Happy 80th Anniversary to ‘The Shadow’ Magazine!
Eighty years ago, on March 6th, 1931, the first issue of The Shadow Magazine appeared on American newsstands. The Shadow Magazine was the first modern character/hero magazine, reviving a heroic fiction format that had disappeared decades earlier with the demise of dime novels.
In the pages of The Shadow Magazine, magician-turned-journalist Walter B. Gibson refashioned the sinister narrator of CBS-Radio’s Detective Story Magazine Hour into fiction’s first Dark Hero, creating a crimebusting supersleuth who embodied the iconic power of classic melodrama villains like Dracula. Gibson’s novels introduced the concept of super-crooks and super-crime, and became the template for hero pulps and scores of future comic book superheroes, many of which were created by devoted readers of The Shadow Magazine including Jerry Siegel, Jack Kirby, Bill Finger and Bob Kane. In fact, the 1936 Shadow pulp novel “Partners of Peril” was adapted scene-by-scene and character-for-character, as the first Batman story in Detective Comics #27.
In honor of this anniversary, Sanctum Books has just reprinted “The Living Shadow,” the debut Shadow novel, and for the first time has restored the original text as it originally appeared in 1931 in the first issue of The Shadow Magazine. (The text was revised/updated when it was reprinted in a 1934 hardcover which became the source for future annual and paperback reprints.)
The Shadow Volume 47, reprinting “The Living Shadow” and “The Black Hush” with historical articles by Will Murray and Anthony Tollin, will arrive at comic book specialty shops on March 16th.