“The Myth of Superman” (issue 14.06) tells this tale: “Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster “¦ created [Superman] as a char-acter in a newspaper comic strip. But the strip didn’t sell, so they reformatted it and flipped it to a publisher hungry to buy content for one of the first comic books “¦ It’s a classic American success story.”
Wired is reiterating a myth. In the 1930s, as today, to “flip” a comic meant to give it away. The publisher retained all rights to the character. The pair sued DC Comics twice (in 1946 and 1978) in an attempt to recoup some of the hundreds of millions of dollars it made from their idea, but the resulting settlements were paltry ““ less than they would have made as DC employees. If it is, as Wired says, a classic American success story, then it’s also a sad commentary on how creative talent is treated. The classic American success story is a myth.
Stephen wrote a detailed, thorough, insanely detailed post on this back in May, 2006.
Who knows? Maybe net month they will print his Rise and Fall of Wired!
Again, this wanna be blogger is humbled by Stephen’s range and depth. I wish I could just spell good ;-)