The Shadow

From the spring of 1931 until the summer of 1949, a slim figure cloaked in black fought mobsters, evil scientists, crazed old men and foreign invaders with two blazing automatics and a laugh that chilled the hearts of evil. The mysterious figure was The Shadow.

The Shadow pulp magazinesThe popularity of a radio announcer – known as The Shadow – for Street and Smith’s Detective Story Hour convinced the publishing house to create a magazine for the character.

Street and Smith turned to newspaperman and magician Walter B. Gibson to bring The Shadow to life in the firm’s first character pulp magazine. Gibson, using the pen name Maxwell Grant, wrote 282 of the 325 Shadow novels. The remainder were written by Theodore Tinsley and Bruce Elliot, with one novel partly written by Lester Dent, the chief writer of Doc Savage.

It was only after the magazine’s tremendous success that The Shadow returned to the airwaves for a half-hour adventure program that lasted until 1954. Six two-reel movies, a serial and seven feature films have been based on The Shadow’s exploits.


The pulp magazine newsgroup
You can find discussions of The Shadow, and other pulp characters, in the alt.pulp newsgroup. (If your internet service provider doesn’t offer access to this newsgroup, access it through Google Groups.)
The Shadow’s Sanctum
The Shadow historian Anthony Tollin, who is also responsible for the Nostalgia Ventures reprints, has put together an impressive collection of material about The Shadow, as well as Doc Savage. You’ll find video interviews with Walter Gibson, audio clips and photos, as well as a look at how Doc Savage and crew influenced the creation of the Fantastic Four. Oh, and you can get the latest information on the Nostalgia Ventures reprints.
The Pulp Novel: An Interview With Walter B. Gibson
“Saturday Night at the Movies” — a program on TVO, Ontario’s public television station — presents a half-hour interview with Walter B. Gibson, the chief writer of The Shadow, conducted by Elwy Yost. Gibson discusses the pulps, writing The Shadow stories and more in this interesting video. The video is linked to from the SFFaudio website.
The Shadow Reprint History
Bill Thom’s Pulp Reprint Index offers a bibliography of The Shadow stories that have been reprinted and the publishers.
The Shadow Wiki
The Shadow Wiki includes over 700 pages with listings of pulp, reprint and comic book appearances of The Shadow. Pages include information on characters and locations which appear in the stories, as well as covers.
The Holloway Pages: The Shadow
Clark Holloway’s site includes the introduction to The Shadow and the Golden Master written by Walter B. Gibson. In it, Gibson recalls how The Shadow pulp came about, as well as the pen name Maxwell Grant.
The Shadow’s WWW Sanctum
John Sies’ Shadow site has been around a while and touches on The Shadow’s appearance on radio, in films, records, comics, fan fiction and more. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear the site has been updated since 2007 and several of the internal links are broken.
The Shadow 365
Neil McNally is posting regular notes and facts about The Shadow, along with a pulp cover, at his Tumblr website.
Electronic Magic
George W. Geib offers a history of the pulps and The Shadow in a paper read to the Indianapolis Literary Club in 1994. There’s also a link to some pulp cover scans, though none of The Shadow magazine.
Kimberly’s Fan Fiction Library
Kimberly Murphy-Smith, publisher and editor of The Hot Corner online zine, has written quite a collection of stories featuring The Shadow, including her novelization of the 1994 movie.
The Shadow: Master of Darkness
In addition to information about The Shadow pulps, radio shows, comics, collectibles and movies, this site also includes a forum, polls, fan fiction and fan art.
The Shadow’s Internet Sanctum
Last updated in 2002, Chip Caroon’s site includes a list of The Shadow novels (with some links to e-text and PDF sites) and a gallery of The Shadow comics.
Five Lamonts: A Shadow Chronology
Win Scott Eckert traces a history of The Shadow from the 1893 birth of Kent Allard through the pulps, paperbacks and comics.
The Shadow Radio History
The website of author Martin Grams Jr. has a sample chapter from his book, The Shadow: The History and Mystery of the Radio Program, 1930–1954. He has linked to a PDF of a sample of the book that was printed in the October 2010 issue of Radiogram.
The Shadow Knows!
Collector Dwight Fuhro solicits The Shadow pulps and collectibles at his website. He has a few photos of his collection, and details about what he seeks.
Casting light among the Shadows
Arn McConnell looks at clues in The Shadow pulp and Detective Stories Magazine to the real identity of the Night Master in this essay on the Philip José Farmer site.
Collectible Paperbacks
This essay on collectible paperbacks by Gary Lovisi, taken from Baby Boomer Collectibles, includes a reference to the paperback The Shadow and the Voice of Murder and its role in paperback history.
The Shadow for RPG
David Ebers has adapted The Shadow character for the Feng Shui role playing game.
The Shadow quiz
Test your knowledge of The Shadow with this 15 question quiz (though not all of the questions are accurate).
The Wold Newton Universe
Win Scott Eckert expands on Philip Jose Farmer’s Wold Newton theories (see the site for more details) and places The Shadow in the chronology.
MysteryNet: The Shadow
The Web site for mystery fans has short profiles of various characters, including The Shadow.
Danny’s Shadow and Pulp Links Page
Dan Hill has compiled a list of links to The Shadow Web sites.
The Shadow Comic Strips
Jim Sutton traces the history of The Shadow in comics — from the newspaper strips, to the reprint comic books, to graphic novels.
M.W. Kaluta: The Shadow
For some of us, there’s only one comic book artist for The Shadow.That’s Michael Wm. Kaluta. He’s posted some of his Shadow work on his Web site, including drawings, images from the two Shadow sculptures he has been involved with, and an original short story, The Shadow: My City.
Plaid Stallions: 1970s The Shadow Merchandise Gallery
Taking a look back at the fabulously hip ’70s, this website features a gallery of merchandise for The Shadow, including Halloween costumes, toy cars and aircraft, and play kits. There’s also a separate page for Halloween costumes of The Shadow.
Biff’s The Shadow Diorama
Biff (or Bill Underwood), who collects vintage G.I. Joes, has created a custom Shadow figure with the help of some friends and placed him atop a meeting of underworld denizens in New York’s Chinatown in the 1930s.
The Nostalgia Pages Phorums: The Shadow
Discussions about old-time radio and The Shadow program abound at this Web site. Be warned: It can be incredibly slow to load.
The Shadow Connection
Don Fehr provides a site for fans of the old-time radio program to trade episodes.
Radio History of The Shadow
Here’s a brief history of The Shadow on radio. Download a couple of audio clips from the vintage series. Also, the site includes a brief listing of the programs Orson Welles starred in, taken from The Shadow Scrapbook. (A more complete listing appears in the scrapbook.)
Cliffhangers: The Shadow
Images, an online magazine, took a look at The Shadow movie serials in its fourth issue. Grant Tracey’s article includes images from the serials.
Roger Ebert on The Shadow
Film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times offers his favorable take on the 1994 movie.
Professor Neon on The Shadow
Professor Neon’s TV & Movie Mania review of the 1994 movie.
Cosmo’s Pulp Hero Cafe
Cinemarquee offers a variety of pulp-related links as part of the Web site that focuses on film and moviemaking.
Popwatch Blog
Gary Susman’s blog at Entertainment Weekly‘s Web site laments on “Film franchises that never were,” including The Shadow.
The Internet Movie Database
Find out more about The Shadow’s film adventures at the Internet Movie Database: