Friday, 25 February 2011


My obit of Joanne Siegel, wife of Superman's co-creator Jerry Siegel and model for Joe Shuster when he drew the original Lois Lane, is in today's Indy, you can link to it here. Joanne really was like Lois Lane, who as a reporter was actually far more Hildy Johnson than Torchy Blane; she had what my mother would have called 'pizzazz' and was at the centre of Siegel and Shuster's copyright battles with DC, Warner Bros, and Time Warner right from the start.

It might have been nice to discuss Lois Lane a little more; for such a sharp woman, she seemed incredibly blind not to see that Clark Kent was Superman in glasses and with the spit-curl combed up. Of course, that was a neat bit of role reversal, the 30s and 40s stereotypes of girls in glasses, think of Dorothy Malone in The Big Sleep, but it was also a reflection of the perennial dream life of adolescent boys: if she only knew that behind this mild-mannered exterior lurks a real super man!

I also mentioned that, if Marlon Brando had indeed judged the costumes at the Cartoonists Ball where Joanne and Jerry re-encountered each other, it was a considerable coincidence that Brando would decades later waddle onto screen as Superman's Kryptonian father. And of course, despite the outwardly sexier versions of Lois that have appeared on screen in the past 30 years, Noel Neill, to me, remains the definitive screen Lois Lane. Though Joanne Siegel would probably give her a run...

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