Downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, in the mid 1940’s was a bustling metropolis for a boy of 7 just away from the farm and ranch community where he was born. My father, a cook and cowboy by trade, had just started as one of the first cooks for the Casa Manana restaurant in 1947. He moved us to an apartment on Ohio Street, right across from the Gem Theater, between 7th and 8th Streets. It’s here that we would stay for the next three years. The Gem Theater became a magic palace for a young mind. But it had to share that distinction with the rest of the magic that was Wichita Falls. I attended San Jacinto and Carrigan elementary schools, as well as Reagan Junior High, and belonged to the Boys Club on 6th Street. Please join, and share your stories and pictures through a Guest Blog, of early Wichita Falls - or your home town. Contact me at or leave a comment. We could use old pictures of movie houses, drive-in theaters, and other nostalgic pictures related to our youths.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Black Hood - From Comic Books To Pulps

The Black Hood
From Comic Book To Pulp

The Black Hood first appeared in MLJ Comics in October of 1940, quickly becoming one of their top comic books. MLJ would experiment with bringing the character to the pulps, as well as radio.
#1 Death’s Five Faces

The character was a police officer framed for a crime he didn’t commit by master criminal The Skull. “Death’s Five Face” was published in the September 1841 issue of BLACK HOOD DETECTIVE.
#2 The Corpse Came C.O.D.

Wounded, and left to die, he was found by The Hermit, who brought him back to health, and gave him a bit of extra power to battle crooks. Wearing his comic book costume in the pulp magazines might have been a mistake, as the pulp series only lasted three issues. He began in the comic books, and that was where he belonged. The second issue, containing “The Corpse Came C.O.D.” was published in HOODED DETECTIVE, November 1941.
#3 The Whispering Eye

Prolific pulp writer, G. T. Fleming-Roberts, brought the character of The Black Hood to the pulps. He was a short story writer, appearing in most of the pulp magazines of the time, as well as several single character pulps. Secret Agent X had only recently ceased, and The Ghost Detective, later called The Green Ghost Detective, was starting over at STANDARD. Roberts was an excellent writer, but sales must not have been very good, so The Black Hood was dropped from the pulps. It may have had something to do with the costume, I don’t know. But it’s interesting that a comic book character moved over to the pulps. Normally, it was the other way around. Many pulp characters made the transition to comic books.

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