Showing posts from June, 2019

Superman Obscurity - Superwoman by Rea Irvin!

I doubt that many have ever heard of the Superwoman newspaper strip, as drawn by Rea Irvin. Don't worry if it's news to you, it ran once and was then binned after DC threatened legal action. Although it would be years before DC Comics published a comic under the name of Superwoman , they had taken steps to protect that trademark in late 1941. The Superwoman trademark was formally registered on May 5, 1942, with the usual fake ashcan. When it came to Irvin's strip, it was an open and shut case - stop publishing or face the consequences. And in 1943 those consequences would have been very expensive indeed. What is fascinating is that the shutdown came within hours of the strip being published. For once, DC had the law on their side, as the trademark was solid and sealed. As would have been typical in such cases, the original art would have either been destroyed and noted as such, or handed over to DC Comics, who would have destroyed it themselves. Scan courtesy of

The Original (Non) Superman - Mayo Kaan

Do you remember Mayo Kaan? I'm betting that you don't. And you probably shouldn't, unless you were part of his family. In 1973 Mayo appeared in newspaper claiming to have been the original model for Superman . He claimed to have met Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and was invited to pose for artist Joe Shuster who then drew Superman using Mayo's amazing physique. The Tennessean Sun,  April 1, 1973 People debated Kaan's claims for years to come. There were those who said it was likely, it could have happened, and those who said that it didn't, that Joe drew on his own, without using any models. Certainly his sister, Jean, who saw him draw, testified decades later that Joe never used Kaan as a model. Not to mention the thought of Jerry Siegel, who nobody has ever described as being a physically active man, was playing handball at a health club in 1936. Jerry was home, busily writing, and trying to sell his creation, that being Superman .

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