Currently, I'm rapidly finishing up commissioned stories for The Phantom, Ki-Gor the Jungle Lord, Black Angel, and a non-pulp related science fiction tale, as I partially clear my desk-load to begin writing the new adventures of THE SPIDER. I'm immensely nervous and very excited to begin.
In the meantime, I thought perhaps some of you might be interested in seeing my box text for ReelArt Studio's sinisterly sensational statue of the Master of Men, written three years ago. It was an honor and a privilege being asked to provide this brief piece, and it has helped connect my name even closer with that of this fabulous favorite character.
If you're a fan of THE SPIDER, or of genre sculpture in general, I highly recommend the statues of ReelArt Studios.
The Spider, a.k.a. wealthy criminologist Richard Wentworth, is perhaps most popularly viewed by his frenzied multitude of followers as the most vicious hero from the Bloody Pulps of the 1930s and 40s. His justice was swift, merciless, and absolute. He was, in fact, far more terrible than any of the bizarre and murderous fiends that were fatally unfortunate enough to become entangled in his Web of Justice.
However, there was much more to the cackling, cape-swirling mystery man than mere wanton savagery.
In September, 1933, Popular Publications first introduced The Spider—Master of Men—to the hungry eyes of the pulp-reading public and he soon took the newsstands by storm. The Spider’s monthly adventures reached mythic proportions as Wentworth’s
Under the breathless, white-hot searing prose of writer Norvell Page, the Spider’s most frequent chronicler, Richard Wentworth is the most fully realized and fascinating personality of all the classic crime fighters. None of the other pulp heroes were nearly as three dimensional, angst-ridden, nor as tragically human as the Spider.
Wentworth’s passion and conviction were shared by his beloved Nita Van Sloan, who knew his darkest secrets, and often fought the apocalyptic menaces, ever threatening, bravely and brazenly, at the Spider’s side. There was no other romantic relationship in the pulps quite like them.
Today, over seventy years later, the Spider’s chaotic classic adventures continue to be savored by a fiercely loyal and ever-expanding fan base.
Most recently Moonstone Books has considerably added to the mythos of the Master of Men by publishing THE SPIDER Chronicles, an anthology of brand new tales for the growing audience of crime pulp fiction. For me, as a writer, one of the biggest thrills of my career was being a part of this revival as one of the very few, very lucky authors who has experienced the rare fortune of adding to those original pulse-pounding 118 classic Spider novels. It was a dream come true.
Now, most appropriately, Richard Wentworth’s awesome alter-ego has come to life in true glorious three dimensions in this magnificent unique statue by Reel Art, skillfully rendered by William Paquet, reigning master sculptor of the macabre. The Spider figure is wondrously detailed, from his twin .45s, steely evil-seeking eyes, and the famous arachnid-embossed signet ring. Further delighting Spider fans is the bonus addition of an alternate head. Along with the iconic masked version, as seen on most of the action-filled cover paintings from the original pulp magazines, the gruesomely fanged, fright-wigged, wild-eyed monster-hero from the chilling text itself is also generously included.
Above the Law! More deadly than the Underworld! Feared, hated, and wanted by both…Beware!
The Spider—Master of Men!