Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Shadow Knows You Want It: THE SHADOWED CIRCLE #1


The Shadow Knows you’re going going to like this fanzine. So he suggests you waste not a minute, but proceed immediately to The Shadowed Circle Facebook Page (that’s HERE) for info on getting a copy, or—better yet—a subscription.

Need more convincing? Read on.

Unlike fanzines of old, The Shadowed Circle is a professional job from start to finish. Editor Steve Donoso has assembled a collection of articles covering a variety of interests. The layout is sharp and attractive and the illustrations first-rate. It’s 50 pages of Shadowy coolness. What it does have in common with fanzines of old is the passion for its subject that comes across on every page.

Will Murray sets the tone with a fine piece that was pushed out of the final volume of the Sanctum Shadow reprint series. Typical of Will’s work, it’s packed with fascinating inside info involving Walter Gibson, editor John Nanovic and S&S business manager John Ralston. Though ostensibly focused on the stories in that volume, the discussion ranges far afield into characters, plots the process of creating the stories.

Steve Donoso provides an article/interview with author James Patterson, prompted by the publication of his (and Brian Sitts’) new novel, The Shadow. Steve’s revelation of Patterson’s process of writing with surrogates convinced me that Patterson himself was responsible for everything I hate about the book (and there’s a lot to hate). Patterson’s words here give the lie to the pre-publication hype claiming he had a long affection for our hero, and explain (with no apologies) why he changed everything about the character but the name. It made me want to reach out and throttle the guy.

Henry Lopez follows with a lengthy review and analysis of the Patterson/Sitts novel. It’s well thought out, and many of his feelings matched my own (except, of course, that he expressed them more politely). Henry is also very careful not to include spoilers, an impressive feat when discussing a book so deserving of spoiling.

There’s much more: John L. French zeroes in on the handful of late series novels written by Bruce Elliott. Under-30 Russell M. Moran reminisces about how an action figure turned him into a fan. Robert M. Newton ponders where The Shadow fits in the Hall of Hero Archetypes. Joseph Gibson looks at the three (of six) surviving short Shadow films made in the ‛30s, before the true Shadow made his magazine debut. Steve Donoso returns for an in-depth analysis of Walter Gibson’s last published story, portraying a very Shadow-like version of The Batman. Craig McDonald present a blow-by-blow comparison of The Shadow’s two four-time foes, Shiwan Khan and Bendict Stark, and draws some eye-opening conclusions. Dwight Fuhro reveals how and why he obtained the original George Rozen painting for ‟The Creeping Death.” And John Olsen provides a rundown of our hero’s various encounter with zombies.

Along the way there are many illustrations—all of them good—and numerous magazine cover photos. Among several standouts, my favorite is a piece by a guy named Jim Pearson. I look forward to seeing more of his work.

Bottom line, The Shadowed Circle #1 is a very attractive package, and belongs in the collection of every Shadow fan. That includes you. The Facebook page awaits:


teribill said...

Great review that I agree with 100%; great little fanzine, well-designed and collated, and quite professional-looking. Will be looking forward to future issues!

Evan Lewis said...

Thank you, sir!