Street and Smith Publications Inc. was one of the leading pulp magazine publishers. Starting out with dime novels clear back into the 1800s, they moved to pulps in 1915.  The pulp run would last until 1949 when it stopped publication of The Shadow, Doc Savage, Detective Story Magazine and Western Story Magazine.

The Shadow character first appeared February 1929 in a Fame and Fortune story called “The Shadow of Wall Street” by George C. Jenks (written under pseudonym Frank S. Lawton).  Street and Smith Publications Inc. picked up the character for its pulps, and applied its successful marketing formula of radio serial tie-ins. The company had caught on to the idea that with a little adaptation of the stories for narration they could cross promote publications on the radio. And for

Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller) in The Shadow.

Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller) in The Shadow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Shadow the combination (along with inclusion of female interest Margo Lane) proved extremely successful – one of the most successful in radio history in fact.  “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!” – and so did millions of avid listeners.  The radio serials last 21 seasons (in some seasons, The Shadow most famously being portrayed by Orson Welles), the pulp series lasted for 18 years and the comic books were published for 9 years.

Shadow Comics was a long running series published by Street and Smith. The series produced many cool covers.  I have been lucky enough to own a couple of them, pictured below.   

  • The earliest, Shadow Comics #v2#8 [20]* is from November 1942.  The man eating plant cover art is by Vernon Greene
  • The extremely popular “skull cover” is Shadow Comics #v2#10 [22] from January 1943.  Also a Vernon Greene cover, the story title “Silver Skull” was the comic version adapted from Walter Gibson’s story in Shadow Magazine  V.1 #165 (January 1939).
  • Shadow Comics #v4#3 [39]* from June 1944 with minified Margo Lane in the hands of Solarus, the Space Master is by artist Al Bare.
  • Shadow Comics #v7#3 [75]* June 1947 shows a classic silent film style damsel tied on railroad tracks by Bob Powell (I believe this to be a rather hard issue to find).  
  • Shadow Comics #v8#6 [90]* from September 1948, has sexy siren art by Bob Powell.

* Sold Copy