This is HIDDEN,
An Unseen Secret,
Keep it on the QT.
It is Clouded,
Unknown, & Unrevealed.
Don’t be so Abstruse,
Just keep it Buried Underground,
Dark & Shrouded,
Disguised & Indiscernible.
Recondite Occult Operation.
Must be Cryptic.
WE have you
Format: Found Hyper-linked poem.
For more information on The Shadow use link provided above. For related post see: Existential Friday: MEMENTO MORI & The Shadow
Well this Surreal Thursday brings together a number of topics and cross-inspirations. There is no cross dressing, but there are disguises. Now one of my fellow bloggers, George – She Kept A Parrot, mentioned that I haven’t done any weird stuff lately. Recently George commented on the cobwebs in a Lemony Shots post that was titled Oil Can Collection (beautiful compositions, check them out). Well synchronicity weaved a web of happenstance and what should show up on our window screen, but a rather huge spider. It was on the outside of the screen but was casting a wonderful shadow on the inside. Now that created the perfect opportunity to capture some interesting shots for some surrealizing ( I know, bad pun) images.
The large spider reminded me of the swollen foot I had in late June. While doing some yard work I seemed to antagonized a creature that bite/stung me. My foot did swell a bit and several people suggested that it was a spider bite. I acquired no powers from this encounter, but I did not end up climbing the walls from discomfort either. Spiders are getting larger as the milder winters have allowed them to survive and continue growing. Perhaps this larger size has increased the potency of their bites.
Ah, The Spider’s Shadow, now there is a title for Pulp Magazine tale. Plus it mentions two significant Pulp Magazine heroes, The Shadow and The Spider. For more on The Shadow see my post, Existential Friday: MEMENTO MORI & The Fruit of Knowledge . The Spider was a Pulp Magazine hero, Richard Wentworth that was specifically created (1933) to compete for the same target audience as The Shadow. Creepier and more violent, The Spider wore an elaborate disguise that included fangs, a fright wig of long witchy-hair , and a hunch back. The Spider also carried a thin silken line (his “web”) which had a breaking strain of several hundred pounds. One distinguishing feature of The Spider was his “calling card.” Wentworth often left a red-ink “spider” image like a drop of blood on the foreheads of the criminals that he slew so others would not be blamed for his crimes. His portrayal on the magazine cover was more in keeping with the romantic masked hero.
Dynamite Comics, which has recently began publishing The Shadow in comic-book form has also followed with a version of the Spider. The designs have been created by Alex Ross. It was inspired by the movie serial.
The tradition of the masked figure who takes on evil and fear by becoming the image of fear is very powerful, at times horrific, while at other times dashing and romantic. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a literary template of this figure. It is obvious that these figures hold a powerful influence on us. After all Both The Shadow and The Spider influenced the creation of The Bat-man and all comic-book superheroes . The connection to The Amazing Spider-man who climbs walls and uses webbing can be traced to these early pulp figures. The following images are intended to suggest some of the mystery of the mask and the spider that holds our fascination, even in this era. The colours imitate the lurid bloody pulps.
Once again dear readers we bring you another Existential Friday. This week’s episode entitled, Memento Mori & The Shadow is brought to by Synchronicity and Memories of Childhood. This week’s episode begins as usual with your host, messing about on his computer with a variety of photographs, textures, and cascade of ideas & multiple associations. From Antique Angels came a bit of a surprise. An image that resembled the Angel of Death sort of, um a little, well a bit of stretch. Potential was there, but it required work .
Your host began considering what to call, what could possibly be a series of images. How about Memento Mori – a Latin phrase translated as “Remember your mortality”. Well this blog content stuff can consume you and sometimes you take a break and visit your fellow bloggers to see their latest endeavors . So off your host went to see Syncopated Eyeball and the newest post waiting to greet him was, Drive Safely filed under, ….. Memento Mori. Hello Synchronicity!
Now, this sign from the digital universal unconsciousness gave me encouragement that the idea wasn’t dead before it started, but something was missing. Well it just so happened that there was an announcement this week and some advertising to stir up buzz for the new comic version of that great Pulp Magazine and Golden Age Radio man of mystery, The Shadow. Dynamite Comics were launching a new series of The Shadow.
Now for those of you who are too young or poorly informed on certain areas of Mass Media cultural history, There is no fictional character to better convey the concept of Memento Mori and a sense of existential choice than The Shadow.
As to our other sponsor, Memories of Childhood, I had the fortune of having slightly older parents than most of my peers. They told me about the growing up in the Golden Age of Radio, when the theatre of the mind was home & family entertainment. I knew all about The Shadow, Lights Out and the Martian Invasion and when in the mid-1960’s there was a revival broadcast of sorts of the old radio dramas I was ready.
Note: There may be more than three face in my piece, if so they are further signs of synchronicity or The Shadow.
For more information about Pulp Magazines , The Shadow, and Mass Media cultural history see my post Superheroes Part 1:”It’s A Bird… It’s A Plane… It’s A Target Audience !” from Media Literacy blog and my Pulp Heroes Resource Page for Media Literacy Students.
For other explorations of Pulp Magazines on this blog just click the pulp link in the cloud tag. You may wish to start with, Doc WordPress vs. The Phantom Referrers ! .
Those who have browsed this blog or my media literacy blog will know that I have an interest in pulp magazines and related literature and media. The photographs in this post reflect that interest. All of these images could be used as covers of for pulp magazines or hard-boiled mystery novels.
These blue-grey compositions in particular were intended to evoke the atmosphere and mood of the classic film noir ; it is amazing what you can find in your garden & home when you look at it from a different point of view/style. If you are interested in the Bloody Pulps and film noir check out the resource page I set up for my Media and English classes: Pulp Fiction : Media History .
Here is something a bit dark and mysterious, a deep red lily in a strange mystic case. Perhaps it is a flower from the Gardens of Ulthar. Maybe it is a cursed or blessed flower from Ancient Eagyptia. Could it be a clue to a murder mystery involving a collector of rare artifacts or a prize at a garden party that has been attended by a Great Detective ? Is it a sought by a heroic wanderer on great quest ? Does a pulp hero race to acquire it before the master mind of evil can use it dominate mankind ? Or could it be an image a beautiful flower from a Northern Ontario Garden that has undergone some digital magic ?
Enjoy the possibilities !