Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-creator Joe Shuster showcases rare and recently discovered erotic artwork by Joe Shuster. Created in the early 1950s when Shuster was down on his luck after suing his publisher, DC Comics, over the copyright for Superman. Shuster began drawing illustrations for several pulp magazines these magazines, most notably “Nights of Horror”, were stories of S&M, drug use, torture, and kinky sex (for that time anyway). Shuster’s illustrations often closely resembled his most famous characters: Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. These magazines were published under the counter until they were banned by the U.S. Senate. Juvenile delinquency, Dr. Fredric Wertham, and the Brooklyn Thrill Killers gang all figure into this sensational story. The book includes reproductions of these images, and an essay that provides a detailed account of the scandal and the murder trial that may have resulted from the publication of this racy material.
The discovery of this artwork reveals the “secret identity” of this revered comics’ creator, and is sure to generate controversy, did he do it as revenge against his treatment by DC Comics or out of his own feelings about the characters he no longer drew? Secret Identity will provide you an excellent history of Joe and Jerry’s creation of Superman, their rise and fall, and more than 100 pages of the art Shuster did for “Nights of Horror” and a couple of sequel magazines. While not drastically pornographic, Secret Identity definitely isn’t for children, and some Superman fans might be offended.
Although on the surface this is an art book (the first title released by the new Abrahms ComicArts imprint) it is as much an exposé and a serious work of history.