Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Birthday Supes?

My thoughtful mother-in-law forwarded me today's entry from a "Writer's Almanac" mailing list she's on:

It was on this day in 1938, the Superman comic book made its first appearance. The "Man of Steel" was created by Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, both teenagers. Superman hid behind the persona of the mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent. He could leap tall buildings in a single bound, run faster than a speeding bullet, and possessed the strength of 200 men.

For whatever reason, Garrison Keillor thinks that Superman made his debut this day in 1938. The cover date on Action Comics #1 is actually June 1938 .... but I suppose anything's possible. Perhaps a newsstand in Lake Woebegone was a bit behind the times.

It seems Superman's actual birthday has been established as February 29, at one point or another. So today's not his birthday, nor his first appearance, nor really much of anything.

But .... do I need an excuse to celebrate Siegel and Shuster?

Thanks, Jerry and Joe. Whatever that exact day was in 1938 ... you created something lasting that profoundly affected a lot of people's lives. You created an American myth of what we could aspire to be, and used an alien to show us the best humanity had to offer.

No comments: