#tbt – Pulp Fiction: The Spider

Originally this was supposed to be a simple #tbt focus on a specific book but really, it wound up being kind of a love note to the pulps.


the spider 11I got into The Spider because of The Shadow. 

I have about fifty episodes of the original radio drama (starting in 1937) in my Audible library. Mostly because you can get 5 episodes for about $3.50 and every so often the price drops to half off and I went a little wild during one of the big sales.

Now after I had my fill of the radio drama, I went looking for the original pulps for The Shadow. Unfortunately, my google-fu sucks. I wound up on RadioArchives.com and immediately fell for The Spider. Issue #11 (the first issue I bought) which has the full-length story “Prince of the Red Looters” is free for the kindle on Amazon.

Created by Harry Steeger in 1933 as a direct competition to the Shadow’s incredible success as a pulp hero, the Spider shares so much in common with the Shadow that I’m wondering why I couldn’t find any reports of injunctions or lawsuits going out from Street & Smith Publication. (You know, the way that National Publications did over Will Eisner’s Superman knockoff, Wonder Man in 1939.)Read More »

#tbt : Seduction of the Innocent – Chapters One + Two

#tbt or ThrowbackThursday is a weekly series where I write about things from history — primarily comic or film history. For the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about Frederic Wertham’s infamous book Seduction of the Innocent and going through the chapters with insightful and slightly snarky commentary. (Chunks of it will read like a research paper but then, those have always been my favorite things to write!)


soti.jpgEveryone that has even a drop of interest in comic books and comic book history has heard about Dr. Frederic Wertham and his book Seduction of the Innocent. He’s the big bad of comics history, the reason why we had the Comics Code Authority, the reason why, to some, comics just aren’t as good as they could’ve been.

Wertham is referenced in nearly single paper, book, and documentary on comic book history. You can’t escape references to him or his crusade against comic books. However, many people that are interested in comic books haven’t actually read Seduction of the Innocent.

I don’t blame them.Read More »