« It was the spookiest horror ride anywhere! Mr. Awrus… a charming little old man, really… made it that way, because he liked to entertain people! But then the snake-thing arrived… and the others… heh-heh… and people went in… and didn’t come out… » — Horror Beasts Dine Tonight
First out of the gate was Irwin Stein’s Magnum Publications, with Monster Parade (four issues). It was soon followed by Monsters and Things (two issues).
As for the magazine’s grimy guts, there’s regrettably nothing outstanding: a couple of reprints of pre-Code material that was pedestrian to begin with… Curse of the Living Crossbones, illustrated by Ken Rice (a retitled Spectres of the Jolly Roger and True Tales of Unexplained Mystery #44, a one-pager about vengeful German gargoyles, illustrated by Sy Grudko, both plucked, minuscolour, from Web of Mystery no. 22 (Jan. 1954, Ace Magazines).
« The stranger’s face was entirely obscured by a broad-brimmed felt hat bent downward over his features; and the long, black coat looked almost like part of the thickening fog. » –Harry Vincent first encounters his future employer. (Shadow Magazine, April/June, 1931)
We note today the birth anniversary of Walter B. Gibson (September 12, 1897 – December 6, 1985), an extremely prolific writer and professional magician. Gibson is best known for developing the radio character of The Shadow, through nearly three hundred stories he wrote under the collective nom de plume of Maxwell Grant.
The Shadow’s had an interesting and varied career in comics, but Gibson’s novels (and the radio shows… Orson Welles!) are where it’s at. Still, let’s take a look around, shall we?
As a bonus, let’s slightly depart from comics proper and admire a couple of paperback reissues from the brush of noted fabulist James Steranko.