Once upon a time two guys living in Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, came up with one of the most iconic of all superhero comic characters, Superman. Desperate to break into comics, they sold the rights for $130. Years later they sued but failed to regain control of the last son of Krypton. When the Superman movie was coming out in the late 70s, DC finally succumbed to public pressure and gave the two a pension and credit. But what happened during those many years in between? Joe Shuster, justifiably bitter, got seriously pervy.
The crazy thing is we’d never even know about it if someone hadn’t found all this work in a junk box at a used bookseller’s stall — a rare heap of “Nights of Horror,” a comic so sleezy it was sold under the counter until banned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Experts in the field were able to tell it was Shuster’s work and the results have been bound up and published as “Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster.”
The popular theory is that Shuster’s characters look like Superman, Lois Lane and friends as an act of wrathful revenge. Nice little write up in the Library Journal right here.
In other news of the perverse, Ron English, R. Sikoryak and myself will be presenting a panel at San Diego Comic-Con this summer entitled “Pop Perversity: Parody in Comics & Art.” Going to be some serious fun — hope you have tickets ’cause the con is totally sold out! More details as we get closer to the date. (I’ll also be signing books — I think it’s 3pm on Friday at the Chronicle Books booth. I’ll check that as we get closer to the date.)