Saturday, January 24, 2009

This explains so very much

As this recent item on BoingBoing confirms, it seems Superman co-creator Joe Shuster led a bit of a double life himself--by day, architect of one of the most powerful emblems of, er, traditional American values (i.e., truth, justice, and the Am-Way), while by night (during rough economic times, at least) he earned a bit of extra coin depicting kinky fantasies.

Granted, the illustrations in Craig Yoe's forthcoming book probably won't float my boat; I'm assuming they'll be all het, all the time. But as the cover clearly indicates, Supermannish men will be bound within its pages, so all I have to do is change the gender of those doing the binding and all will be well. (As a side note, I see that the new volume is the followup to a similar, though broader, project.)

This really does feel like the missing link between the realms of playful childhood hero-worship and darker, arguably more adult, desires. Much attention has already been devoted to the psychology of Wonder Woman's creator, and the Shuster saga only furthers the notion that caped crusaders are a bit less vanilla than we have been led to believe.

(I was about to say "less all-American," but maybe it's really the case that "America" has always been a more complicated ideal than some folks would like to admit. Who knows how many pipe-smoking, slipper-wearing Dads throughout the suburbs of the Eisenhauer years hid copies of these strips from their Superman-loving sons and daughters? Seduction of the innocent, indeed.

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