Superman at 70

Joe Shuster’s cover, Superman #1.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Superman. As an offshoot of the celebrations I was interviewed at length about the meaning of the superhero genre by the CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi for the radio program Q. You can listen to an Mp3 file of the interview here
 

Superman Never Made Any Money

Action #1 — the birth of Superman and many lawsuits.

 

Superman never made any money

Saving the world from Solomon Grundy

— Crash Test Dummies, Superman’s Song

 

The story of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, has been in the news lately due to a big court decision. I look back on the history here.

 

An excerpt:

 

The injustice of Superman

by Jeet Heer

 

In 1933 two teenage boys came up with a billon-dollar idea: Superman, a character that would join the pop culture pantheon with Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and Mickey Mouse. But instead of profiting from their brainstorm they ended up with a lifetime of legal bills, borderline poverty and soul-eating bitterness. They were two nerdy Cleveland kids, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, geeks lacking in social skills and spending most of their adolescent spare time reading sci-fi pulps and comic strips. Their boyhood fantasies and reading habits led them to create the world’s most popular superhero.

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