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The Origins of Superman

Thursday, June 6, 2024

5:30-6:30 pm

In honor of Superman’s 85th anniversary in 2023, presenter Daniel Boone explores how Superman came to be. Superman’s creators (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) were influenced by Biblical, mythological, and historical figures, and the story of Superman is one of an immigrant and his adopted planet, echoing the story of Exodus and the Jewish experience. Siegel and Shuster also experienced feelings of alienation, and with the rise of anti-semitism and fascism, the zeitgeist was ready for a character who espoused the American ideal and democratic values. Superman’s appearance and abilities were influenced by characters from pulp magazines, movies, and circus strongmen. In several respects, the Superman character is an expression of Siegel and Shuster’s own goals and aspirations. 

Daniel Boone was born in Louisville and has been a resident of Jeffersonville for the last 19 years. He is a clinical psychologist, recently retired after working for the Louisville Veterans Administration for 17 years, spending most of his career there working in a substance abuse treatment program at the New Albany outpatient clinic. He helps out with the Jeffersonville Public Arts Commission, Jeffersonville Library Foundation, and Jeffersonville Food Pantry, and is involved with the Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana. Daniel is a huge comic book fan, born at the dawn of the Silver Age (1956-1970) and exposed to Marvel and DC comics passed down from his uncles throughout the 1960s. He has his own comic-book-themed museum in his basement, filled with posters, statues, busts, and vintage comic books from the Silver and Bronze (1970-1985) ages.

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