Sleaze Superman Style (!) Shuster's Sadomasochistic Side
Does this look a bit cleaner and more professional than most sleazy girly gags? It should. JOSH is in fact Joe Shuster, co-creator of Superman way back in the late 1930s. The story of how he was screwed out of royalties is familiar to most cartoonists and fans, but what was certainly NOT well-known until last year was his work as a fetishistic, sadomasochistic, bondage and sleaze illustrator in later years.
When I came across this drawing in an issue of "Snappy: Perky Pinups and Lively Man's Gags" (Yes, I have an issue of Snappy) from the 1960s I recognized the lines. Earlier in the year I had read Craig Yoe's astounding book "Secret Identity" linked at right and knew the story, but I was familiar only with the notorious Nights of Horror digests he produced. Sure enough, Yoe points out Shuster did some one-off cartoons and this is an example. YOWSA. If you are interested in vintage sleaze or Superman...the book is fascinating and goes to show what an artist can and will do to pay the bills. 35 years after giving away his rights to the billion dollar man of steel, Warner Communications (then parent company of DC Comics) belatedly granted Joe a near poverty level pension of $20,000 a year. "Josh" passed away, nearly blind, in 1992.
(A simultaneous post on my VINTAGE SLEAZE blog)