Think you know the origin story of Superman? Unless you know the story of his creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, believe us: you don't know the half of it. As one of the most beloved and iconic mythical heroes in history, it's a minor tragedy that the men who actually created Superman - and the idea of the billion-dollar, modern comic book superhero along with him - are often overlooked. Because their story has as much to teach, if not more than their bulletproof creation. Thanks to the newest graphic novel published by Super Genius Comics, it's getting the chance.
With The Joe Shuster Story, The Artist Behind Superman who first put pencil to paper and brought DC's poster boy into the world earns his very own spotlight. What follows is the one Superman story that matters now more than ever: how a pair of immigrant artists created a new American Dream dressed in tights and a cape... and watched as businessmen and boardrooms profited while pushing the creators to the side.
Our exclusive preview of The Joe Shuster Story gives a terrific glimpse of Julian Voloj and artist Thomas Campi's work, a blend of documentary and drama based on real accounts of their early (and decades-long) legal battles over the rights to Superman. It's a story of the 'little guy' clinging to truth and justice in the face of the real American Way, told from Joe Shuster's perspective. Just as artists of today's comics get second billing, Campi and Voloj make Shuster, the quieter, more mild-mannered of the co-creators the heart of this tale for a change.
Pop culture fans may know their names without ever reading a Superman book, but even if you know Shuster and Siegel's story, seeing it unfold in a graphic novel of its own is wholly different. A heartbreaking story, to be sure. But one that Superman fans, superhero fans, graphic novel fans, American history buffs, or those who simply enjoy beautiful illustrations will be glad they experienced.
Take a look at the excerpt from The Joe Shuster Story below, capturing the moment that the Superman legend began to slip through its creators' fingers:
Comic enthusiasts familiar with the legal disputes over Superman ownership have only recently been settled, far too little and late for either Siegel or Shuster to benefit much. The events that followed the initial success of Superman were mainly regrettable for his creators, and Shuster most of all. Sad as The Joe Shuster Story may be, it's still one that should be known, shared, and taught.
Delivered by Voloj and Campi, the graphic novel is also one beautiful piece of work. And it's available now from Super Genius' website.
On May 15, 2018, almost 80 years to the day that writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster introduced Superman in the pages of ACTION COMICS’ first issue and transformed pop culture, Super Genius will publish THE JOE SHUSTER STORY, The Artist Behind Superman. The award-winning writer of GHETTO BROTHER, Julian Voloj, and acclaimed artist Thomas Campi have collaborated on an original graphic novel about America, ambition, the intersection of art and commerce, and the friendship of two young men from Cleveland, whose lives were changed forever following the unexpected and unprecedented success of their iconic creation.
The Joe Shuster Story, The Artist Behind Superman is available from Super Genius Comics.