John Jos. Miller’s CREATURE FEATURE

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PULP COVER FRIDAY: MORE ARACHNOCENTRIC FUN!

One last look at the mind-bending covers of the Spider magazine, which chronicled the adventures of yet another man about town criminal-hunting vigilante. Only this one (as a glance at the covers will tell you) is border-line crazy. And I’m probably understating that.

As you see, their rich luridness continued for another two years or so. At some point, apparently they hired a cover artist who ACTUALLY READ THE STORIES and the Spider is depicted as described (I’ve included an example or two), but then they went back to the domino mask. By late 1940, however, the covers became basically Shadow clones, showing a guy (sometimes even holding twin automatics) shooting it out with various gangs of criminals (though there are a couple of shout-outs to his loyal Sikh servant). Gone are the crazy Rube Goldberg death machines. Gone are the knife-wielding Thugees and Highbinders. Though the story titles, at least, remain remarkably over the top.

The last Spider cover.

I’ll be out of town next week, but fear not. Using the god-like technology granted us mortals in this electronic golden age, I will converse with you from the past — if I can find the time. I can’t say where I’m going, but I can reveal that it is part of a dangerous quest to track down the dreaded Dragonhuahua in its natural habitat. Once thought to be merely a mythological beast, I have proof positive that this fearful creature does actually exist (for said proof check, what else?, my facebook page). I hope to come back intact from this perilous journey into the realm of cryptozoology by the end of next week, and, god willing, I will have photos.

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