I’ve often spoken of discovering comics when my mother gave me an issue of Superman (or maybe Action) when I was six. In short order, I began devouring larger-than-life heroes in earnest. Thankfully, DC and Marvel were able to keep up with my growing appetite and it wasn’t long before my father convinced me to add actual books to the diet.
By the time I got to summer camp, I was 10 or so, and had been told of these earlier heroes – Doc Savage, The Shadow, and Conan among them – who lived in dime magazines called the pulps. Somewhere along the way, I began buying Lancer’s set of Robert E, Howard’s adventures, fronted with those gorgeous Frank Frazetta covers. Soon after, Pyramid began releasing reprints of Maxwell Grant’s The Shadow (with those great Jim Steranko covers).
A local radio station ran a different old time radio drama at 7 p.m. on weeknights and X Minus One Saturday nights. I got to thrill to the exploits of The Shadow, the Lone Ranger, and other series.