His character was born through a publication called: “The Detective Story Magazine.” With radio becoming very popular, the owners of the magazine thought it would help their sales if they created a radio program to follow the storyline of their magazine. It worked brilliantly especially since Orson Welles did some of Gibson’s radio shows.
From there it became one of the first successful comic books and The Shadow also ended up on comic strips, television, video games, and was part of at least five feature films. The last movie was in 1994 and it starred Alec Baldwin.
Most people think of characters like Batman and Superman when it comes to the original superhero comics, but the fact is, The Shadow appeared around nine years before they did and around 30 years before Spider-Man. Gibson was truly a visionary.
Here’s a shout out to Walter Gibson, the creator of The Shadow as he deserves to be remembered. Gibson wrote more than a hundred books on magic, psychic phenomena, true crime, mysteries, rope knots, yoga, hypnotism, and games. He created a magic trick that turns a nickel into a dime and it’s still being sold in magic stores to this day. He served as a ghost writer for books on magic and spiritualism by Harry Houdini.
Gibson was born in 1897 and died in 1985. Can you imagine the things he experienced in his lifetime (i.e. the first cars, the Great Depression, appliances, a man on the moon, four major wars, etc.)? I find it astonishing that he created what he did when he did, because he was able to become successful during The Great Depression. He was an amazing man.