Talking Points

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Gravedigger shortly after her rebirth.
Gravedigger shortly after her rebirth.

We’re steamrolling towards the end of 2012 and at this point, I should be finished with the Liberty Girl project in just a couple of weeks. As I tweeted last night, it’s hard for me to judge how good this work is — and I don’t mean in just the “I’m too close to it” way that we writers sometimes get. As I tweeted last night, there have been times with this that it’s felt less like writing and more like transcription. It’s not really my voice and not really my story choices for the most part. I’m trying to stay true to the words written by others. I’m adding details and even whole scenes here and there but it never feels like something I would have written, given my own druthers. Now I may write an original Liberty Girl story down the road… it’ll be interesting to see how that would compare to this. I’m certainly no stranger to writing other people’s characters but this is the first time I’m basically following someone else’s story so slavishly. Hope you guys don’t mind the peek behind the creative curtain here!

Our art today is another finished piece from the amazing Will Meugniot — this time around, we see Charity just after she’s crawled from her own grave! Spooky, eh?

Only one “vote” came in after yesterday’s post and that person suggested that I work on The Phantom Detective next. I think I’ll “kinda” do that — I need to read at least one PD story to get back into that mindset so what I’ll do is read one while working on something else (either Lazarus Gray v4 or Tales of The Rook v2). Then when I’m done with the research, I’ll jump over to PD.

The cool “licensing” deal for Lazarus & The Rook will be announced soon. You might be able to own your own Laz & Rook products! Stay tuned.


  1. Hi Barry,

    As soon as I heard there was an ongoing podcast devoted to The Shadow (note the article is always capitalized 🙂 I managed to download and listen to all ten episodes in less than a week. I have really enjoyed the series so far and hope it continues for many years to come.

    I especially enjoyed the comments from the most recent installment with the speculations on the origins of The Shadow. Were you aware that pulp scholar Rick Lai has written a book series that says The Shadow is the son of a character from Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom Of The Opera? I haven’t read it yet myself but I believe I am safe in assuming that Rick’s approach will be very different from the one to be presented in Matt Wagner’s “Year One” comic book series.

    Matt did a fairly good job with his Green Hornet prequel a while back (faint praise there I suppose but I’ve listened to hundreds of the Hornet radio shows from the Thirties and Forties and just did not approve of a few of his changes made for that comic.)

    I’ll buy the Wagner series, just as I’ve bought every Shadow comic to be offered since (gulp) the seventies, but I long for the day when we get a pastiche of the character written with the respect and the knowledgeability that Will Murray puts into each of his Doc Savage novels.

    I’ve droned on here too long already so will close with a quick request for a review of one of my all-time favorite Gibson novels, Crime, Insured. There is a scene in that story where The Shadow calls Burbank only to realize that-

    Well, no spoilers in this message.

    Keep them coming, Mr. R!

    Michael Howard

    P. S. On a few of your episodes you mentioned having a Shadow reference library. I myself own the Duende book by Will Murray, The Shadow’s Scrapbook, Rick Lai’s chronology, Gangdom’s Doom by Frank Eisgruber, and Martin Gramm’s reference book. Am I missing anything?


  2. Thanks, Michael! I’m really glad you’re enjoying the show. Crime, Insured is a great novel — I’ll definitely do a review of it at some point. As for the reference library, I have all those you mentioned — do you have “Walter Gibson and The Shadow” by Thomas Shimeld? Another great resource to learn more about Gibson and the character. I haven’t read the Rick Lai book that ties The Shadow to The Phantom of the Opera… I’ll look for it!

    I’ll be sure to share your comments during next week’s Listener Feedback section! 🙂

    1. Hey Barry,

      Many thanks for the heads up about the Thomas Shimeld biography. Thanks to the magic of ebooks I was able to learn about and then possess this work in a gratifyingly brief span of time. But I can’t believe I left out Robert Sampson’s The Night Master in my earlier list of Shadow reference books. It’s an incredibly entertaining and yet highly informative work on The Shadow which every fan should own. And considering used copies are going for hundreds of dollars on Amazon right now it needs to be reprinted as soon as possible (if only there was a widely recognized acronym for that phrase… 🙂 In fact everything the late and lamented Mr. Sampson wrote about the pulps is deserving of republishing. I’m very grateful for the ongoing research efforts of Will Murray, Anthony Tolin, Rick Lai, et al, but for my money nobody has ever matched Bob Sampson’s wonderful blending of insight and sly humor when it comes to pulp scholarship.

      Now another question if I may. Have you seen the reference DVD on Amazon called The Shadow Knows? The reviews speak very highly of it but I’d be interested in your opinion as well.

      Eagerly awaiting the next installment of your Shadow podcast.


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