Back in January we reported on the news that Papercutz Graphic Novels, the American publisher of family-friendly comic books and graphic novels, had announced the upcoming release of their graphic novel “Truth, Justice, and the American Way: The Joe Shuster Story”. The graphic novel, now titled “The Joe Shuster Story: The Artist Behind Superman”, was recently released under the Super Genius imprint from Papercutz, and CBR.com interviewed writer Julian Voloj to get further details on the book…
“The focus on Joe Shuster came more by coincidence,” Voloj admitted in an interview with CBR. “When I was exploring the idea of turning the story into a graphic novel, I learned that someone donated a box of letters, written by Joe Shuster, to Columbia University. I contacted librarian Karen Green and got access to the letters even before they were fully catalogued.
“They were heartbreaking letters, most of them from around 1965-1970 when he was struggling to pay medical bills and fearing to be evicted,” Voloj continued. “Reading about his hardship in his own words made me decide that he’d become the narrator.”
Keeping Shuster in the foreground was sometimes difficult, as the more assertive partner, Siegel, often took the lead in their creative, business and personal relationships. “Shuster was definitely the more quiet of the dynamic duo,” Voloj said. “Siegel was the more outspoken, the one who took initiative, be it negotiating with potential publishers (even before Superman) or deciding to go to court.
“The book is not only the story of Superman’s origins, but it is most of all the story of a friendship, and I think that Shuster often joined Siegel in his endeavors because of loyal friendship.”