Review Green Eyes By Walter B. Gibson-remonstrate

UnCategorized Although Walter B. Gibson is best known as the man who wrote over two hundred stories featuring The Shadow, it is a little-known fact that he also performed magic tricks, worked with Harry Houdini and wrote several acclaimed books on card tricks. Like so many of the pulp writers of the 30s and 40s, Gibson was something of a renaissance man, prolific and multi-talented, he later even wrote some chilling tales for Rod Serling’s paperback series based upon his famous Twilight Zone television program. Walter Gibson was born September 12, 1897 in Philadelphia. Like so many writers of that period he began his career as a newspaperman. He landed the coveted job of writing the pulp magazine adventures of The Shadow in 1931 when the publisher, Street & Smith, was looking for a way to capitalize on The Shadow’s popularity on radio. Writing under the pseudonym Maxwell Grant he ultimately wrote over two hundred Shadow novels between 1931 and 1949. Gibson’s acute interest in magic and the occult resulted in several professional associations that served him well in the years before he began writing The Shadow. He served as an uncredited editor for the pulp magazine Tales of Mystery and Magic which published five issues from December 1927 until April 1928. Gibson also contributed an article to the third issue titled "Daring Exploits of Houdini". Gibson also worked as a ghost writer for Harry Houdini and magician Harry Blackstone, Sr. He is also credited with writing Thurston’s 200 Tricks You Can Do (1926) and The Thurston Magic Lessons (1928) from the work of magician Howard Thurston. After Houdini’s death in 1926 Gibson compiled notes on Houdini’s act and published Houdini’s Escapes in 1931. After Houdini’s death, his widow Bess conducted seances and later engaged Gibson to preside over these seances which were conducted in New York’s Magic Towne House on Third Avenue. The house is no longer in operation but during its heyday was the pre-eminent spot to see magic acts on the east coast. Gibson’s knowledge of card tricks was extensive, so much so that throughout his life he entertained audiences with sleight-of-hand card tricks and other parlor tricks. He wrote The Magician’s Manual in 1933 and Magic Explained was published in 1949. During the Depression magic acts were a popular and inexpensive form of entertainment. Traveling carnivals, yet another popular venue of entertainment, invariably all featured a magic act of some type. These carnivals and their magicians inspired many thrilling pulp stories. Gibson wasn’t alone in that regard as numerous pulp writers wrote stories featuring magicians. Naturally, the magicians were often cast as villains. Gibson recognized the attraction and fascination people had for magic tricks, and with his wife Litzka authored The Complete Illustrated Book of the Psychic Sciences. This mammoth book featured explanations on astrology, divination, numerology and such lesser-known arcane arts as tasseography (a fortune telling technique that involves interpretation of tea leaves) and graphology (the study and analysis of handwriting). Of course Gibson’s work on The Shadow also reflected his interest in magic. The Shadow originated on radio in 1930 as the mysterious narrator of Detective Story Hour. When Gibson was hired to write the pulp magazine version a year later he characterized him as possessing hypnotic power such as he had seen demonstrated by Harry Houdini in addition to Houdini’s penchant for magical escapes. He also imbued The Shadow with Houdini and Thurston’s ability to create masterful illusions. This infusion of magical elements into pulp fiction became a staple plot device, and in the hands of quality writers would add an aura of mysticism to their stories. One of Gibson’s contemporaries, L. Ron Hubbard, would use magic as the centerpiece for one of his own classic stories, If I Were You. Such monthly pulp magazines as Uncanny Tales would often feature magicians in their moody stories. In one famous Shadow story, "Green Eyes" from 1932, Gibson pays homage to Houdini with an escape from a Chinese torture device not unlike Houdini’s famous Chinese Water Torture Cell. The stunt was recreated in 1953 for Houdini, a biopic starring Tony Curtis as the famous magician. Perhaps the best known magic stunt in history, the Chinese Water Torture Cell was recreated yet again in 1976 when Paul Michael Glaser portrayed him in The Great Houdini. The stunt involved a padlocked Houdini escaping from a water tank while submerged upside down. Gibson’s work and interest in the pulps have never waned. In 1994 Alec Baldwin starred as The Shadow, a film that was initially panned by critics but over time has become a fan favorite. Rumors are currently circulating in Hollywood that another big-budget Shadow movie is in the works. The Shadow novels are all being reprinted and Gibson’s many books on card tricks and magic remain in print. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: