A Brief History of the Joe Shuster Awards

A Brief History of the Joe Shuster Awards

A Brief History of the Joe Shuster Awards

Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel were the co-creators of Superman. However, the two partners had sold their creation to one of the companies that went on to become DC Comics for $130 in 1938. This meant that they received little benefit from their creation once it had managed to become a prominent part of the cultural landscape, which resulted in a series of legal struggles for better treatment for themselves. Siegel managed to continue working in the comics industry, which happened to include a stint at Marvel Comics.

In contrast, Shuster continued to work for some time in the comics industry, but was forced to stop because of his worsening eyesight. As a result, there is a rather famous story about Shuster delivering a package to the DC Comics building as part of his job as a deliveryman, which caused so much embarrassment that the DC Comics CEO gave him a $100 before telling him to buy a new coat and get another job. Eventually, Shuster and Siegel managed to secure annual pensions from DC Comics for themselves in 1975, though even then, Shuster was in serious debt by the time of his death in 1992.

Regardless, Shuster had a fair amount of influence on the character that he co-created. For example, it is no coincidence that Clark Kent is something seeking to fit into his new home, seeing as how both Shuster and Siegel were the children of Jewish immigrants. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Clark Kent’s workplace at a newspaper was based on Shuster’s previous workplace at a newspaper, much as how the city of Metropolis was based on the city of Toronto in Canada. Since Shuster had such an influence on Superman, it is no exaggeration to say that he has had a fair amount of influence on the comics industry as a whole, which explains why there are the Joe Shuster Awards.

How Did the Joe Shuster Awards Come to Be?

Given the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Joe Shuster Awards are handed out by a Canadian nonprofit called the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association. Said nonprofit started up in 2004 for the purpose of honoring Canadians who are involved as creators in the comics industry in one way or another. Since that time, the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association has continued running through a number of sources of funding, ranging from donations and sponsorships to the sales of special items.

With that said, it is interesting to note that the Joe Shuster Awards have seen their fair share of changes over time. For example, it started out as an English-language awards, but has since become much more inclusive in nature. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the awards started out by being voted upon but have since become selected by a panel of jurists, which was meant to eliminate serious problems such as bias as well as ballot stuffing. Currently, the Joe Shuster Awards strive to honor Canadian creatores in the comic industry, whether they are artists, producers, or writers as well as whether they work with Canadian or non-Canadian publishers.

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