Saturday, December 28, 2013


Recently published by Anthony Tollin’s Sanctum Books is The Spider
#2: The Devil’s Paymaster & The Benevolent Order of Death
The volume features two pulp magazine adventures of the “Master of
Men” by Norvell W. Page, writing as Grant Stockbridge.  Though the
two connected stories have been reprinted before, this is the first
time they have been collected in a single volume.

“The Devil’s Paymaster” was first published in the May 1941 issue
of The Spider. From the back cover:

The Devil’s Paymaster deals torturous radioactive death, and only
the Spider can restore honor to the Statue of Liberty.

“The Benevolent Order of Death” appeared in the June 1941 issue of
magazine.  From the back cover:

Nita infiltrates the supposedly patriotic Benevolent Order of
Americans, and a new Spider arises after Richard Wentworth is shot
in the back.

This volume’s extra features are extra special.  Will Murray’s “The
Web” discusses Spider supporting characters and the letters column
that ran in the magazine.  Then Anthony Tollin writes of faithful
fan Virginia “Nanek” Combs and how Norvell Page wrote a short story
for her.  That story tells of “A Certain Meeting” between Richard
Wentworth (The Spider) and Nita van Sloan.  The story, previously
published only in the 1978 Xenophile #40, is also reprinted in this

As with the other Sanctum Books series - Doc Savage, The Shadow
and others - these Spider adventures are entertaining journeys into
the heroic fiction of the pulp era.  They’re wonderfully made books
and I regularly despair that I might never get around to reading
them all.  But what I can do is let you know about the new releases
as they appear.  More Sanctum Books news is on the way.

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. Try as I might, I cannot get hold of one of these locally. I'm going to have to give the website a tumble and get caught up.

    Rip Off

  2. Awhile ago Del Rey Books produced the collected Conan, Kull and other various Howard characters in large paperbacks and hardcovers. I wish this was the same for The Spider, Shadow and Doc Savage. I love them all but can't afford that $14.95 cover price for two stories. I wish there was a way I could get a complete collection in paperback or e book without putting out so much money for two short novels.

    Most recently I read the Spider vs the Robots Titans and I was hooked. After that I wanted to read all the Spider stories. I can see where Stan Lee got the inspiration for Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and all his characters. It's all right there in the pulp fiction of the time. I wish the publisher would consider collecting these in a format where a fan like myself could get every story in the collection without buying it volume by volume.