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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Joe Shuster Revelation

In the new book "Secret Identity" The Fetish Art of Superman's Co-Creator Joe Shuster", the little-known beginnings of one of America's favorite superheroes are revealed. The book features page after page of the Cleveland comic writer's racy, sadomasochistic cartoons which were drawn in the early 1950's. Entitled "Nights of Horror", the erotic horror comics were sold under the counter at drugstores for $3.

Exotic forms of torture, women with whips, men with hot pokes, and spankings are all featured in the drawings, but what makes them even more interesting is that many of the characters look exactly like Shuster's Superman and Lois Lane.

Comic-book historian Craig Yoe, who discovered the comics, said:

"Yes, they look like Lois and Clark. Joe obviously had some very dark fantasies. There's a panel in an early Superman comic book where he has Lois over his knee and is spanking her. But certainly nothing of this depth or extremeness."

Yoe found the complete 16-issue run at a used book store. He says of the publication:

"There are some who say I should have left this stuff buried and not ruin Joe's reputation. But this is a major body of work by the creator of the superhero. Some of the drawings are beautiful, showing the great craftsman that he was. There's even an innocence.

"I can't say I'd frame it and put it above my mantel, but it's a very important find for comic-book history and cultural history."

Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel created Superman in 1938, which gained popularity in the 40's. However they did not benefit from it, and by the 50's Shuster was barely working. He died in 1992.

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