years ago, a new character emerged on the American scene. It was Superman. He
was, we were told, "faster than a speeding bullet... Able to leap tall
buildings at a single bound!" He caught on fast with the American public.
Now the story behind Superman's creation has inspired novelist Brad Meltzer and
launched a movement that saved the house where Superman was created. Susan Logue
super powers and commitment to rid the world of criminals, Superman and his
alter ego, Clark Kent, have captured the imagination of Americans for
generations - first in comic books, then on television and in movies.
was the creation of Joseph Shuster and Jerry Siegel. They were 17 when they created the character. How they came to create the super hero is
what intrigued novelist Brad Meltzer.
they asked Jerry Siegel where did you get the idea for Superman, he never
mentions that his father died during a crime," Meltzer notes.
author has a theory. He notes that the
first version of Superman came just one year after Siegel’s father died during
a robbery. And the cover of that first
non-commercial comic book shows Superman stopping a robbery.
like how Jerry Siegel's father died,” Meltzer says, adding, “if you look at the
picture, the victim is Jerry Siegel."
five years before the first commercial Superman comic book was sold in 1938.
latest novel, The Book of Lies, is partially
inspired by the death of Siegel's father.
Research for the book him to Cleveland, where Superman was created.
[thought], 'I've got to see the place where Superman was created if I'm going
to write about this for the thriller.”
He was shocked to find the house
was seriously deteriorating, with holes in the plaster and water damage from a
leaking roof. “And I said this is not
house where Google was created is saved.” Meltzer says. “The farm where Hewlett
Packard was founded is preserved.”
And so he
set out to save what has become known as the Superman House.
launched the non-profit Siegel and Shuster Society and a website, which
held an on-line auction of original artwork and other items during the month of
The total raised, $101,744,
was more than twice the figure he had anticipated.
Meltzer shouldn't be surprised by the amount of support. As he noted before the auction began, “A comic book is not just a comic book when
it comes to Superman. Superman matters."
on the house began October 2, two days after the auction ended.
current owners, an elderly couple who could not afford to do the reparis themselves, have agreed to let the Siegel and Shuster Society buy the house
when they decide to sell.