Images © DC Comics, Inc.
I began working in the DC production department in 1977, and by 1978 the big news was the upcoming Superman movie, the first one with Christopher Reeve as Superman. The creators of the character, writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, had been battling with the company for years over what they felt was unjust treatment both financial and as creators, and in 1976 a deal was reached that they were happy with at the time (with the help of public outcry and the efforts of comics pros like Neal Adams). In 1978, in anticipation of the movie, DC prepared this tabloid-sized recreation of the first issue of SUPERMAN from 1939. I did some production work on it, and designed the “FAMOUS FIRST EDITION” logo seen above, as well as a futuristic Superman logo used on the back cover.
One day, probably in early 1979, Joe Shuster came to the DC offices, and was brought into the production department and introduced to everyone. The printed copies of the tabloid were on hand, and I was introduced to Joe as someone who had worked on it. I was thrilled and excited to meet him, and delighted when he agreed to sign the full-size cover to me. This was a second cover on glossy stock INSIDE the outer cardstock cover (top picture) reproducing the original issue’s cover at tabloid size. I was impressed at the time, but I was a kid. I didn’t know much about the man and his journey, his vital place in comics history, the difficult times he’d had, his health problems, and all the things that make it so much more meaningful to me now. It’s a memory and an object I’ll always treasure.