Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Shark, Tom. Tom Shark was created by “Pitt Strong,” the pseudonym of the German author Elisabeth von Aspern (Black Bird, Wolf Greif, Tom Silvan) and appeared in Tom Shark, der König der Detektivs #1-553 (1928-1939) and Tom Shark #1-14 (1939); the series was reprinted across Europe throughout the 1930s. Tom Shark was one of the most popular of the heftromane.
Tom Shark is a Great Detective modeled on Sexton Blake. Shark is a world-famous consulting detective, operating out of a lush apartment in Berlin and assisted by the hound Griffin and the Watson-like Dr. Pitt Strong. Shark’s adventures take him around the world and into conflict with every pulp archetype, from Femmes Fatale to Mad Scientists to Yellow Perils to Evil Surgeons. He fights living statues, curse- and prophecy-spouting mummy heads, a Brain in a Jar which happens to be Caligula’s brain, the Black Hand, the Lupin Mac Norton, living mummies, Lord Lister, Baal cultists, and the unusually intelligent and malicious “ape of Benares.” In Tibet Shark is given a golden crocodile paw which has the power to foretell deaths. Tom Shark #623, “Der Napoleon des Verbrechens,” established that Sherlock Holmes had taught Shark and that Shark, following Holmes’ “death” at the Reichenbach Falls, picked up the pursuit of Prof. Moriarty’s organization.
In 1939 the Nazi government forced von Aspern to cancel Tom Shark; von Aspern replaced it with Wolf Greif (see: Wolf Greif).
Shark appears in stories with titles like "Mister X," "The House of Horror," and "The Patient of Dr. Harbichs."
* I'm including Tom Shark, der König der Detektivs in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of its ideapslosions. Tom Shark was as mentioned one of the most popular heftromane, a brother to the equally popular Harald Harst and John Kling heftromane. The main difference between Tom Shark and the Harst and Kling heftromane was that Elisabeth von Aspern was willing to go along with the Nazi regime's strictures in the 1930s where the authors of Harst and Kling were not. So Tom Shark, though overflowing with the best kind of ideasplosions and crossovers, has a greater number of racist and antisemitic moments than the Harst and Kling heftromane did, and consequently should be read with caution.
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