Rare pulps – The smart collector
CLASSIC EDITION AMONG THE SCORES OF RARITIES OFFERED AT AUCTION DEDICATED TO INFLUENTIAL FICTION MAGAZINES
Tthere is no doubt that the Shadow is one of the most influential characters in detective and superhero fiction, originally created as the mysterious narrator of a radio show in 1930. “Who knows what evil is hidden in the hearts of men? ” fans heard at the start of every show. “The Shadow knows it!”
The character soon received his own pulp magazine, the first issue hitting newsstands in 1931. It was an instant success, with the series running for 325 issues over 18 years. Batman co-creator Bill Finger later admitted that his first Batman script was a takeoff on a Shadow story.
Over the decades, the Shadow spawned TV shows, movies, and comics. Hooded Crime Fighter Would Also Inspire Other Pop Culture Favorites: Alan Moore V for Vendetta, From disney Black wing duck, and crime-fighting hero Silver Shroud in the Fallout 4 video game.
A copy of The shadow Number 1 is offered in the next Heritage Rare Pasta auction. “This is by far the finest example offered at auction by anyone,” says Rick Akers, Pulp Specialist at Heritage Auctions. “The only other copy auctioned by Heritage was a fragile copy in good condition in 2010. This issue in this condition is among the rarest among the pulp collectors’ items.”
This first issue presents the mystery of the Chinatown murder “The Living Shadow” by writer Walter B. Gibson. The shadow figure himself became regular coverage in the March 1932 issue.
Many other pulp rarities from famous collector Richard Falco are featured in the auction, including the complete series of Doc savage, from the first issue of 1933.
Also offered are 19 Strange tales archive copies of the collection of the illustrator and painter Margaret Brundage (1900-1976), who created most of the Strange tales covers between 1933 and 1938. “These prints are not only some of the finest prints I’ve ever seen,” Akers says, “but they belonged to one of the most important artists in the hobby.
The auction is the second heritage event exclusively dedicated to pulp rarities, Akers says. The category has experienced remarkable growth over the past year. “The paste market,” Akers says, “offers collectors an excellent combination of rarity, literary interest and artistic merit.”
This article appears in the Spring 2021 edition of The intelligent collector magazine.