Wednesday June 30, 2010 9:56 pm
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster: Funnyman
After many years of struggle, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster hit the comic book jackpot with their creation Superman, only to see it slip away from their control and for DC Comics to keep not just the rights but almost all the money as well. One of the many dark chapters in the building of the comics industry – businesses profiting by taking away the rights of creators.
Frustrated by their attempts to negotiate with DC, and out of work when DC dumped them for complaining (and filing suit), they did what creators do: created another property where they were determined to get a better deal for themselves.
The project was Funnyman, a red-headed TV comedian who fought crime. Unfortunately, the self-titled comic book, for Vince Sullivan’s Magazine Enterprises, lasted just 6 issues in 1948 and a companion newspaper strip defined the term short-lived.
Read More | Feral House
Now, since we live in a new golden age where everything is being reprinted, Feral House is issuing a collection of Funnyman’s adventures. Called Siegel and Shuster’s Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero From The Creators Of Superman, the book is compiled and edited by Thomas Andrae (long a contributor to the Fantagraphics line of books and magazines, so he’s got the necessary cred) and Mel Gordon. The preface is by Danny Fingeroth, the one-time Spider-Man editor who is now the Senior VP of Education at MOCCA, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, so he also knows a thing or two about comics.
The 200-page full color book goes on sale July 15, so get your wallet ready. I’m sure copies will be available at Comic Con International, almost certainly in Bud Plant’s section of awesomeness.
YouTube has the promotional video for the book.
The Arty Semite blog has a nice overview of the book: “Andrae and Gordon contextualize Funnyman — undoubtedly timed to coincide with the newly founded State of Israel — within imaginings of Jewish masculinity and the larger cultural trend of Semitic superheros.”
And finally, the Twomorrows website has an interview up with Dick Ayers (conducted by Brian K. Morris) where he talks briefly about his work for Shuster on Funnyman.
[Artwork: Cover to Siegel and Shuster’s Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero from the Creators of Superman]
- Related Tags:
- comic con international, comic strip, danny fingeroth, dc, dc comics, fantagraphics, feral house, funnyman, jerry siegel, joe shuster, mel gordon, mocca, reprints, superman, thomas andrae
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