Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

Jerome "Jerry" Siegel (October 17, 1914 – January 28, 1996) and Joseph "Joe" Shuster (July 10, 1914 - July 30, 1992) created Superman.

Joe and Jerry lived in the Glenville neighborhood and met attending Glenville High School, Class of 1932. Jerry wrote for The Torch, the school paper, and though he was shy and not terribly popular he was appreciated by the student body for his Tarzan parody, Goober the Mighty.

Joe was Canadian-born, moving with his family to Cleveland when he was 10. His eyesight was always terrible, and this is only one of the ways in which his artwork is so remarkable.

Jerry was born in Cleveland, his father owned a clothing store. His father died of a heart attack while the store was being robbed.

In 1934, after tossing an idea over and over in his head all night, repeatedly getting out of bed to hammer out more details, Siegel came up with the idea of a power, benevolent space-alien that resembled a man and came to Earth to protect people from criminals. Shuster drew the panels for a comic strip and they attempted to peddle it to publishers for four years before getting an offer to adapt it into a "comic" book format in 1938.

Shuster claims the hero, Superman, was meant to resemble Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., while his alter-ego Clark Kent was to look more like Harold Lloyd.

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman (Marc Tyler Nobleman & Ross MacDonald)

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