Faster than a bionic pencil, more powerful than the disdainful looks of their high school classmates, able to think of a plot line in a red-hot moment...it’s Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman! Missing his father, who died during a robbery, and trying to survive the Great Depression, young Jerry buries himself in the lives of Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and other characters of pulp fiction and comic strips. Short, shy, and lacking athletic ability, Jerry turns to his typewriter for solace. Jerry’s look-alike friend Joe loves to escape into the same stories, and soon he is illustrating Jerry’s work. One night, Jerry is struck with inspiration and imagines a hero, an alien with incredible strength who rescues humans and whose secret identity is that of an ordinary meek and mild guy. MacDonald’s retro illustrations, reminiscent of the tone and color of his earlier Another Perfect Day, are the perfect foil for Superman’s story. The twin friends, sporting matching glasses and button-down shirts, fit right into MacDonald’s circa-1930s world. A fascinating author’s note follows the story of Jerry and Joe until their deaths and explores the business side of the comic industry. Budding cartoonists will be inspired by the lives of the hard-working supermen who created the beloved comic book-hero. r.l.s.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Not a starred review...
...but a good review nonetheless, from The Horn Book, which they say is hard to please: