Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster--the Creators of Superman

Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster--the Creators of Superman

Brad Ricca

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 0312643802

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In time for the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel, comes the first comprehensive literary biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of the DC Comics superhero Superman and the inspiration for Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay.
Drawing on ten years of research in the trenches of Cleveland libraries, boarded-up high schools, and secret, private collections, and a love of comic books, Brad Ricca's Super Boys is the first ever full biography about Superman's creators. Among scores of new discoveries, the book reveals the first stories and pictures ever published by the two, where the first Superman story really came from, the real inspiration for Lois Lane, the template for Superman's costume, and much, much more. Super Boys also tracks the boys' unknown, often mysterious lives after they left Superman, including Siegel's secret work during World War II and never-before-seen work from Shuster.

Super Boys explains, finally, what exactly happened with the infamous check for $130 that pulled Superman away from his creators--and gave control of the character to the publisher. Ricca also uncovers the true nature of Jerry's father's death, a crime that has always remained a mystery. Super Boys is the story of a long friendship between boys who grew to be men and the standard that would be impossible for both of them to live up to.

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stopped being popular after the war. Now, in the 1960s, the company wanted to try again. So it brought back some of its 1940s characters in shinier versions—and, in true comics fashion, relaunched them. Jerry’s main contributions to Archie’s Radio Comics imprint were the superhero series The Web, The Fly, Steel Sterling and the Justice League rip-off book The Mighty Crusaders, which was inspired in part by a fan illustration that grouped them all together.10 The art was done in the long Marvel

Joanne and daughter Laura to be utterly charming. Joanne was the strong one, the rock that obviously kept Jerry steady, and much more talkative.15 Jerry’s story of growing up in Cleveland, meeting Joe, and creating a character they would sell for only $130 was mesmerizing to the two young comics journalists. Alan and Murray were determined to tell it to others, which they did, by pressing an LP of all their interviews and offering it to buyers. People put it on their turntables and listened to

representing each state, and people roared. They smiled and twirled. Jerry couldn’t picture himself with a gun. Part of him was actually looking forward to it, but at the same time he was dreading it beyond all comprehension. The Japanese had made it to Hawaii once before. And he had no cape. The army also had bad connotations for him. He knew from his father’s stories what it was like to be taken into an army against his will. Jerry didn’t even know how his dad got out. At least he wasn’t going

mentioned his work on “Take a Break” in any public interview. Jerry did other things—he saw movies at the USO and judged a cartoon contest for the Victory Club (the topic was “Problems of the Point System”). He even slid a few references to Superman in his column: While on the subject of Superman, a friend told me, “He tears down buildings, throws everything down that is in his way; goes through the air with the speed of light. But what’s so terrific about that? Did you ever see a soldier on a

lined their pockets a bit, but there were lots of bills to pay. He glanced around nervously. He knew everyone there was talking about him. He thought he saw Al Capp. He could almost see the famous movies that had been filmed here. He had heard Marlon Brando might actually be coming to judge the costume contest. Jerry sipped his drink and felt he was going to choke. His eyebrows went up. He was trying. He checked again. He felt as though his heart were beating in his fingertips; am I having a

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