'The Joe Shuster Story' Reveals Hidden History of the Comic Book Industry

The graphic novel, about the life of one of the men behind the Man of Steel, will fly into stores next week.
Courtesy of Thomas Campi-Super Genius

As Superman celebrates his 80th birthday, a new book from independent publisher Super Genius tells the story of one of the two men responsible for bringing him into this world.

The Joe Shuster Story: The Artist Behind Superman, by Julian Voloj and Thomas Campi, traces the true origin of the Man of Steel, and follows the fortunes — and, sadly, misfortunes — of both Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel as their creation goes on to become one of the most recognizable figures in all of popular culture.

As much about the comic book industry’s evolving relationship with creators and the characters and ideas they’re responsible for as the man at the center of the story, The Joe Shuster Story also functions as a history of the industry throughout the middle of the 20th century — as can be seen in the preview below, where censorship, in the form of the infamous book The Seduction of the Innocent, and its equally infamous author, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, impacts the medium’s development.

The Joe Shuster Story: The Artist Behind Superman will be released May 15. Writer Voloi will be at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival this weekend. The event takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Toronto Reference Library, Marriott Bloor Yorkville and other locations throughout the city.