I am truly fascinated by the original pulp vigilante The Shadow for my money he was the best of those creations from that era. He’s left quite a legacy in his wake with legions of imitators. I was excited when Dynamite picked up the license for the character (amongst many, many other old school pulp characters) and began a new series with him back in 2012. I picked up the trade for Vol. 1 The Fire of Creation as soon as it was released without reading the 6 collected issues prior. The author of course was Garth Ennis whom I didn’t particularly have great success with his Fury miniseries but I was willing to give this a shot.
Ahoy-hoy Evil Geeks! It certainly was a crazy few days at the Javits last week and quite frankly, the Evil Geeks are all still laying about the Evil Lair in full on recovery mode. Arthur’s been conjuring up all kinds of crazy shit using the blood of fallen cosplayers. C-Mart’s been floating around in his M.O.D.O.K. chair all week. Biff’s been in sort of a trance, just continually building an exact replica of the Convention Center out of Legos. And Big Evil…well, no one’s actually seen him since he got into that fistfight with a horde of teens dressed as obscure anime characters. We keep getting garbled voice mail messages from him, but we stopped listening after the first 36 or so. When we could get a word out of the guys, those words were barely audible references to the hundreds of outstanding costumes that everyone had put together for the con. Here’s what we think are each of their 5 favorite costumes from the show according to their garbled ramblings.
This is a list of my top 5 favorite cosplays of NYCC, I can tell you that it very quickly turned into me picking my 5 favorite characters that I saw represented. There’s something about seeing a character you love in the flesh that really is amazing.
5.) Typhoid Mary
This was one of two Typhoid Marys we saw at this convention, but I was so pleased that she went the route of the late 80’s early 90’s incarnation and the classic purple attire. My inner Daredevil fan rejoiced.
Artist and writer Francesco Francavilla is no stranger to the pulp genre having done cover art for some of the most prominent and recognizable pulp creations of all time. We’re talking Zorro, Green Hornet, The Shadow, Lone Ranger and The Spider. Not to mention he’s currently writing and drawing his own pulp flavored comic, The Black Beetle. As one of comic’s leading artist of the genre we thought it would only be appropriate to showcase some of his masterful cover art in today’s edition of the Pulp Corner.
“Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The Shadow knows”
The Shadow might be the most celebrated and far reaching creation to come from the rich history of pulp magazines and fiction. His only rival in terms of popularity and influence is likely Doc Savage who spawned characters like Indiana Jones and James Bond. Almost every single vigilante hero can be traced back to The Shadow; chief among them of course is Batman.
Dynamite Entertainment is an interesting comic book company. They have rights to a lot of licensed franchises and movie adaptions giving them access to numerous characters like Voltron, John Carter, Robocop, Buck Rogers, etc. They also have the market cornered on classic pulp creations like The Shadow, The Spider and The Green Hornet and have been responsible for the recent “boom” in pulp. With all of these characters falling under the same umbrella for the first time, Dynamite decided to develop a mini series that would be a first ever crossover for all these major pulp characters. The series is called Masks and the writing is helmed by Chris Roberson and the first issued has interiors painted by Alex Ross. This is a big deal since Alex Ross hasn’t done any interiors for a comic in about 5 or so years. Of course, he’s no stranger to pulp as he does many of the covers for different Dynamite books. For the rest of the series Dennis Calero will be handling the art duties.
As I hinted in another article, I have a fascination with the pulp genre. It started with movies and the film noir movement of the 1940s and 50s but from there I quickly moved to the hardboiled crime novels that inspired those movies and eventually pulp books and art. I decided to develop a new feature on the Evil Geeks site where I can rant and rave about all things pulp related. I figured I would start with a basic overview and why the genre could be important to you.
There’s no way two ways around it, pulp novels are the early ancestors of comic books. Clear and simple. Dating back as far as the 1890’s, pulp books reached their zenith in the 1920s and 30s. Many of them feature heroes, mortal men who sometimes have some kind of special power…but aren’t quite superheroes. People like The Shadow, Zorro and Doc Savage. Their stories were often published in installments in magazines with each chapter ending on a cliff hanger so you’d absolutely need to buy the next issue to find out what happens. Many of them also star wealthy protagonists who dole out vigilante justice by way of an alter ego. These pulp tales mostly alternate between street level, gritty crime scenes or expansive and exotic globetrotting. Thus the early Golden Age of comics grew out of this.
Don’t believe me? Check out a list of things you might find in comic books that originated from pulp stories.
- Fortress Of Solitude (Doc Savage)
- Man Of Steel (The Avenger)
- Red Skull (Doc Savage)
- The Hand (The Shadow)
- Hydra (The Shadow)
- COMMISSIONER JAMES GORDON (The Whisperer)
These ALL predate their respective comic book mentions. I found those just by browsing the titles of various pulp books with minimal research, I wasn’t seeking out comparisons. Can you imagine what else is out there? Some of these titles even made the jump to comic books and are still be published today (The Phantom, The Shadow, The Spider etc). This is a vast world ripe for rediscovery. So check back often as we begin to dive into all aspects of pulp and what makes it so damn interesting.
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