Gold Mask is Edogawa Rampo's sixth novel featuring detective Akechi Kogorō, as he investigates the crime spree of the uncanny costumed “Gold Mask.” Lovers of crime fiction will be delighted to discover that this resourceful thief, confounding Akechi’s every move, is none other than Maurice Leblanc's famous "gentleman burglar," Arsene Lupin! Given Lupin's obvious influence on Rampo's own Fiend with Twenty Faces, this work serves as a fascinating precursor to his Boy Detectives series, and marks another major step in the development of Japanese detective fiction in the period between the Wars.
The novel was originally published as a newspaper serial in 1930-31, and has since been collected and released by a variety of publishers, including a revised children's edition from Poplar as part of the Boy Detectives series and in the definitive Kobunsha edition of Rampo's complete works, on which this translation is based.
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About the Author
This part of his career coincided with a great flowering in Japanese literature and culture, a relatively free and uninhibited popular press being a defining feature of the times. In this context, Rampo's dark vision and extravagant grotesquery found an avid readership, and had a profound influence on other writers. Public morals tightened in the years leading up to Japan's Asian and Pacific wars, and censorship was tight in the war years. Rampo's early work fell out of favor, and he turned to adventure stories with detective characters in leading roles. After the war, he concentrated on stories for young readers, and on developing the Japan Association of Mystery Writers.
The Edogawa Rampo Prize, originally endowed by Rampo himself, is awarded annually to the finest work of the year in the mystery genre. It is the most important prize of its type in Japan. Edogawa Rampo-whose name is meant to be read as a punning reference to 'Edgar Allan Poe'-remains popular and influential in Japan. His work remains in print, in various different editions, and his stories provide the background for a steady stream of film, television, and theatrical adaptations.
William Varteresian is a translator currently living just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. He is a lover of weird tales and detective fiction, especially of the early twentieth century, and hopes to make more of Japan's distinguished history of imaginative and bizarre tales accessible to Western readers.
Mike Dubisch can see into other dimensions, they say.
His art and subject matter are pulled from pulp science-fiction, EC comics, Heavy Metal, fantasy art and horror fiction, and he cites his greatest influences fantasy and comics illustrators Frank Frazetta, Richard Corben, Bernie Wrightson, Moebius, Barry Windsor Smith, Wally Wood, Greg Irons, Alex Niño and Jack Kirby.
In recent years Dubisch has become a figure in the world of Cthulhu Mythos fandom, publishing his Cthulhu Mythos space fantasy Weirdling, a graphic novel collecting his independent comic books, and releasing the limited edition collectible art-book The Black Velvet Necronomicon: Black Velvet Cthulhu.
Dubisch paintings are usually created in mixed media, utilizing pencil, colored ink, gouache, and colored pencil. In his work, he strives to put human into the inhuman-to render the unreal as real-to make a static image appear full of movement, and to render shadow as full of light.