Jerry & Joe
1914, as the youngest of 6 children of Jewish decent from Lithuania, Jerry Siegel was born. Jerry was a fan of the movies, comic strips, and especially science fiction pulp magazines. So he became a writer of booklets or “Cosmic Stories” as a teenager and also wrote for the school newspaper. At age 16, in school, Jerry became friends with Joe Shuster an artist also of Jewish decent. The duo would later state, “When we first met, it was like the right chemicals coming together.” For the two, fate had something amazing in store!
The writer-artist duo pioneered into comics, where they created the swashbuckler “Henri Duval” and the supernatural-crime fighter strip “Doctor Occult”. But it was a 6 year quest of heart ache, pain, burning and shredding pages of hard work in frustration all to find a publisher for their most popular character of all, arguably the most popular comic book character of all time, that would make them 2 of the most important people in the comic book world … ever!
This character was initially a villain in a failed story that the 2 had concocted. But Jerry & Joe decided that this should be a character who fights for the good of humanity. A superhero who embodies the very characteristics that make up what we aspire to live like everyday. A universal icon of courage, … honor, … justice, … the most omnipotent hero, of ALL heroes … he would be!
Risen from the ashes, Jerry saved one of the few cover pages burned out of frustration that Joe had illustrated and this page would later become the cover for a new line of comics in which a publisher, a primary cursor for what is now known as “DC Comics” would roll out this new line as “Action Comics”, which debuted in June of 1938. Proof to never give up on what you believe in; more characteristics that would make up this character that was now on the front page!
So who is this character?
Well, some have said that Jerry & Joe’s Jewish decent played a major part of his creation; that “they crafted an immigrant figure whose desire was to fit into American culture as an American”. Others have compared him to Christ; that his father sent his only son to Earth and was worshipped like a God there, as he became Earth’s savior from all evil.
Basing the hero side of the character on Douglas Fairbanks Sr., his alter ego on Harold Lloyd (a man with slicked hair who wore glasses), and deriving his earthly name from movie stars Clark Gable & Kent Taylor. He was a man from another world sent to ours in some form of salvation. Setting a trend as the FIRST of many superheroes to wear an iconic emblem on his chest as a coat of arms and a symbol for hope. Not to mention an amazing smile!
Jerry & Joe shopped around this new comic in hopes of a publisher with this heroic, noble, and valiant character whose initial comic Jerry decided to title …
On June 14th, 2013 let him remind you … that there’s a hero … in us all!