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Cotta Vaz, Mark. Empire of the Superheroes: America’s comic book creators and the making of a billion-dollar industry. New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2021. 
Added by: joachim (2/1/21, 11:57 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (5/19/23, 12:23 PM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-1-4773-1647-4
BibTeX citation key: CottaVaz2021
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Categories: General
Keywords: Comic book industry, Superhero, USA
Creators: Cotta Vaz
Publisher: Rutgers Univ. Press (New Brunswick)
Views: 8/928
Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but even he can't outrun copyright law. Since the dawn of the pulp hero in the 1930s, publishers and authors have fought over the privilege of making money off of comics, and the authors and artists usually have lost. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, got all of $130 for the rights to the hero.
In Empire of the Superheroes, Mark Cotta Vaz argues that licensing and litigation do as much as any ink-stained creator to shape the mythology of comic characters. Vaz reveals just how precarious life was for the legends of the industry. Siegel and Shuster—and their heirs—spent seventy years battling lawyers to regain rights to Superman. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon were cheated out of their interest in Captain America, and Kirby's children brought a case against Marvel to the doorstep of the Supreme Court. To make matters worse, the infant comics medium was nearly strangled in its crib by censorship and moral condemnation. For the writers and illustrators now celebrated as visionaries, the "golden age" of comics felt more like hard times.
The fantastical characters that now earn Hollywood billions have all-too-human roots. Empire of the Superheroesdigs them up, detailing the creative martyrdom at the heart of a pop-culture powerhouse.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Comic Book Babylon

1. In the Beginning
2. World of Tomorrow
3. More Super Than Tarzan
4. Shadow Realm
5. Superman versus Wonder Man
6. The First Generation
7. Superman, Inc.
8. Patents and Patriots
9. Up, Up And Awa-a-y!
10. Battle of the Century
11. The Adventures of Superboy
12. The Trial
13. Progenitors
14. Judgment Day
15. Crackdown and Crash
16. Resurrection and Renewal
17. Copyright Wars
18. Masters of Invention
19. Evolutionary Imperative
20. Superman and Captain America on Trial
21. The King and the Man
22. Legacy


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