangland’s Doom Pulp Classics No. 1, 1974; Starmont, 1985.
Originally published as the first of Robert Weinberg’s Pulp Classics, this study of The Shadow looks at his identities, the agents and allies, the villains and The Shadow’s travels. There are also brief biographies of authors of The Shadow novels and a checklist.
Eisgruber, Frank. Gangland’s Doom: The Shadow of the Pulps Altus Press, 2007.
This is a completely revised and corrected edition of Eisgrubers early profile of The Shadow.
Ellis, Mark, and Paul Davis, eds. Doc Savage: Manual of Bronze Millennium Publications Inc., August 1992.
The Manual, printed in comicbook format, includes profiles of Doc Savage, his five pals, cousin Pat Savage and selected villains. Also included are: diagrams of the Helldiver submarine and Doc’s headquarters; a prototype for an unsold 1936 Doc Savage comic strip (by author Lester Dent and illustrator Paul Orban); and drawings for a proposed (but also never produced) Doc Savage cartoon.
Farmer, Philip José. Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life Simon and Schuster, 1972; Bantam Books, 1973; Playboy Press, 1981.
Farmer, Philip José. Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke Doubleday, 1972; Popular Library, 1972; Berkley Pub., 1981; Bison Books, 2006.
Felchner, William J. “The Shadow: Collecting Shadow Pulps and Other Paper Items” Paper Collectors’ Marketplace March 1988, 8-11.
Mostly a history of The Shadow from radio to magazine, this article touches on the sizes of pulps and rough prices of the magazines and other collectibles. Keep in mind that the article was published in 1988, when Vol. 1, No. 1 of The Shadow Magazine sold for around $600 and “editions from the 1940s can usually be purchased … from $5 to $25.”
Gibson, Walter. Introduction to The Crime Oracle/The Teeth of the Dragon Dover Publications Inc., 1975.
In 13 pages, Gibson recaps the creation of The Shadow and Gibson’s tenure as chief author of the series.
Gibson, Walter. Introduction to Crime over Casco/The Mother Goose Murders Doubleday Crime Club, 1979.
Gibson explains how location played an important factor in his Shadow tales.
Gibson, Walter. Introduction to The Mask of Mephisto/Murder by Magic Doubleday Crime Club, 1975.
Gibson recounts his early days with The Shadow and clears up several factual errors that circulated about the magazine.
Gibson, Walter. Introduction to The Weird Adventures of The Shadow Grossett and Dunlap, 1966.
Author Gibson offers a sentimental glance over his shoulder at “Me and My Shadow.”
Gibson, Walter. “Norgil: Walter Gibson Conjures Up a Magician Detective,” Mediascene No. 27 (September-October 1977), 7.
The author of The Shadow details how his background in magic lead to the development of Norgil.
Gibson, Walter. Introduction to A Quarter of Eight/The Freak Show Murders Doubleday Crime Club, 1978.
The introduction offers a glimpse at the pulp history which lead to The Shadow.
Gibson, Walter. “The Shadow” article in The Great Detectives, Otto Penzler, ed.; Little, Brown and Co., 1978
“Gibson discusses The Shadow and gives a possible explanation for the why The Shadow’s ring is different at different times.” — joe5mc
Gibson, Walter; and Anthony Tollin. The Shadow Scrapbook Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979.
Grams Jr., Martin. The Shadow: The History and Mystery of the Radio Program, 1930–1954 . OTR Publishing, 2011
Grant, Maxwell (Walter B. Gibson). Introduction to Norgil The Magician The Mysterious Press, 1977.
Gibson discusses the impact of magic on his pulp characters.
Grant, Maxwell (Walter B. Gibson). Introduction to Norgil: More Tales of Prestidigitection The Mysterious Press, 1979.
Gibson looks back at the influences of short stories in the collection.
Griffin, Scott Tracy. Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration Titan Books, 2012.
Gruskin, Ed; and Will Murray. The Invincible Doc Savage Odyssey Publications, 1983.
Gunnison, John, ed. Street & Smith’s Hero Pulp Checklist The Pulp Collector Press, 1991
This chapbook lists pulp appearances by S&S characters The Shadow, Doc Savage, The Avenger, Bill Barnes, Cash Gorman, Nick Carter, Pete Rice, The Skipper, The Whisperer, and The Wizard.
Hamilton, Frank; and Link Hullar. Amazing Pulp Heroes Gryphon Publications, 1988, rev. 1996.
“A booklet containing sketches both drawn and written of about 60 pulp characters. … (In 1996, it was) greatly enlarged with revised and new material.” — Al Tonik
Hanna, Ron. Doc Savage: A Pulp Cover History, Book 1: The Bronze Age Wildcat Books, 1997
Hanna, Ron. Doc Savage: A Pulp Cover History, Book 2 Wildcat Books, 1998
Hind, Andrew. “Doc Savage, Superhero” History Magazine Vol. 14, No. 6 (August/September 2013), 17-19
Holtsmark, Erling B. Tarzan and Tradition: Classical Myth in Popular Literature Greenwood Press, 1981.
