Important Things To Know #7: Secret Identities

I find it interesting that many of our beloved authors and illustrators were not always the family friendly guys we thought they were. Many artists we thought were wholesome, were responsible for some explicitly adult oriented material.

Take for instance Al Hartly, the man responsible for converting the Archie comics to Christianity.  Prior to becoming "born again", Al was responsible for the sex comic The Adventures of Pussycat.

Then there's the creator of the much loved Lady and the Tramp.  Ward Greene composed a short story for Cosmopolitan magazine called "Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog" in 1943. Walt Disney happened to read the story and decided to make a feature film about it. He insisted that Greene write a full length novel before the movie was released so that audiences would be familiar with the story. Little did the public know, the same guy who created Lady & the Tramp also wrote The Life & Loves of a Modern Mister Bluebeard. Ride the Nightmare!

The most startling of all has to be the lurid artwork of Joe Shuster, the creator of Superman. Shuster never was able to benefit from his creation, and found himself out of work while his Superman character was raking in the dough. His work degenerated into some pretty kinky stuff. From USA Today

Within are naked women with whips, brutish men brandishing red-hot pokers, exotic torture and politically incorrect spankings. What makes the illustrations more than simply a curiosity of the times is the disturbing fact that many of the characters look exactly like Shuster's Superman and Lois Lane.

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