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    Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster - "Reign of the Superman" -- Science Fiction Fanzine V1#3 And Others (1933). Appearing five years before Action Comics #1, this was the first "Superman" story ever written by Jerry Siegel and the first Superman image drawn by Joe Shuster. The fanzine, edited by Siegel, is 8 1/2" x 11" and was reportedly mimeographed on a machine at the duo's high school. The issue credits Siegel as editor and Shuster as artist -- the byline "Herbert S. Fine" is a combination of Siegel's mother's maiden name and the name of one of his cousins. Of course, this Superman was a different character than the costumed hero who later appeared in comic books; this one was bald and a villain! Siegel once commented, "A couple of months after I published this story, it occurred to me that a Superman as a hero rather than a villain might make a great comic strip character... Obviously, having him as a hero would be infinitely more commercial than having him a villain." It's been noted that this was in keeping with a pulp tradition in which supernatural characters were inevitably evil. This copy is somewhat fragile, though considering this item's age and the method of production, one would hardly be found in mint condition. The paper is age-darkened and a bit chipped at the edges. Though the contents page calls for 27 pages, there are actually only 22. John McLaughlin speculated "it's likely that the contents page was prepared prior to filling out the rest of the issue, and those 'phantom' pages never printed. Comparison with another known copy confirms this." The last page is detached, and this copy has no cover. Also included in this lot are V1#1 and V1#2 of Science Fiction (October and November 1932), also with Siegel and Shuster contributions. These are in similar condition to V1#3, though a bit more heavily chipped and with some pages detached at the staples. The latter two were folded and sent through the mail, they have an address and canceled stamps on the back. This fanzine ran for a total of five issues, and speculation is that no more than 50 copies were printed (compare this to Action #1, of which tens of thousands of copies were produced). McLaughlin's assessment of the item: "In the realm of modern SF, fantasy and popular literature a more important printed work does not exist."From the John McLaughlin Collection.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2006
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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