The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

April 17, 2013

Superman's 75th puts spotlight on Cleveland roots

CLEVELAND (AP) — The tough, blue-collar roots of Superman's creators are getting a fresh look on the superhero's 75th anniversary.

Creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster lived just a few blocks apart in the Cleveland neighborhood that shaped their teenage lives, their dreams and the imagery of the Man of Steel.

In the city's Glenville neighborhood, still in the throttling grip of the Great Depression, Siegel and Shuster labored on their creation for years before finally selling Superman to a publisher.

The Man of Steel became a Depression-era bootstrap strategy for the Siegel/Shuster team, according to Brad Ricca, a professor at nearby Case Western Reserve University who uses Superman in his classes.

"They really just saw it as a way out," he said.

In his upcoming book "Super Boys," Ricca says the story of Superman's creation is mostly about their friendship: two boys dreaming of "fame, riches and girls" in a time when such dreams are all the easier to imagine because of the crushing economic misery.

Ricca said Siegel and Shuster reflected Cleveland's ethnic mix: both were sons of Jewish immigrants, struggled during the Depression and hustled to make something of themselves.

"The Depression is all about, you know, if nobody is going to give you a job, you make your own, you find your own niche and we find that's what they are doing," Ricca said.

Superman's first appearance, in Action Comics No. 1, was April 18, 1938. The first and greatest superhero has gone on to appear in nearly 1,000 Action Comics and has evolved with the times, including a 1940s radio serial, a 1950s TV series and as a reliable staple for Hollywood. Pop culture expert Charles Coletta at Bowling Green State University said Superman ranks globally with George Washington and the Super Bowl as American icons.

Text Only
Lifestyle
Poll

A recent national telephone survey found 75 percent of respondents believe the sale and use of pot will eventually be legal nationwide. Do you think marijuana should be legal in Alabama?

Yes
No
No, but I don’t think pot smokers should go to jail
Yes, but only for medical use
Yes, but only for personal adult use
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee