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Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, from the Creators of Superman Paperback – July 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"…Funnyman’s immediate historical relevance is as the character Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created as their follow-up to Superman, but underlying that is a point of larger cultural importance. Andrae and Gordon approach the character as the most straightforward expression of Jewishness in comics at the time, and as a springboard to a wider discussion of the history of Jewish humor…Funnyman was the result of Siegel and Shuster turning a specific ethnic style into a more universal one. Funnyman might come from Jewish tradition, but in comics form he becomes any goofy guy who has to stand up against brute force of any sort. He’s far more reflective of the reading audience, as well as the creators, than Superman ever was, though Clark Kent was an attempt to rectify that. The Yiddishisms might have whispered to one audience, but the 'schlemiel' is something many people can identify with…" — Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are a comic book fan/historian, you probably appreciate that we are in a Golden Age of comic-book reprinting. I look on the shelves behind me and I see the complete Spirit in 26 volumes, Joe Kubert's Tor from the 1950s, multiple volumes of Dr. Solar and Magnus, Robot Fighter, and well over 100 hardcover and paperback reprinting of classic material from DC and Marvel.
When I saw the solicitation for "Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman," I believed that what was being offered was another collection of rare comic books. How wrong I was. Oh, there are a few stories from the short run the character had in the comic-book format and a story from its comic-strip run, but the bulk of the book is a history of Jewish comedy along with related articles. Not that the articles are uninteresting, but they are not the reason I bought this book and I have a feeling there are books out there that better address that history.
Maybe I was wrong for reading too much into the description with regard to this book being a complete reprinting of the Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman, but reading the description now that I have the book the hand, I see nothing that would lead me to expect this book. The few Funnyman stories included raise my rating of the book to "two stars."
Fortunately, for them they had offers from other publishers and immediately embarked on a new creation. This book describes their most ambitious post-Superman project.