Pulp Power: The Shadow, Doc Savage, and the Art of the Street & Smith Universe (Abrams; July 26, 2022; U.S. $65.00; Hardcover) gives fans a rare glimpse into the prewar pulp novel decade of the 1930s, a period of bold action and adventure storytelling that ultimately led to the creation of the comic book and the superheroes we know and love today. This period, a pre-Batman, pre-Superman golden era of American creativity and artistic excellence, starred two main characters: The Shadow and Doc Savage. In more than 500 novels written between 1930 and 1940, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and the Street & Smith universe of characters captivated a generation of Americans with their heroic exploits and inspired a new generation of writers to create a pantheon of comic book superheroes in their mold. Street & Smith, the renowned publisher of these novels, commissioned leading artists to provide bold and original cover artwork for their publications, and in Pulp Power, hundreds of these eye-catching covers are reproduced as a collection for the first time. Author Neil McGinness provides context for the cover illustrations alongside a rich narrative history of the characters and era and discussion of the influence of the Street & Smith heroes on legendary creators such as Orson Welles, Truman Capote, Michael Chabon, George Lucas, Agnes Moorehead, James Patterson, Walter Mosley, Dwayne Johnson, Frank Miller, James Bama, Jim Steranko, Jim Lee, Gail Simone, Steve Orlando, Gayle Lynds, and many more.
The book also includes original line art illustrations from the volumes, a unique collection of Shadow ephemera, cover art from the paperback boom of the 1960s and 1970s, and a look at the past, present, and future of the Street & Smith characters in comics.
About the Authors
Frank Miller is regarded as one of the most influential and awarded creators in the entertainment industry today, known for his intense, hard-boiled storytelling and gritty noir aesthetic across comics, novels, and film, including 300, Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, Daredevil: Born Again, and many others.
Neil McGinness partnered with author James Patterson in 2021 to develop the New York Times bestselling series The Shadow (Volume 1, Little, Brown). He also developed The Shadow/Batman twelve-volume crossover comic-book series with DC Comics/DC Entertainment.
Pulp Power will be bounding its way into all good bookstores in August.