Hopkins, Howard. The Grey Nemesis Golden Perils Press, 1992; CD-ROM, 2004.
This chapbook on The Avenger includes “articles on all the members of Justice Inc., analysis of the stories, lots of pulp art reprints and an Avenger checklist.” — John DeWalt
Hopkins, Howard, ed.; with John P. Gunnison. Shadowed Pages Golden Perils Press, 1992.
The six dozens pages of this chapbook feature an assortment of interior illustrations from The Shadow magazine.
Hutchison, Don. The Great Pulp Heroes Mosaic Press, 1995; Book Republic Press, 2007.
Johnson, Tom. The Black Bat Golden Perils Press and Fading Shadows Inc, 1990.
Johnson, Tom. From Shadow to Superman Fading Shadows Inc. 1991.
Johnson, Tom. The Green Ghost Fading Shadows Inc. 1991.
“Tom Johnson’s book The Green Ghost has not only an excellent overview of that pulp character, but it also has chapters on Captain Zero and the Black Hood. All are in this book because all were written by G.T. Fleming-Roberts, whose career is given a brief overview here.” — Monte Herridge
Johnson, Tom (as Harrison Stievers). The History of the Purple Wars Fading Shadows Inc. 1991.
Johnson, Tom. “The Phantom Detective” Companion Altus Press, 2009.
Johnson, Tom; and Will Murray. Secret Agent X Pulp Classics No. 22, 1980. Revised edition: Golden Perils Press and Fading Shadows Inc. 1990.
Jones, Malcolm. “Going Ape for an Icon: Why Tarzan has reigned for almost a century” Newsweek, June 21, 1999, 70.
Jones’ short article puts the Disney animated film in perspective by tracing Tarzan’s history from All-Story magazine through comics and films. It is accompanied by a brief film review by David Ansen.
Juzak, Chuck. Captain Future Handbook Wild Cat Books, 2003.
Kraus, Barry. “From Pulps to Radio to Orson Welles as The Shadow” Model and Toy Collector, No. 28 (1994), 22-23.
A look at The Shadow ’s radio experiences with an emphasis on Welles.
Lai, Rick. The Bronze Age: An Alternate Doc Savage Chronology Fading Shadows, 1992
Lai, Rick. The Complete Chronology of Bronze Aces Publications, 1999.
Lai heavily revised his early chronology The Bronze Ag to include the Will Murray books.
Lai, Rick. Chronology of Shadows Fading Shadows, 1995
A revised version of this chronology of The Shadow’s adventures is available as a PDF in two parts from the Wold Newton Chronology Central: Part 1; Part 2.
Miller, Rex. “The Shadow: The Strange Creature in Black” Model and Toy Collector, No. 28 (1994), 15-20.
Dealer Miller’s article looks at premiums and other Shadow collectibles, and features numerous black and white photographs.
Murray, Will. The Doc Savage Files Odyssey Publications, 1985.
Murray, Will. Doc Savage: The Genesis of a Popular Fiction Hero 1979.
Murray, Will. Doc Savage: The Lost Radio Scripts of Lester Dent Moonstone Books., 2009.
Murray, Will. Doc Savage: Reflections in Bronze Odyssey Press, 1978.
Murray, Will. The Duende History of the Shadow Odyssey Press, 1980.
“Includes Walter B. Gibson’s ‘Blackmail Bay’ (a new short story featuring The Shadow), checklist, photos, articles by Murray, Robert Sampson and Gibson, and lots of black and white cover reproductions.” — John DeWalt
Murray, Will. “G-8’s Weird War” The Comics Buyer’s Guide (May 25, 1984).
Murray, Will. The Invincible Doc Savage Odyssey Press, 1983.
Murray, Will. Secrets of Doc Savage Odyssey Press, 1982.
Nanovic, John. Doc Savage, Supreme Adventurer Odyssey Press, 1980.
We’re not normally listing fiction on this page, but… this novella was the template for Doc Savage, and therefore deserves inclusion.
Ryan, Jay. The Collector’s Handbook of Bronze Wild Cat Books, 2001.
Jay Ryan has put together a comprehensive look at Doc Savage collectibles, as well as tons of facts about the pulp’s authors, Bantam reprints and much, much more.
Ryan, Jay & Courtney Rogers, eds. How I Discovered Doc Savage: Real Stories of Discovery and Adventure Solace of Fortitude, 2006.
This is a collection of essays from 91 fans describing how they discoverd Doc Savage. Many of the essays were originally distributed in two limited-edition chapbooks given away at the Arizona Doc Con.
Sammon, Paul. Conan the Phenomenon The Legacy of Robert E. Howard’s Fantasy Icon Dark Horse Books, 2007.
