The artist who created Superman had his own secret identity which can only now be revealed – as an illustrator of kinky fetish books!
Joe Shuster and his writing partner Jerry Siegel were so desperate to break into the world of comic book illustration they sold the rights to their Superman character for just 30 dollars. They later sued their employer, but the courts ruled against them. In the acrimonious aftermath of the case, they were dropped by D.C. Comics.
Siegel found employment with another comic book publisher. A quieter man, Shuster was less successful in selling his skill as an illustrator. In 1954 he did his last real comic book work, then his confirmable credits disappear forever.
It’s now thought that, to make ends meet, he turned to doing bondage and S&M artwork for a series of booklets called Nights of Horror. Prose and pictures tell stories about women who are captured, placed in bondage and whipped. Volume One includes “Book of Torture” by Rod Lashwell and “The Strange Loves of Alice” by Gar King.
They were sold under the counter in the early 1950s, until they were banned for violating decency laws.
Comics historian Craig Yoe recently discovered the unknown drawings in a second hand bookstore and identified them as the work of Shuster. He has now compiled a book called Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-creator Joe Shuster (published April 1st).
Even more controversially, Shuster’s erotica uses characters that are recognisably the same as in his Superman comic strips. The cover art, for example, looks a lot like Lois Lane whipping Clark Kent. Yoe’s theory is that he did this as an act of vengeance.
While most of the drawings would come under the broad label of BDSM, there are a few specialist spanking ones. I found them at secret-identity.net where you can read all about the book and see lots more illustrations from it.
I can’t put names to the the faces of the “characters” in these two pictures but they have a familiar look about them.
As a fan of F/F this one below is definitely my favourite. It’s poorer quality because I grabbed it from this YouTube video.
Most superhero comics featured plenty of kinky stuff anyway, including bondage and spankings, so perhaps it’s not surprising to discover that one of the genre’s most important artists had a truly kinky side
And he wasn’t the only one either, as another book by the same author proves.
I couldn’t find any spanking pics in Clean Cartoonist’s Dirty Drawings, but the cover is great, and I enjoyed the slideshow of pages from it too.