Our friend Lynn surprised me with the book and I had not known about it. What I did know is that in 2011 all comics where Superman appeared had a credit that said "with special arrangement by the Jerry Siegel Family." That's because of a lawsuit that the writer (Jerry) and his family filed. Sadly, neither he, nor Joe Shuster the illustrator lived to see the conclusion of recovering some money from the character.
The book goes into detail about the lives of each of these cousins (yes, they were cousins) and how they were basically swindled by a guy that ran National Comics in 1939 to sell all rights to Superman for $130.00. The book explains the hardships both men endured through the decades. They still created the Superman comics despite losing the rights and being paid poorly. It was their character.
I also learned that Jerry Siegel actually created one of my other favorite characters: The Spectre! I had no idea. The Spectre is the ghostly superhero who "cannot find
|Superman Credit: DC Comics|
|The Spectre Credit: DC Comics|
(BOOK SUMMARY: Drawing on ten years of research in the trenches of Cleveland libraries, boarded-up high schools, and secret, private collections, and a love of comic books, Brad Ricca's Super Boys is the first ever full biography about Superman's creators. Among scores of new discoveries, the book reveals the first stories and pictures ever published by the two, where the first Superman story really came from, the real inspiration for Lois Lane, the template for Superman's costume, and much, much more. Super Boys also tracks the boys' unknown, often mysterious lives after they left Superman, including Siegel's secret work during World War II and never-before-seen work from Shuster.
Super Boys explains, finally, what exactly happened with the infamous check for $130 that pulled Superman away from his creators—and gave control of the character to the publisher. Ricca also uncovers the true nature of Jerry's father's death, a crime that has always remained a mystery. Super Boys is the story of a long friendship between boys who grew to be men and the standard that would be impossible for both of them to live up to.)