Monday, April 22, 2013


The last time Judy and I visited Las Vegas in the fall of 2011, we made a trip to the World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop as seen on PAWN STARS on the History Channel. We're big fans of that show as millions of others. When we arrived at the store, we had to wait in a line for several minutes to get in. It was explained to us that the crew from the television show was shooting some close-ups and "B" roll footage and we weren't allowed to enter until after the shooting had ended. None of the stars of the show were in the shop that day but we had a ton of fun looking around. Every time I watch an episode of PAWN STARS, it's still hard to believe that I was actually in that store. 

The store is basically one long, narrow space with display cases at the front and back of the store. In between those areas (and rarely shown on television) is a store-within-a-store selling PAWN STARS merchandise of every conceivable type. I wanted to buy something while I was there but I didn't find anything that really floated my boat and I didn't want to spend money just to say "I got it at the PAWN STARS pawn shop." Judy did buy a nice ring and I finally popped for an official World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop black polo shirt and matching black ball cap. 

But all was not lost for as we exited the pawn shop we spied a "vintage Vegas" antique store in the next block down the street. We walked over and went into the store and found a wealth of treasures. It was in this shop that I scored the pulp magazine pictured above (and some others that will be featured in future posts). 

This is THE SPIDER magazine for March, 1943, the last year of publication for the venerable bloody hero  pulp. I've not yet read RECRUIT FOR THE SPIDER LEGION but I love the cover and I've enjoyed all of the previous Spider pulp reprints I've read. 

If you've never encountered this character before, The Spider is the alter-ego of one Richard Wentworth, a playboy millionaire who dons a slouch hat, a cloak, a fright-wig, fangs and gruesome make-up to fight crime as The Spider. Oh, and he also has a pair of .45 automatics which regularly "spit death." Wentworth is aided in his battle by Police Commissioner Kirkpatrick, his faithful man-servant Ram Singh and the love of his life, Nita Van Sloan. The Spider is blood thirsty than Doc Savage or The Shadow but he has to be due to the apocalyptic menaces he encounters. No mere mobsters and masked villains for The Spider. Wentworth clashed with evil on a grand scale, colorful and lurid fiends who menaced entire cities, nations and the world. The titles for these fast paced, thrill-a-minute adventures are wonderfully evocative: THE SILVER DEATH RAIN, HELL ROLLS ON THE HIGHWAYS, THE SPIDER AND THE SLAVES OF HELL, ZARA-MASTER OF MURDER, REIGN OF THE DEATH FIDDLER, CITY OF WHISPERING DEATH, PRINCE OF THE RED LOOTERS and THE CITY THAT DARED NOT EAT are just some of the titles to be found in the Spider's casebook. 

If you like DOC SAVAGE and THE SHADOW, try THE SPIDER. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. Big fan of The Spider! In addition to the pulps, he also appeared in two serials, and even though the costume is not quite right, they are still very exciting and we get to see some of The Spider's disguises. Just finished reading the reprinted "Black Police Trilogy" a couple of weeks ago, in which The Spider moves from crime fighter to freedom fighter for three issues.