I’ve never read a Funnyman comic. A line, tucked away in biographical piece about Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, what they did after Superman and Superboy that never achieved similar success, six issues and a year long newspaper strip, they would never work again and this marks the beginning of their decline into living on the breadline while their Man Of Steel made millions.
But a new book by Mel Gordon and Thomas Andrae, Siegal And Shuster’s Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero From The Creators Of Superman looks at the character afresh, with art, inspiration, and cultural significance, including the observation that this character was overtly Jewish rather than being an allegory, such as Superman. However the book also sheds new light on a possible origin of Superman, with 1920s strongman Siegmund Breitbart, the “Superman of Strength.”
The authors are interviewed below…