| Born into an impoverished family of Norwegian immigrants, Lars Blackshoe's humble origins are positively Dickensian. In his memoirs, Blackshoe speaks of working long hours gutting fish on his father's boat; his lofty dreams were his only consolation. "I always wanted life on my terms, and now I do," concludes Blackshoe. It's a classic rags to riches story which propels the eager young Blackshoe into great wealth. But the source of his initial wealth still remains a mystery; and in his memoirs, Blackshoe simply states that he had a secret benefactor who wanted to give him a good start in life. "He got that money by selling his soul to the devil," remarks a vocal naysayer.
Though the source of his initial wealth remains a mystery, how he turned ten thousand dollars into billions is public knowledge. Fascinated by machines, Blackshoe invested in personal computers and home video games at just the right moment. "But what made him billions," explains his accountant Nesbit Melvin "was his monopoly on the genetic code; the Genome Project, he calls it. He patented most human genes, so that potential researchers would have to pay him to conduct research. There are those who claim that the secret Genome Project was originally the idea of Von Stupples of Stuttgart, but Blackshoe denies the charge. Some say that the knowledge gleaned (allegedly by coercion and unfair tactics) from genetic researchers has been thoroughly applied in the laboratory of Dr. Dingboit.
Recently called the "Norwegian Pirate," for his less than ethical tactics in creating a virtual monopoly in Cyberspace with LarsNet, Blackshoe has always maintained that he earned his wealth fair and square. However, Lars Blackshoe's fame derives less from his wealth but more from the eccentricity which wealth afforded. Allegations that he funded a series of secret experiments with Dr. Dingboit have never been refuted; but his memoirs mention nothing of his interest in creating new life forms. Of course, Lars Blackshoe, always attired in period costume, is an avid collector of rare and peculiar things and his pursuit of the ellusive MacGribbet resembles an almost Arthurian quest for the Holy Grail. "I've never met a more ambitious man," adds Melvin. "He wants it all. And you can believe that his Circus of Wonder will be the greatest spectacle ever witnessed by mankind."