Friday, May 10, 2013

Forgotten Books: GANGLAND'S DOOM (The Shadow of the Pulps) by Frank Eisgruber Jr. (1974)

Gangland’s Doom, published by Robert Weinberg way back in 1974, was the first non-fiction book devoted entirely to The Shadow. And, I’m pleased to say, it dealt exclusively with the real Shadow - the Shadow of the pulps - and not that watered-down fraud who impersonated him on the radio, in comic books and in the movies.

There’s been much written about The Shadow in the years since, much of it good, but this book by Mr. Frank Eisgruber Jr. certainly gives you all the basics. Chapters deal with our hero’s true identity and eight of his false ones, detailed descriptions and histories of 32 of his agents, all the dope on his two secret sanctums, the lowdown on nine of his most formidable enemies, a detailed analysis of his travels around the country and the world, info on Walter Gibson and his two assistant raconteurs - Theodore Tinsley and Bruce Elliott, and a list of all 325 adventures, identifying the authors of each.

That’s a lot to pack into 64 pages, but it was made possible by the primitive technology of the times. The book was typeset with a typewriter, providing plenty of words per page.

And as you see here, the front and back covers were graced with the art of Frank Hamilton. There’s another fine Hamilton illo inside - of Gibson and his creation - but I couldn’t scan it without damaging the book.

Not surprisingly, this little volume is now a collector’s item, and will cost you quite a few simoleons. But Altus Press has kindly published a new improved edition for a new generation of Shadow fans.

More Forgotten Books at pattinase!


Anonymous said...

IIRC, one of the Shadow pulp stories was entitled "Gangland's Doom," or maybe "Gangdom's Doom." I read a Bantam reprint of it in the early 1970s. In it, the Shadow (who usually operated in New York) went to Chicago and wiped out The Mob there.

Evan Lewis said...

Gangdom's Doom! One of my favorites.

Rick Robinson said...

I like that top illustration a lot!

Cap'n Bob said...

Not to brag, but Frank Hamilton drew a picture of me and an MDM logo.

Ah hell, I'm bragging.

Frank was a nice guy and the pulp art world is much the poorer for his passing.