Rediscovered: Yet More Fantômas

In a couple of hours I’m out the door for PulpFest (boom-boom-boom, boom-boom).

Noticed that for the first evening’s programming they have a talk titled The French Connection — “How French Literature May Have Influenced American Pulp Heroes.” Dumas. Fantômas. To which I say, hell, yes! Of course.

And as it happens, good old John D. Squires just popped in another tidbit about Fantômas, something he picked up from the Library of Congress newspaper website.

JDS writes, “Presumably for copyright reasons, it only includes digital copies of papers published through 1922, which pretty much leaves Hammett out of the loop, but I found five Shiel stories & a great mass of Louis Tracy serials & other stuff.

“Also just did a quick look for Fantômas. If any of your readers are interested, among lots of ads you can now see some of the stories as published in the Perrysburg Journal in Oct & Nov 1916. Sample attached. I’ll leave it to the Fantômas fans to dig out the rest. . . .”

So, if you’re intrigued by this serial villain, who by twists and turns of influence led to The Shadow, and Batman, hop on the site and search for the newspaper for those months — or just plain old Fantômas — and see what you find. The masks, black clothing, rooftop scenes, noir cityscapes, death traps — who doesn’t dig it?

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