Many of comics' most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this new feature we'll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics' most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we're taking a look at Superman.
If you're the kind of person who keeps up with news about people spending truly massive amounts of money on comic books, then you're probably aware that there was a copy of Action Comics #1 rated at 9.0 that sold for $3,000,000 earlier this year. On one level, that makes sense. It is, after all, an incredibly important historical artifact, featuring the first appearance of Superman and Lois Lane in a story that kickstarted the entire superhero genre. On the other hand, if you really want to read that comic, you don't need to spend three mil. You can get it for like fifteen bucks.
Either way, the CGC corporation put the entire issue online to read for free -- presumably to prove that these crisp, unblemished pages really are as good as they say they are -- and there's a lot more in there than just Superman, whose first appearance has naturally overshadowed the numerous other short features contained in this most coveted comic.
Last year, the Royal Canadian Mint issued seven collector's coins to celebrate Superman's 75th anniversary. Looks like it's a hard habit to break, because at this year's Fan Expo in Toronto, the mint announced it was issuing four more coins with images from covers dating back to Superman's debut in 1938.
Though he's widely considered a U.S. hero, Superman has Canadian roots. Joe Shuster, who co-created Superman with Jerry Siegel, was born in Toronto.
Named for the Toronto native who would grow up to co-create Superman and launch the world of superhero comics, the Joe Shuster Awards are dedicated to honoring Canadian comic book creators. It's a pretty high honor for the Canadian cartooning community, and today, they announced the highest honor of all: The three inductees into this year's Shuster Awards Hall Of Fame.
The three creators being honored include posthumous induction for two Golden Age creators, Cy Bell and Edmond Good, and honors for veteran cartoonist Ty Templeton.
To celebrate the centennial anniversary of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster's birth, some of the men and women who've benefited from his tremendous artistic influence have paid homage to and shared their impressions of Shuster's work, his legacy, and his signature character.
The United States Supreme Court wrapped up its 2014 term Monday, deciding cases involving health care, unions, and other pressing issues. If two comic creators' families get their way, the court's next term could involve the fate of some of the most popular comics characters ever created.
First, the family of Jack Kirby filed paperwork to ask the Supreme Court to consider whether they have any rights to the characters Kirby co-created at Marvel Comics in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Now, the family of Joe Shuster, who co-created Superman with writer Jerry Siegel at DC, has essentially done the same.
With comics being the visual medium that they are, there's no shortage of pictures of the characters. With the exception of media darling Stan Lee or commercial star Rob Liefeld, however, most comic book creators exist behind a much deeper veil of obscurity -- especially in the Golden Age, when their names were rarely attached to the comics they worked on. When you hear names like Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster or Jack Kirby, you think of the creations rather than the people.
Now, artist Drew Friedman is attempting to change that, at least a little, with Heroes of the Comics, a Fantagraphics hardcover book of portraits of the pioneers of the golden age, from the creators we all love like Siegel and Shuster, above, down to the villains like Bob Kane and Frederic Wertham.
While Superman calls the fictional American cities of Smallville and Metropolis home, half of the Man of Steel's creative team has roots in our neighbor to the north. Honoring Jerry Siegel's Canadian-American collaborator Joe Shuster's origins, the Royal Canadian Mint is forging seven new silver/gold/cupronickel Superman coins ranging in price from around $30-750 CAD (that's roughly $31-775 USD - "more in Canada" indeed, old comics).
The legendary and outspoken writer behind Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, and many more of the most memorable comic book stories of the last 30+ years, Alan Moore's feelings on creators' rights are well documented. He's continued to discuss his views at length in Occupy Comics, Black Mask Studios' Kickstarter-funded anthology inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, opining mainly on the comics industry's complex historical relationship with counterculture and corporations. Titled "Buster Brown At The Barricades," much of the latest chapter focuses specifically on Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and their lifelong struggle for credit and control of the Man of Steel they created and sold for just $130 in the 1930s.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we've created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it's new, some of it's old, some of it's created by working professionals, some of it's created by future stars, some of it's created by talented fans, and some of it's endearingly silly. All of it's awesome. In honor of this year's 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Superman and this weekend's release of Man of Steel, we present for the second time a compilation of some of the coolest portraits of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's brilliant creation that we've highlighted in this feature over the last few years. We know it's cheating but we didn't count on going away for a month and then coming back in the middle of a big media event. All-new next week evermore.
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