i got hooked on comic books by superman’s grandmother

I remember one of my babysitters when I was young. She was old, with white hair, and she came in from Long Island where she lived. She told me that her husband (as I remember it) had created Superman, and sometimes she brought some of the comic books for me to look at. This was back when old comic books were just old comic books, not valuable collectables.

I remembered her years later, when the first Superman movie was coming out. Until that point, the two men who had created Superman had received virtually nothing for their creation, because of a contract they had signed when they were very young. With the movie coming out, however, and all the money being made from tickets and toys and so on, it was rather embarrassing that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who had created the character in the first place, were living in near poverty. So, they were given a small pension for the rest of their lives.

But, thinking about this today, I went to Wikipedia and found this:

In 1964, when Shuster was living on Long Island with his elderly mother, he was reported to be earning his living as a freelance cartoonist; he was also "trying to paint pop art — serious comic strips — and hope[d] eventually to promote a one-man show in some chic Manhattan gallery". At one point, his worsening eyesight prevented him from drawing, and he worked as a deliveryman in order to earn a living.

So, it was apparently his mother who I was remembering, not his wife, and it says something about their finances at that time that she had to babysit in order to make money.

I've traced back the timeline, and it is possible that this was my first exposure to comic books. The first comic book I bought was Fantastic Four #26 ("The Avengers Take Over"), which was dated May 1964. We moved to the city in 1963, but there's no way to tell the exact sequence of events.

So, it is possible (maybe even probable) that I got hooked on comic books by the mother of one of the men who created Superman. That could help explain why the addiction has been so persistent.

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