JOE SHUSTER LOS ANGELES, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Joe Shuster, co-creator of
"Superman," died on Thursday, July 30 of congestive heart failure. He was 78 years old and lived in Brentwood, Calif.
Called "one of the most important cartoonists in the history of comic books" by noted pop culture historian Ron Goulart, Mr. Shuster created the "Superman" character and comic strip with partner Jerry Siegel in 1934. After four years of refining their creation, the duo sold "Superman" to DC Comics in 1938. America's first superhero was an immediate hit, revolutionizing the comic book business and turning it into a multi-million-dollar industry. Mr. Shuster was born in Toronto, Canada and later moved to Cleveland, Ohio where, in high school, he became fast friends with fellow science fiction enthusiast Siegel. Siegel wrote an unillustrated story introducing a predecessor Superman character for a mimeographed magazine with a circulation of 200. Soon after, Siegel asked his friend Mr. Shuster, who had won a scholarship to the Cleveland School of the Arts, to draw Superman in comic strip form, and their partnership was born. The "Superman" comic strip spawned a franchise of related entertainment products beginning in 1940 with a radio show, followed a year later by the first of 17 animated cartoons, released theatrically. In 1948, the first "Superman" live-action movie serial was released, then, in the mid-1950s, George Reeves starred in the popular "Superman" television series. A Hal Prince musical opened on Broadway in the mid-1960s, then in 1978, "Superman The Movie" starring Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman and Christopher Reeve in the title role, opened to worldwide audience and critical acclaim. Three sequels followed. Stated partner Siegel, "The comic book field has lost a great artist and a true pioneer, and I've lost a lifelong friend and partner. He will be sorely missed." Jenette Kahn, president and editor-in-chief of DC Comics said, "It's not surprising that two teenagers from Cleveland should have created this first god of the new mythology: definitely American, not borrowed, wholly our own. Superman is the 'Man of Steel' who devotes himself to the cause of truth, justice and the American way, who reaches out to help those weaker than himself. Joe Shuster gave us an ideal who is more vital to the way we live with every passing day." Cartoonist Jules Feiffer said, "Joe Shuster represents the best of old-style comic book drawing. His work was direct and vigorous; slickness was, thank God, beyond his means ... no one can ghost his style." Harlan Ellison, noted futurist, writer and author said, "Long after the names Vasco de Gama and Leona Helmsley are dust, Joe Shuster and what he co-created will remain universal icons of imagination and responsible ethics. Rest well, Joe." Bob Kane, creator of "Batman" stated: "I'm extremely saddened at the death of my dear friend from the early days. If it were not for him I would have never created Batman: it was because of the initial astounding "Superman" success that DC approached me about creating another superhero. Joe was an innovator in the industry, and he will be truly missed." Surviving Mr. Shuster are a sister, Jean Peavy of Alameda, N.M., and a brother, Frank, of New York. -0- 8/3/92 /EDITOR'S NOTE: While some coverage has appeared on the death of Joe Shuster, the attached obit contains additional facts and quotes. We thought this would be helpful for more complete coverage. Thanks./ /CONTACT: Stacy Ivers of Warners Bros., 818-954-6217/ CO: Warner Brothers ST: California IN: ENT SU:
LS-AL -- LA031 -- 6418 08/03/92 19:28 EDT
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|Date:||Aug 3, 1992|
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