Sampson, Robert. “Doc Savage, The Man of Bronze,” Giant-Size Doc Savage, Marvel Comics, No. 1 (1975), 54-55, 58-60.
Pulp historian Sampson gives an overview of Doc Savage and pals.
Sampson, Robert. The Night Master Pulp Press, 1982.
This is regarded by many as the ultimate study of The Shadow . Sampson traces the magazine from its beginning to end, with analysis of the characters and stories, and background.
Sampson, Robert. The Spider Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1987.
Sampson repeats the effort he took on The Shadow magazine with The Spider with equal success.
Sampson, Robert. Yesterday’s Faces: A Study of Series Characters in the Early Pulp Magazines 6 volumes. Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1983-93.
 “Glory Figures” vol. 1.
“Strange Days” vol. 2.
“From the Darkside” vol. 3.
“The Solvers” vol. 4.
“Dangerous Horizons” vol. 5.
“Violent Lives” vol. 6
Steinbrunner, Chris; and Otto Penzler. The Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection McGraw Hill, 1976.
Includes a brief entry for The Shadow . — John DeWalt
Steranko, Jim. Unseen Shadows: 50 Cover Concept Illustrations by Steranko Supergraphics Publications, 1978.
Stievers, Harrison (Tom Johnson). The History of the Purple Wars Fading Shadows Inc. 1991.
See above.
Tollin, Anthony. “The Man Who Created The Shadow” The Shadow: Blood and Judgement, DC Comics, No. 1 (May 1986), 34.
Tollin, Anthony. “Shades of The Shadow,” an introduction to The Shadow: Blood and Judgement graphic novel, DC Comics, 1987.
“Shades of The Shadow” was the introduction to the graphic novel collection of Howard Chaykin’s four-issue miniseries.
Tollin, Anthony. “The Shadow: A Dossier” The Shadow, National Periodical Publications Inc. (DC Comics), No. 9 (February-March 1975, 32-33.
A brief look at The Shadow of the pulps, radio and film.
Tollin, Anthony. “The Shadow’s Agents” The Shadow: Blood and Judgement, DC Comics, No. 1 (May 1986), 31-33.
Tollin, Anthony. “The Story of The Shadow” The Shadow: Crime and Punishment, DC Comics, No. 2 (June 1986), 33-34.
Tollin, Anthony. “Voices from The Shadows” The Shadow: Brothers in Blood, DC Comics, No. 4 (August 1986), 31-33.
(Unsigned). “The Filming of Doc Savage” Mediascene No. 9 (March-April 1974), 4-5.
(Unsigned). “The Man of Bronze” Newsweek (May 23, 1966), 118.
Newsweek ’s Book section takes a look at Doc Savage and the Bantam reprints that were in their heyday in 1966.
(Unsigned). Operator 5: A Cover History The Secret Society of the Sanctum, 1997.
This book reprints in color all 48 of the pulp series’ covers, plus has an article by Nick Carr and a index to the series.
(Unsigned). “Return of the Hero” Mediascene, No. 11 (January-February 1974), 20-21.
After an introduction linked to the publication of The Shadow series by Pyramid, the article lets Walter B. Gibson tell in his own words how The Shadow of the pulps came to be.
(Unsigned). “ ‘Shadow’ knows no popularity limit,” Associated Press, 30 November 1978.
An interview with Walter B. Gibson, at a mystery writers’ convention in Chicago, on the growing popularity of The Shadow.
(Unsigned). “The Shadow Returns” Mediascene No. 16 (November-December 1975), 16-18
Walter Gibson recalls for James Steranko details about The Shadow magazine. It’s the second part of the “Return of the Hero” series of articles in Mediascene .
Weinberg, Robert. The Annotated Guide to Robert E. Howard’s Sword and Sorcery Starmont House,1976
A guide to the barbarian heroes of Robert E. Howard, including Conan, Kull, Bran Mak Morn and Solomon Kane.
Weinberg, Robert & Lohr McKinstry. The Hero Pulp Index Opar Press, 1971.
Widen, Larry; and Chris Miracle. Doc Savage: Arch-Enemy of Evil Fantasticon Press, 1993/95.
Widen, Larry. Doc Savage: Arch Enemy of Evil Apple Core Publishing, 2006.
Zebrowski, George. “The Shadow Radio and Pulp Origins: From a ’30s Radio Host Voiced by Orson Welles to Pulp Novel Franchise,” Cinefantastique Vol. 25, No. 4 (August 1994), 20-21.
This short history of The Shadow, like the other articles in the magazine’s coverage of the 1994 movie, includes several factual errors. Zebrowski often seems to confuse the radio Shadow with the pulp Shadow, indicating that The Shadow is really Lamont Cranston and that The Shadow “fought the underworld — with police help, of course.” Another article in this issue of the magazine, by Dan Scapperotti, looks at The Shadow movies and serials of the 1930s and ’40s.