Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Sacred and the Profane

Two books I was told about when I was in San Diego last year deserved this blog title.

1. Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ross MacDonald

This is a children's book about how Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman. You know, the typical rags to riches story with an inspirational spin to it that is good for the kids.

I was first informed about this book by my friend, Phil Yeh who had his own encounter with Jerry Siegel that helped to put the Superman creators' names back into the Superman comic books:

Nobleman contacted Phil for info about the Siegel and Shuster story.

Blame it all on Gerard Jones and his Men of Tomorrow (2004), which revived the interest in the injustice and indignation faced by Siegel and Shuster who were surviving at nearly poverty line (Siegel was a messenger 'boy' while Shuster was nearly blind by that time) when Christopher Reeve was about to take off on the big screen as the Man of Steel in the mid 1970s.

Recent additions to the narrative:

But I saved the best for the last.

2. Secret-Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman's Co-Creator Joe Shuster by Craig Yoe, another good friend of mine. I won't say more about it but you can see some preview pages at and also Craig has put some pages in his earlier book, Clean Cartoonists' Dirty Drawings (2007). It's a really sad story.

Up, up and away!

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