Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Siegel’

A Few Notes on Not So Funnyman


Friday, August 27, 2010

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A little more on Siegel and Shuster this week. Funnyman—a six-issue series and short-lived newspaper comic, 1947-49, featuring a character who fought villains with pranks and gags—was Superman creators Siegel and Shuster’s last grasp at something all their own. It didn’t go so well. The feature is partially reprinted and extensively written about in Thomas Andrae and Mel Gordon’s recent book Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero. It’s an odd entry in our current boom, situated less as a comic book of its time and more as an example of Jewish humor and the changing social mores possible for the artistic duo to capitalize on. (more…)

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Friday, August 20, 2010

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The best surprise of 2010’s ongoing orgy of comics history is Tom De Haven’s Our Hero: Superman on Earth. De Haven, already notable in comics for his Derby Dugan trilogy, which tracked a fictional character and his creator(s) through 20th century comics history, as well as for some excellent writing on Chester Gould, among other topics, has constructed a funny, incisive and warm account of Superman-the-character, and the men who made him in comics, film and television. The central question here is, “What, if anything, has Superman meant, and does the character still mean?” This could be a weight around the narrative, but instead allows De Haven plenty of room to nimbly explore all the facets of the character. De Haven is a wise and self-effacing guide, admitting to a childhood love of Superman, an adult disinterest, and that mortifying moment in 1992 when he stood in line to buy the “Death of Superman” comic book.  (more…)

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