200910201251The child is father to the man…or else there is always room for redemption and wisdom, Saul of Tarsus style.

A few weeks ago, Jeet Heer unearthed a newspaper profile of Fantagraphics co-publisher Gary Groth at the age of 17. The young Groth was even then interested in publishing — the profile was published in no less an outlet than the Washington Post — but his feelings then were somewhat…well, unevolved.

As Steve Duin shows with an editorial on Superman from Amazing Heroes a mere 16 years later, things had changed.

Superman is an American Symbol, though; notwithstanding his humble beginnings at the hands of Siegel and Shuster, Superman was sold to the American public by a company who couldn’t care less for “courage and humility,” and stands as the successful marketing of pop mythology, and like a political candidate who offers image, bombast, and demagoguery over substance and ideals, Superman has come to stand for values he never consistently realized as a creation. He’s the ultimate America icon — he can be sold, marketed, and merchandised, whose image can be replicated on everything from pillowcases to beach balls to underwear.


  1. While admitting that Early Gary is preferable to Late Gary, without Late Gary I would never have enjoyed the spectacle of the JOURNAL’s freaky conversion to the Frankfurt School mythology.

    Being that I’m student of all myths, it’s at least sociologically interesting.

  2. I have all of the “Green Helmet” stories. They were finely crafted socially relevant parables. Whatever happened to him? Somebody please, bring him, and his world back to the comic book pages!

  3. That was all of us at one point or another. Comic books are the common bond that bring a lot of very different people across the same path…sooner or later.

    A good read.

    Beau Smith
    The Flying Fist Ranch