Super Boys

The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster--the Creators of Superman

Brad Ricca

St. Martin's Press

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In time for the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel, comes the first comprehensive literary biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of the DC Comics superhero Superman and the inspiration for Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay
 
Drawing on ten years of research in the trenches of Cleveland libraries, boarded-up high schools, and secret, private collections, and a love of comic books, Brad Ricca's Super Boys is the first ever full biography about Superman’s creators. Among scores of new discoveries, the book reveals the first stories and pictures ever published by the two, where the first Superman story really came from, the real inspiration for Lois Lane, the template for Superman’s costume, and much, much more. Super Boys also tracks the boys’ unknown, often mysterious lives after they left Superman, including Siegel's secret work during World War II and never-before-seen work from Shuster.

Super Boys explains, finally, what exactly happened with the infamous check for $130 that pulled Superman away from his creators—and gave control of the character to the publisher. Ricca also uncovers the true nature of Jerry’s father’s death, a crime that has always remained a mystery. Super Boys is the story of a long friendship between boys who grew to be men and the standard that would be impossible for both of them to live up to.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter 1
The Eyes
 
 
JOE SHUSTER BLINKED at the back of his art teacher. She was bent over a student who clearly needed help portraying the simple bowl of fruit at the front of the room. Joe had finished his sketch a good ten minutes ago and was looking for something else to draw. With his left hand, he brought his pencil down at a forty-five-degree angle over the paper. It hovered there for a moment, floating over the page. His books wobbled in a pile under his desk. He tried to shift his dangling feet so no one could see they weren’t hitting the floor.

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Reviews

Praise for Super Boys

"A wonderful book, as exciting as Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."

-Booklist, starred boxed review

"An admirably thorough account of Siegel and Shuter's long struggle to get their creation published...That they came up with the first bona fide superhero, thus helping change popular culture and sowing the seeds of a multi-million dollar industry, is a remarkable accomplishment, which Ricca recounts grippingly.”  - The New York Times Book Review 

"Compulsively readable... Ricca's comprehensive biography reveals the turmoil and creative genius that led to our most enduring superhero, the Man of Steel." - Publishers Weekly

 

"Thoroughly researched... speaks to the treatment of artists by corporate America and its relationship to truth and justice. Written in a breezy, accessible style, this title will have wide appeal, especially to those whose views on the American way were shaped by comics, television shows, and movies featuring the Man of Steel. —Library Journal

"The title Super Boys says it all . . . the truly amazing biography of two of the most important names in popular fiction." —Stan Lee

“An American icon drawn with compassion and verve.  A must read for heroes everywhere.” —Jeph Loeb, author of Superman For All Seasons and writer/producer of Smallville

"No square panels or word balloons can contain Ricca's gripping effervescence:  it's headier than a bird or a plane or a speeding bullet." —Tracy Daugherty, author of Just One Catch

"Beautiful and heartbreaking." —Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author

"As a citizen of the modern world, you need to read this book." —Neal Adams


In the Press

- The Washington Post
In “Superboys,” Brad Ricca looks at the two obscure men who created Superman and sold the idea for $130.
- The Washington Post


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About the Author

Brad Ricca

BRAD RICCA earned his Ph.D. in English from Case Western Reserve University where he currently teaches.  He has spoken on comics at various schools and museums, and he has been interviewed about comics topics by The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, and All Things Considered on NPR. His film Last Son won a 2010 Silver Ace Award at the Las Vegas International Film Festival. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Brad Ricca

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Available Formats and Book Details

Super Boys
The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster--the Creators of Superman
Brad Ricca

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
June 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250031679
ISBN10: 1250031672
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 448 pages, 50 black and white photos throughout
$9.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
June 2013
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312643805
ISBN10: 0312643802
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 448 pages, Includes 50 black-and-white photographs and illustrations throughout plus two 8-page black-and-white photograph inserts
$27.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
June 2014
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250049681
ISBN10: 1250049687
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 464 pages, Includes 50 black-and-white photographs and illustrations throughout and two 8-page black-and-white photograph sections/Notes/Bibliography/Index
$17.99
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