Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman. They were poor kids living through the Great Depression. DC Comics (then known as National Comics) bought their idea, exploited it and turned it into a billion dollar franchise. Siegel and Shuster didn’t get jack shit. That’s fucked up. I think we can all agree with that. Even DC Comics can agree with that — just not publicly otherwise they’d lose the rights to Superman.
But here’s the thing that’s never mentioned and I wish someone would mention it, which is why I am mentioning it now: they were essentially one hit wonders.
What did Siegel and Shuster do of any value after Superman? Jack Kirby co-created Captain America in the early 40′s, not long after they created Superman. He got all sorts of screwed out of royalties on that one. His family ain’t getting shit from the Captain America movie whereas Stan Lee who jumped on the bandwagon 20 years later gets a cameo and I’m sure a sweet-ass royalty paycheck.
Yet 50 years after he co-created Captain America, Jack Kirby was still making new, cool comics.
Siegel and Shuster… not so much.
Yes, by creating Superman, Siegel and Shuster literally changed the world of pop culture in a way few have since then… but that’s pretty much all they did. Unlike Kirby, they didn’t keep creating awesome stuff after their one big hit. They actually did nothing of note after creating Superman. And most of the stuff Superman is known for these days – flying, kryptonite, even Jimmy Olsen – didn’t enter the mythos until after they’d sold the idea to DC.
Am I the only one who’s ever thought “hey, these guys weren’t super talented or anything?”
I don’t define “talented” as having one good idea, no matter how good and how world-altering that idea may be. I define talent as continually innovating and changing the landscape. I define talent as more that hitting the nail on the head one time. If you can’t do something awesome twice, you’re not talented, you’re a one hit wonder.
Which is why I keep coming back to Jack Kirby. He c0-created Captain America. He got screwed. He co-created Thor and The Avengers. He got screwed. He created the New Gods. He got screwed. See where I’m going here? Dude kept getting screwed but he KEPT CREATING AWESOME STUFF. That’s talent.
Again, I’m not saying it’s okay to screw someone because they got lucky once like Siegel and Shuster. You need to pay them the way you need to pay a lottery winner. I’m just saying… one hit wonders.
Also, a new Blue Beetle & The Phantom strip from Jess Kirby and me:
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I was recently asked what five people — fictional or real — I would enlist to save the world. I decided to post just fictional for now. Maybe I’ll do real and combined teams another day. Here’s my Super Team:
BATMAN. Fucking Batman.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Can take on any supernatural threat. Saved the world at least half a dozen times.
DOC BROWN. Fucking smart.
POWER GIRL. All of Superman’s powers plus a woman’s perspective.
CAPTAIN KIRK. Experienced leader. Loves what he does.
I’d love to post an update but our internet at home is down and Time Warner won’t make an appointment for us until NEXT SATURDAY. Plus, I’ve had evening plans all week so I can’t even stay after work to use their internet.
FUCK YOU, TIME WARNER.
I’ll keep this simple. The good, the bad and a few pictures.
- When I found out the comiXology team had seen the Revenger iPad app. It’s nice when someone who isn’t friend or family has read an enjoyed your work. Thanks, guys!
- The people. Everyone’s really into it and that’s what makes NYCC so much fun.
- The Beavis and Butt-Head panel. They showed the whole first new episode and I couldn’t have been happier. I’m so glad they’re back. Thanks to Laura for securing us that sweet spot in line!
- Unexpected fun: Mark Hamill panel. I had no intention of going, I was just swinging by to say “hi” to my friends Laura and Adam. They dragged me in. Totally awesome.
- The pretty good level of organization. Really surprised how relatively efficient things ran compared to previous years but with a much bigger attendance.
- Paul Levitz and Chris Claremont panel. Hearing them spitball was pretty great and made me want to go tell stories.
- The lines. There were so many people, every panel had a line, no matter how seemingly insignificant.
- The show floor’s smell on Sunday.
A FEW PICTURES
Jeez folks, it’s a crazy weekend around here. The time has finally come for New York Comic Con! And we’re celebrating in two fun ways. First, for this weekend and this weekend only download the Revenger #2 in its entirety for free. After NYCC ends on Sunday evening we’ll be pulling it down and begin serializing it one page a week every Wednesday. Click the cover below to get the PDF version. If there’s another format you’d like, email us (revengercomic at gmail dot com) and we’ll see what we can do.
UPDATE: Sorry guys, NYCC is over! The free download is gone. But go check out the new issue in serialized form on revengercomic.com.
But wait, it gets better! We are so proud to have a chance to re-imagine what a digital comic book can be by making the Revenger #1 iPad app. It’s be re-designed from the ground up to be a completely new reading experience. And it’s free! Download, read it and give us your feedback so we can make the next one even better! Click the screenshot below to get it.
Regularly readers may have noticed that I broke my schedule streak last week and didn’t get a second post up. I was swamped with a huge project I’ve been keeping quiet until I could truly confirm it. And now I can: the comic book I’ve been a part of creating, Revenger, is now available as a free iPad app. I’m extremely excited about this because I believe there is a huge future for comics in the digital world; we just need to remember what made comic books unique and re-imagine that for a new kind of presentation.
But the timing could not have been more odd, since the guy who made this technology a reality passed away. Here’s my final email to him:
Almost every time there’s a remake or reboot movie you hear the director say something along the lines of “this is going to be dark and gritty, like Batman Begins.” I think we all know by now, whenever you hear that it means it won’t be good at all. It’s just a fact of life. Since the 1980′s whenever a storyteller wants to be taken seriously they reference “dark,” “gritty,” and “Batman.” And then… it sucks.
So, this past Friday, Clayton “@Krakadoom” Johnston and I decided we’d take to Twitter and write the ultimate “dark, gritty, like Batman Begins” reboot ever:
Here’s the synopsis:
We begin with a sexy T&A pose of Elastigirl. With her powers, we’re finally able to see a realistic interpretation of the comic book pose in which a girl is facing forward but you can see both her tits and her ass at the same time. That shit’s gritty and realistic. We immediately find out that Mr. Incredible has a severe drinking problem and unhealthy obsession with anal sex.
The family issues lead Elastigirl to begin a torrid love affair with Frozone. Mr. Incredible is too busy being drunk to notice and/or care. Soon the kids enter the picture making everyone more miserable.
Deep down, Mr. Incredible knows Violet isn’t his daughter, so he ignores her. She doesn’t realize this is why she’s neglected, so she develops an eating disorder, hoping to gain her father’s love. That’s not enough, so she leaves the house and becomes a stripper. An invisible stripper.
Meanwhile, Dash deals with a bout of addiction with barbiturates in hopes of slowing himself down. He cleans himself up when Jack Jack (who has been molested by a pedophile) turns evil. After saving his brother’s soul, things seem on the up and up for Dash, until he develops Parkinson’s. He tries to deny it, only to lose control of his legs and running into a school bus, killing a dozen innocent children.
Violet tries to find comfort in the arms of her father’s best friend, Frozone. Elastigirl learns about their relationship and becomes jealous. She reveals to Violet that Frozone is her father. They fight a bloody battle. When all is said and done, Violet is unable to deal with the emotional strife and commits suicide. The hospital finds she was pregnant with Frozone’s baby and they are able to miraculously save the incestuous child.
During the climax it’s revealed that Edna is the supervillain and has been pulling the strings all along. She engineered the initial meeting between Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl as part of a superhero breeding project. What she didn’t count on was the affair with Frozone and the final twist: Jack Jack is a shape shifter because he has both Mr. Incredible and Frozone’s DNA from when they managed to simultaneously impregnate Elastigirl!