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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors



Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
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Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, from the Creators of Superman

by and

Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, from the Creators of Superman Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Here is a kaleidoscopic analysis of Jewish humor as seen through Funnyman, a little-known super-heroic invention by the creators of Superman. Included are complete comic-book stories and daily and Sunday newspaper panels from Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's creative fiasco.

Siegel and Shuster, two Jewish teenagers from Cleveland, sold the rights to their amazing and astonishingly lucrative comic book superhero to Detective Comics for $130 in 1938. Not only did they lose the ownership of the Superman character, they also agreed to write and illustrate it for ten years at ten dollars per page. Their contract with the DC publishers was soon heralded as the most foolish agreement in the history of American popular culture.

After toiling on workman's wages for a decade, Siegel and Shuster struggled to come up with a new superhero, one that would right their wrongs and prove that justice, fair-play, and zany craftsmanship was the true American way and would lead to ultimate victory. But when the naive duo launched their new comic character Funnyman in 1947, it failed miserably. All the turmoil and personal disasters in Siegel and Shuster's postwar life percolated into the comic strip.

This book tells the back story of the unsuccessful strip and Siegel and Shuster's ambition to have their funny Jewish superhero trump Superman.

Review:

"In 1948 Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the bitterly disenfranchised cocreators of Superman, attempted to recapture success by launching the comedic superhero 'Funnyman.' The comic book series, which also spawned a short-lived newspaper strip, was a flop, lasting only six issues, and is regarded as a footnote. In this volume, Gordon and Andrae attempt to make much of the fact that this footnote wears clown shoes, positioning Funnyman as 'the first Jewish superhero.' Gordon's lengthy disquisition on the roots of Jewish humor opens the book. Though full of fascinating facts and images, the essay is fragmentary and poorly organized, and the implicit relationship to Funnyman is often strained. Andrae is on firmer ground with his analysis of Superman and Funnyman as twin offspring of two Jewish phenomena: the strongman and the schlemiel. Unfortunately, the book reprints fewer than 40 pages from the series' six issues, alongside excerpts from the strip. One suspects some editorial embarrassment that Siegel and Shuster's stilted attempt at heroic slapstick fails to entirely live up to the claims made on its behalf. A fuller presentation would have permitted readers to better consider those points that do seem apt. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

The Jewish jokester turned crime fighter as created by Superman's Siegel and Shuster.

About the Author

Mel Gordon is the author of Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin.

Thomas Andrae is the author of Batman and Me.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781932595789
Author:
Thomas Andrae and Jerry Siegel
Publisher:
Feral House
Preface by:
Fingeroth, Danny
Preface:
Fingeroth, Danny
Illustrator:
Siegel, Jerry
Editor:
Gordon, Mel
Editor:
Andrae, Thomas
Author:
Andrae, Thomas
Author:
Shuster, Joe
Author:
Siegel, Jerry
Author:
Gordon, Mel
Subject:
Judaism - General
Subject:
Form - Comic Strips & Cartoons
Subject:
Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States.
Subject:
Super Heroes
Subject:
Cartoons
Subject:
General-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20100731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
200 Color and BandW illustrations
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
10.5 x 7.5 in 20.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Art Business Guides
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Illustration
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Cartoons » Comics
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Religious
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » History and Criticism
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » Toon History
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Comics and Graphic Novels
Religion » Judaism » General

Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, from the Creators of Superman Used Trade Paper
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Feral House - English 9781932595789 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In 1948 Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the bitterly disenfranchised cocreators of Superman, attempted to recapture success by launching the comedic superhero 'Funnyman.' The comic book series, which also spawned a short-lived newspaper strip, was a flop, lasting only six issues, and is regarded as a footnote. In this volume, Gordon and Andrae attempt to make much of the fact that this footnote wears clown shoes, positioning Funnyman as 'the first Jewish superhero.' Gordon's lengthy disquisition on the roots of Jewish humor opens the book. Though full of fascinating facts and images, the essay is fragmentary and poorly organized, and the implicit relationship to Funnyman is often strained. Andrae is on firmer ground with his analysis of Superman and Funnyman as twin offspring of two Jewish phenomena: the strongman and the schlemiel. Unfortunately, the book reprints fewer than 40 pages from the series' six issues, alongside excerpts from the strip. One suspects some editorial embarrassment that Siegel and Shuster's stilted attempt at heroic slapstick fails to entirely live up to the claims made on its behalf. A fuller presentation would have permitted readers to better consider those points that do seem apt. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by ,
The Jewish jokester turned crime fighter as created by Superman's Siegel and Shuster.
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