Addressing the ever-shrinking credibility of rock journalism since 2007. With a sasquatch.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Off The Shelf: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

Vengeance is Mine and Battle of Greed by Maxwell GrantLamont Cranston and his alter ego The Shadow were the brilliant creations of Walter B. Gibson. According to Wikipedia, Gibson (as "Maxwell Grant") wrote over 300 novel length stories for The Shadow beginning in 1931 - up to 10,000 words a day.

Described as a "compulsive writer," Gibson is estimated to have written, at his peak, 1,680,000 words a year, and at least 282 of the 325 Shadow novels.

For those who haven't known and loved the Shadow: he was a elusive lone wolf who mastered a strange hostile cityscape.

The Shadow's clandestine mission was to attack the corrupt and the criminal elements that sought to poison and destroy men and women. His targets were the unassailable evils of society that seemed invincible.

The Shadow chased, hounded and trapped evil men in diabolical machinations that they believed to be of their own design. The Shadow went as far to sabotage an alliance between the Nazis and Soviets in WWII Europe by posing as a close advisor to Hitler and forcing several fascists into unintentional suicides in the 1988 Marvel graphic novel Hitler's Astrologer with art by Mr. Michael Kaluta.

The radio show, that grew from the series, was a hit for decades (beginning on the Blue Coal Radio Revue) and ran from October of 1931 to December 26, 1954 across America. Orson Welles was the most famous of the radio era Shadows as both a narrator and character actor.

The Shadow - Voodoo! Originally Aired March of 1941

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