Blog: Thoughts and comments on the world of the pulp magazines

Ads for ‘The Shadow’

Posted by at 10:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Pulp Collectibles, Pulp History, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Ads for ‘The Shadow’

The ShadowI had a pleasant chat with pulp uber-collector Dwight Fuhro earlier this week about pulp advertising.

He emailed me several advertisements for The Shadow magazine that appeared in Street & Smith‘s Picture Play. And after closer examination of The Shadow ad that I included in a gallery of pulp promotional posters last week (and appears immediately below), I’m pretty certain that it also came from Picture Play — or a similar magazine — at one time and was not an advertisement poster for a newsstand or magazine rack.

The Shadow poster

We’ve all seen ads or promotions for pulps in another pulp by the same publisher. I was looking through a few Doc Savage pulps the other day that included house ads for Love Story Magazine, Western Story Magazine, The Shadow and other Street pulps.

I don’t often think about pulp publishers advertising their fiction magazines in other, non-fiction magazines. But, why not tout your pulps to potential readers? I suspect they probably limited such advertising to their own magazines since they would be getting the advertising at cost and wouldn’t be paying fees to another publisher.

Though you can find pulp publishers’ advertising in industry publications, such as the examples from American News Trade Journal posted by Doug Ellis on Facebook recently, but those are usually targeted at store or newsstand owners.

Dwight said it would be fine to show that ads that come from his collection, so I’ve included them (all from Picture Play) below.

The first appeared inside the back cover in May 1932.

'The Shadow' ad from 'Picture Play' (May 1932)

This one, also an inside back cover, appeared in February 1933.

'The Shadow' ad from 'Picture Play' (February 1933)

Next up is from May 1933.

'The Shadow' ad from 'Picture Play' (May 1933)

This one, from October 1933, ran on the inside front cover.

'The Shadow' ad from 'Picture Play' (July 1933)

Lastly, here’s one from July 1933. Dwight mentioned that he particularly likes the description of The Shadow in this ad.

'The Shadow' ad from 'Picture Play' (October 1933)


  1. Even in some instances they showed the Shadow in that black hood in 1933. Afterwards, they showed him more in his now-iconic garb. Ah, the days when some mags cost only a measly dime! I’m hoping you’ll show posters of the Spider, Avenger and other pulp heroes soon!

    • I have never seen any vintage advertising pulp posters/signs of The Avenger or The Spider.