Wednesday, June 22, 2022

My Life In Fandom: Razorfist Talks "The Black Master" In New Shadowcast Episode

The Execellence of Elocution returns with a new episode of The Shadowcast.

The Shadow crushes the conniving schemes of perhaps his first bona fide 'supervillain' in his 8th pulp adventure: THE BLACK MASTER!

Then, The Shadow and Margot get to the bottom of a murder plot involving a hypnotist and phony spiritual mediums in the 1947 radio adventure Séance With Death!

Razorfist takes the time during this episode to address Gibson's changes over time and how it changed how he wrote The Shadow, both in how he differentiated away from the crime stories he derived The Shadow from to create the specific narrative framework that would become standard in superhero comics and in how his personal life influenced his writing over time.

This is worth paying attention to, as the early examples of a cultural artifact are going to differ from the codified form that it becomes. Razorfist makes clear that Gibson was still in the process of making his winning formula with "The Black Master" at the time of its writing, as is obvious from its pacing and the point where the reader first sees The Shadow appear in the story; he's still taking cues from "respectable literature" at the time with its notorious turgid prose and pacing.

As for the second story, this shows that Gibson knows women well; the femme fatale has a very clear motivation with an equally clear catalyst for acting on it that anyone can understand without crossing the line and justifying it as good and moral, something his detractors willfully ignore and dismiss.

Razorfist put an audiobook link in the video description. Hit that and enjoy.

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