Washington, Jun 23: A Case Western Reserve University English instructor has brought out the creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel, the writer, and Joe Shuster, the comic artist, from near obscurity in a new biography.
'Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster-The Creators of Superman,' which has been released to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Superman's creation.
Brad Ricca said that Superman's lasting appeal is that it is a story about the American myth of goodness overpowering evil.
It took seven years after Superman's creation before DC Comics bought the rights to him. Lone Ranger and Tarzan were popular on the radio, but the superhero concept was too new for comic publishers to embrace. As Hitler came to power, people needed a savior like Superman.
Ricca invested years of research, during which he also produced the award-winning documentary, "Last Son," in 2010. His curiosity to learn more about Superman's creators sent him searching library archives in Cleveland and New York.
He read old Glenville High newspapers and yearbooks, police records, legal documents and other sources. He discovered some of the creators' first collaborations were filled with teenage angst about looks, girls and the desire to be popular.
Along the way, Ricca made several discoveries. One was a letter from an apparent third partner in Superman's creation. He also found evidence of an unrequited high school crush on a Lois Amster, who helped inspire the Lois Lane character. (The actual model for Lane would later become Siegel's wife).
He also found police records that identify suspected robbers (never found) of the family's clothing store on Central Avenue, during which Siegel's father died of heart failure.
Both Siegel and Shuster died in the 1990s. (ANI)