2005 Comic Book News Archives

Back of Cape

June 23, 2005: Paul Cassidy, the Man Credited with Putting S on Cape, Dies

Back when Clark Kent was reporting to the Daily Star - and even before there was a Daily Planet - a mild-mannered Milwaukee teacher became the first ghost artist to draw America's superhero for comic books.

The teacher was Paul H. Cassidy, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts.

Cassidy is credited with putting the "S" on Superman's cape, according to numerous Web sites. He drew the cape tight to the crime fighter's shoulders, not attached by ties as in earlier illustrations. His "S" for Superman became bolder, part of the evolution of the emblem.

And, probably as much as any early artist, he began drawing the world's most famous fictional hero in a more fluid, dramatic way.

"Cassidy's cape was dynamic and flew in all directions, often even covering Superman's face," according to one comics-related Web site.

"We think he was a kind of super man, too," son Larry Cassidy said.

Cassidy died of natural causes May 15 at a senior facility on Milwaukee's east side. He was 94. He and his late wife, Inez Jay Taylor Cassidy, long lived in Shorewood.

For most of his life, Cassidy never knew that he had become part of the legend and lore of Superman.

That changed about three years ago when son Dick Cassidy and granddaughter Katy Cassidy were visiting. Katy had her laptop computer along.

"She wanted to know if he had ever checked his name on the Internet," Dick Cassidy said.

"So she Googles his name and Superman," he said, "and comes up with thousands of references."

"He was enthralled," Larry Cassidy said. "He was on the Internet worldwide and people could read about what he did 60 years earlier.

"I think he felt a sense of wonder and a quiet satisfaction. I think he was genuinely touched by this."

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