The Shadow started as a narrator for a radio show meant to advertise the Detective Story Magazine pulps. As big fans of pulp fiction, from westerns to undersea tales, we wanted to honor The Shadow today, on the anniversary of his debut in 1930. He remained a narrator for a little over 5 years, before they decided to fashion him after the pulp hero of the same name, with his own stories (the pulp version of The Shadow started in 1931, after his narration debut).

The Shadow has many disguises as he travels the world avenging any wrongs. His persona differed slightly depending on the media, but he was always the mysterious Shadow, fedora and cape. From radio to books, to film and almost television, he traveled not just his fictional world, but made the rounds in ours too. He was even voiced on the air by a young Orson Welles for a year.

Spooky indeed. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men…?

the sneerdos

 

Enjoy this little overindulgent self-portrait of us as THE SHADOW, because this is the closest we will ever get to cosplaying. Drawings of ourselves.

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was born on July 24, 1900, and was the original quintessential irrepressible flapper of the times. Her life was a tumultuous roller coaster of good times and high drama, sailing high, young and beautiful, and then crashing into an insane asylum that burned to the ground with her still inside when she was about forty seven years old.

Not only did she inspire F. Scott Fitzgerald’s entire literary career, she was also the inspiration for a video game series I have never played: the Legend of Zelda. I can only imagine that it revolves around F. Scott Linkgerald wandering around a warped and terrifying fantasyland, trying to locate the eight pieces of her sanity, which she smashed to pieces due to some prophesy or something. There are villains who also resemble F. Scott and a lot of confusing social situations involving elixirs of booze and bathtub gin.

I have drawn Princess Zelda in honor of all of this.

princess zelda by Amanda Wood

Nothing can beat the splendor of the preserved beauty of nature for miles, lit by a setting sun while you sip a beer you snuck in. Public parks are great in nearly every form, and National Parks are a national treasure. There are 59 of them designated right now (although there are 417 units in the National Park Service) in these United States and I recommend racing your friends to visit the most.

At a lot of these parks, you’ll end up having to hike a bit. But good news! Hiking is just walking. Grab some fashionable yet comfortable sneakers, a reusable water bottle, and get your park on. Summer is the perfect season for sweating off your booty while enjoying one of these charming spots.

mt sneermore

Plus, they need us! We all know how politics go, and don’t you want America to still be here in hundreds of years, in the form of natural landmasses that we had little to do with? Show your support by visiting and indicating that you appreciate their existence. Our national parks are doing a really great job lately, and we should each and every one of us let them know!

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We, the writers of Sneer Campaign, are not complete philistines. Occasionally we like to raise our pinky fingers and sip on hot tea while discussing some of the finer things in this world. Sometimes we cover matters of history, other times we may speak at length about books we have read, or scientific breakthroughs that had been brought to our attention somehow. Other days, we sit around analyzing classic artworks — but never modern art because we are not sophisticated enough to “get” it!  

Today, we decided to take a look at the Last Supper, by some kid named Leonardo da Vinci. He had his day back in the 1400s, but do not let that frighten you. Those days were not so different than these days we are in now. So take our hands, readers, and appreciate the history of art, religious beliefs, flippant artistic subterfuge, and yes even a little Last Supper Day Miracle!

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Born on May 1, 1952, Martha “Calamity Jane” Cannary (or Canary) became a true frontier legend. Many of the claims about this gal were exaggerated, especially the ones she made herself. But she was a strong, memorable old-timey woman. And who knows if she would have found her place among those men without her tall tales.

scream insanity

 

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like all the way 90s

I always like to consider myself as “timeless.” I am Amanda Wood no matter what decade or location I am in, and that’s fine by me! Sometimes, though, I do feel like I might be very “90s” about things. It was the ten year span that I was an impressionable teen, so it makes sense that it would leave its stain on me for the rest of my life. And really, with hindsight making things clearer, it is probably a symptom of the ’90s to feel as though you were alone, or in any way apart from the others. A generation of alienated youths probably didn’t have a solid cohort base. I know buzzfeed makes a lot of lists that only ’90s Kids Would Understand, but I often wonder which of us would even bother making that kind of thing?

