Tuesday, June 2, 2009
A Tribute to Pulp: The Shadow
Here's a painting I did at the end of last year. This is the Shadow, the pulp fiction character from 1930's novels and 1940's radio show. I do have prints available for sale. I love these pulp characters. I truly believe that comics, or more specifically, superheroes, are the mythology of America. When most people think of mythology they think of Greek mythology. So okay, if superheroes are the Greek Olympian gods (Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, and so on, all the big names we all know) then pulp characters are, as I see them, the Titans. The titans are less known by most people, but are still important. They were the parents of the Olympian gods. And like the way that the gods overthrew the Titans and came to dominate the world, so to have superheroes outgrown their predecessors to become dominate in the hearts and minds of the public.
But they owe a lot to their parents. They paved the way for superheroes. Their stories involved mystery, romance, science fiction, and magic, to name a few genres. Aspects of the Shadow were inspiration for the character of Batman. And another one of my favorite adventure heroes from this era, The Phantom, was the first to wear the now standard full-body spandex as well as the first to have the familiar "pupiless" eyes. So if you ever get a chance, look up some pulp characters. Don't let these characters fade away with time, but pay tribute to the Titans of American mythology.