Tom Roberts at Black Dog Books has published a fascinating little gem with Unmasked which is subtitled “The Forgotten Origins of Hollywood’s Most famous Westerns Heroes.” Included here are the original The Cisco Kid, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, and Hopalong Cassidy. The introduction by Francis M. Nevins places this collection in its proper historical context. Each section is prefaced by an editorial note by Tom Roberts, all of which adds a scholarly tone to this enjoyable collection. For my money the real treat here is the concluding Lone Ranger story, “The Masked Rider’s Justice,” from 1937. The actual author is unknown but the story is worth reading. The pulp influence on the later Lone Ranger television series is evident in this little known pulp tale. Tom Roberts and Black Dog Books are publishing beautifully designed books and naturally the content is extraordinary. Unmasked is a welcome addition to my pulp library.
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