As an old person now, I derive a little satisfaction seeing that my classmates don’t really want to bother setting up class reunions. We kept the friends we wanted to keep. No one really wants to put forth that kind of effort, anyway. None of us really wants to awkwardly see how much we’ve aged or discuss shattered dreams or whatever. It’s nice. Thanks, class of ’98. I probably like you all better because it turns out we were all as antisocial as I thought only I was! Bonding from afar.

With that in mind, I always planned to preface this article with a disclaimer saying that my impression of the ’90s is probably extremely personal and just one tiny rare facet that is nothing like anyone else’s experience. But, no. I had a teen time probably like everyone else’s, at least in rural Ohio. I’ve heard it suggested that rural Ohio is kind of surprisingly horrible in many ways, so maybe the rest of you dear readers had some sort of decade of playing in flower fields and volunteering your time to good causes. Well la dee da, sunshine. Good for you.

 

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Habbo Hotel has been around since practically the beginning of the internet as we know it. Several of us have been held in its thrall, and maybe still go back to it from time to time. Maybe we are going to it today, in the present year of 2017. At any rate, it seems like a good idea to get the boot in the door and write a first article introducing our readers to the concept, as though you don’t all secretly keep accounts there, yourselves. I have been discussing it with everyone’s favorite Southern Man, Mr. Billy Holiday (my frequent cohort at the hotel a few years ago and actually he might have been on there far more than I actually was). We have realized that there were so many happenings over so many years that there are a few articles within us about this place, this should-be-totally-defunct place. But what is it?

you can never leave

 

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On January 9, 1859,  a remarkable baby was born. Well. It was probably a fairly normal baby, but then it grew into being a remarkable and bold lady. Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters and International Alliance of Women. She knew what was right, and knew what was stupid, and was unafraid to let it be known that she knew. By all accounts, Ms. Catt was intelligent, strong, and self-confident, and refused to follow conventions that seemed ridiculous to her. This means that she is an ideal model of a woman – of a human being of any gender – and we should all look up to her. And we should all print out this free coloring page and color it.

just color it

This bestie of Susan B. Anthony was great at organization and had grand ideals concerning dignity, world peace, and things of that nature. The League of Women Voters still exists and we will probably join, or at least support their endeavors in some ways – like letting you know about it and by giving you coloring pages. It would appear that we do not have the organizational abilities of this woman, our newest hero. Our newest role model. Color!

Dear 2016,

A lot of things happened this year… during you, 2016. Yes, I will go ahead and anthropomorphize you because that’s all the rage these days. I will talk to you as though you were a living entity filled with whims and aspirations, as though you decided who lived or died all year long. 2016, you are god, I guess, to a lot of people, but a form of god that they aren’t (entirely) frightened of being publicly angry at for things you have seemingly maliciously decided to do. How dare you be a living breathing creature of some type!?

watch out

 

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Born December 12, 1915, Frank Sinatra was a heroic figure of Hoboken virtues — particularly manliness and civic virtue. Most often, he is known as a singer and movie actor, but around my home town, he is best known as the founder Cincinnati, Ohio. It is not a widely known fact beyond this region, but the city was originally known as Sinsinatra and we were raised to revere his uprightness and strength of character.

In the 1960s, when it seemed that his stardom was losing its luster and that he would wind up being a penniless tragedy, the city he once called his kingdom distanced itself from him and renamed itself to Cincinnati, pretending that it had ties to ancient Rome somehow, for some reason. Of course, this angered Sinatra and he went on to build Las Vegas, known affectionately as Sin(atra) City, and he sure showed us by becoming the icon he is today, eternal and universal in all ways.

Still, there are statues that remain around town, and here is my humble sketch of the most prominent one. It is Sinatra wearing his classic tunic and fedora combo, in honor of his keen sense of style. He is holding out an ax wrapped in fine Cuban cigars and bound in what appears to be some skinny fashion neck ties, indicating his dislike of chopping timber and his love of cigars and finery. He is standing in front of a plow of some kind, a symbol of his love of fresh farm foods.

sinsinatra