“Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster” (intro by Stan “The Man” Lee) is scoring high on year end/decade end “Best of’s,” from the President of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, Ellen Abramowitz’s “The Best Damned Comics of 2009” on The Daily Cross Hatch, to Will Pfeifer’s “X-ray Spex.” Pfeifer hails “Secret Identity,” “Fascinating, with a story that manages to not only combine under-the-counter dirty books, Jewish psychos with Hitler moustaches and comic book history — and be true, to boot — but because it also serves as a de facto biography of Joe Shuster, full of amazing revelations and too-strange-to-be-true stories.”
“Secret Identity” is said to be the most reviewed book ever in the comics field, and has been featured on NPR’s “Fresh Air” to Fox News, The New York Times to Hustler, Time magazine to this month’s issue of Playboy. There have been reenactments of scenes from the Joe Shuster’s drawings both in New York and Hollywood by the famed Suicide Girls. Yoe has spoken about the book at the San Diego Comic Con and at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, where he was a guest of honor (Joe Shuster was born in Toronto).
“Secret Identity” launched the ComicsArt line by the prestigious publisher Abrams. The book covers Joe Shuster’s life, from when he was the artist-creator of Superman, and, virtually, the seminal artist of the whole comic book industry, to previously-unknown aspects of Shuster’s life, when he drew S&M booklets titled “Nights of Horror” for the mob. Interestingly, the characters drawn by Shuster for “Night of Horror” look eerily similar to the citizens of Metropolis, Superman/Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Lex Luther.
Anti-comics crusader Dr. Fredric Wertham railed against “Nights of Horror” before a senate investigation, after a gang of Jewish neo-Nazi juvenile delinquents, inspired by the booklets, horse-whipped girls and murdered two vagrants. The Brooklyn Thrill Killers made the headlines of The New York Times and Life magazine. The publisher of “Nights of Horror,” mobster Ed/Edward/Eddie Mishkin, eventually was imprisoned for two years. The case against “Nights of Horror” went all the way to the Supreme Court. In this landmark case, the Supreme Court set an important precedent ruling against the S&M booklets and, consequently, freedom of the press. Shuster’s connection with “Nights of Horror” and the mob was unknown by the public until Craig Yoe discovered these booklets at a rare book fair. Yoe has been called by Vice magazine, “the Indiana Jones of comics historians.”
“Jeepers, Mr. Kent!” –USA Today (which kicked off the press on “Secret Identity” with their front peg story.) “The drawing is impeccable, it’s kinky and funny at the same time.” –The New York Times. “Marvelous!” –L.A. Times. “High Weirdness” –NPR’s Fresh Air. “Eye-Opening” –Publisher’s Weekly.
In the New York Times Book Review today! Steven Heller says, among other nice things, “I’m ecstatic to learn from Craig Yoe’s Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster that after trying unsuccessfully to regain the Superman copyright, Shuster went on to produce erotic cartoons. The drawing is impeccable, it’s kinky and funny at the same time.”
– 1:00 to 2:00 pm Comics Arts Conference Session #11: The (Strange) State of Siegel and Shuster. Brad Ricca (Case Western Reserve University), director of Last Son, a scholarly documentary on Siegel and Shuster, moderates this conversational panel featuring Craig Yoe(Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman Co-Creator Joe Shuster) and Lauren Agostino, an independent scholar, who will share letters connected to the 1947 lawsuit and portions of the original Superboy script that completely upset a lot of myths about who created Superboy. Room 30AB
SUNDAY JULY 26TH
– 12:00 to 1:00 pm IDW: Making Old-School Comic Strips New Again. IDW and the Library of American Comics bring together two wise men of comics, Dean Mullaney and Craig Yoe, to evaluate the recent resurgence of classic comics, discuss their approach to the material and reveal their plans for coming collections. Room 4
Animator/Director Clizia Gussoni created a cool, funny little animated short for “Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster.” Please tell your blog, facebook, twitter, real life friends to come see!
Greg Gutfeld, the host of Fox News Red Eye, is a very funny guy and has a hilarious wacky crew with non-stop rapid-fire laffs. It’s the best show on TV. And don’t let the Fox News part scare you. Gutfeld isn’t a liberal, but he sure isn’t a conservative, either. He calls himself a libertarian–he’s exactly like me, but different! Mainly, Gutfeld’s a no-bullshit dude who really cracks me up–can’t wait to be on his show (again, was on a few months back for my book The Best of Sexology).
Watch this space! Sometime in the coming days or even mere hours we will be making a big announcement about the much demanded Secret Identity Limited Edition. This will be a VERY, VERY small numbered edition for hardcore collectors only. Details are being pinned down, but the Secret Identity Limited Edition will likely have:
* A special bookplate signed by Stan Lee and Craig Yoe with art by Joe Shuster, not in the book.
*A facsimile of a detailed fascinating letter from Joe Shuster’s sister, Jean, about her thoughts about the art and Joe’s state of mind and situation when he did this work.
*A 16 page portfolio of Joe’s erotica not printed in Secret Identity, a number of which were thought to be too strong for the regular edition going to bookstores.
*And finally… a finely crafted wooden paddle the cover of the book emblazoned in color on the front and a special Joe Shuster illustration featuring a sound paddling on the back (NOTE WELL: because they are drawn by Joe Shuster the characters in that scene look strikingly similar to Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen BUT ARE, IN FACT, NOT THOSE CHARACTERS).
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