Featureshoot reviews a book of old family photos with one creepy similarity:

The predator first appeared in the 1920s, lingering in the peripheries of family vacations, childhood playdates, and backyard gatherings until the 1970s, when he vanished from view. The predator was conceived in the mind of art collector Jean-Marie Donat, who hunted down dozens of vintage snapshots that share only one common trait: the rising shadow of an unidentified man in a hat.


This isn't a predator. It's the Whistler. Someone in the comments says it's the Shadow, but you can't see the Shadow.

BTW: the Shadow is often held up as an example of the great old days of radio, usually by people who haven't heard it. The show was aimed at 13 year-olds. Where to begin? The weed of crime bears bitter fruit! Crime does not pay. The Shadow knows. Okay, that's excessive. Pick one or the other. What evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows. Is this simply from experience, or some keen insight based on special powers? Because he has one power, and that's invisibility. Hence the name, the Shadow. How does he do it? Well, Lamont Cranston, wealthy young man-about-town, spent some time in the Orient, where he learned the art of clouding men's minds. Just by showing up in a room he tricks people into thinking they can't see him, or locate him by his voice. (Or cologne.) How? Well, it's one of those . . . yogi-fakir things, I don't know. Everyone just accepted that it was so.

The plots were rarely suspenseful; it was just a matter of getting the Shadow alone in a room with an underling or the main crook, and then the Shadow getting trapped, and then escaping. What made it interesting for a while was the actor: Orson Welles, knowing this was waaaay beneath his talents, but what the heck - steady money and national fame. It's like, oh, Alec Guiness playing Obi-Wan. Except Welles was 22 years old.

Now that I think of it, this could be the Sandeman guy. Anyway, more here - with a link to buy the book.

After the Shadow came the comic-book heroes, and you can't talk about them without taking about Stan.  Vulture's Abraham Reisman has written an exhaustive account of the struggle to identify Stan Lee's reputation. 

A comic-book Methuselah, Lee is also, to a great degree, the single most significant author of the pop-culture universe in which we all now live. This is a guy who, in a manic burst of imagination a half-century ago, helped bring into being The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, and the dozens of other Marvel titles he so famously and consequentially penned at Marvel Comics in his axial epoch of 1961 to 1972. That world-shaking run revolutionized entertainment and the then-dying superhero-comics industry by introducing flawed, multidimensional, and relatably human heroes — many of whom have enjoyed cultural staying power beyond anything in contemporary fiction, to rival the most enduring icons of the movies (an industry they’ve since proceeded to almost entirely remake in their own image).


Lee’s biggest credit is the perception that he was the creator of the insanely lucrative Marvel characters that populate your local cineplex every few months, but Lee's role in their creation is, in reality, profoundly ambiguous. Lee and Marvel demonstrably — and near-unforgivably — diminished the vital contributions of the collaborators who worked with him during Marvel's creative apogee. That is part of what made Lee a hero in the first place, but he’s lived long enough to see that self-mythologizing turn against him.

This seems a bit much:

Over the last few decades, the man who saved comics has become — to some comics lovers, at least — a villain.

And this seems just plain wrong:

And, to certain comics fans, something of a joke.

No. I don't mean the author's wrong; the "certain comics fans" are wrong/. The article addresses the question of freezing out artists Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, but it's not as if Stan didn't write the words that made those comics work. All you have to do is look at the work Ditko did on his own or with Charlton, and the work Kirby did for DC. Neither had Stan's style or energy.

The article gives the other side, and I think the writer does a brilliant job wrapping it up, probably because I agree with what he says. It's worth a read even if you're not interested in comics; with rock & roll and TV,  it's one of the most important pop-culture inventions of the second-half of the 20th century.