2006-06-01

Faster than a speeding blog...



Today is the birthday of Superman. Well, it's actually the 68th anniversary of the publication of Action #1, his first appearance, but don't quibble.

Here's some Canadian trivia for you: Along with Jerry Siegel, Superman was co-created by a Toronto native, Joe Shuster (the cousin of Frank Shuster of "Wayne & Shuster" fame.) The Daily Planet where Clark Kent works was based on The Daily Star in Toronto, where young Jerry worked as a newsboy. So Metropolis could be loosely based on Toronto, not New York as is often conjectured.

In 1942, one of several Max Fleischer cartoons featuring Superman, was entitled, "The Japoteurs" and here it is in all its racist glory. Enjoy...



Now I'd like to propose a question to all my loyal readers. As you may be aware, Superman's powers derive from arriving on a planet with a Yellow sun (Earth) after being sent here as a baby from the planet Krypton, a planet with a Red sun (and a much stronger gravity). Should Superman travel to a planet with a Red sun, he becomes powerless.

My question is, how do they explain this concept in Japan? Over here the sun is depicted as RED. (Taken a look at the Japanese flag lately?) When kids break out their Crayolas and begin to draw SOL, they use the Red crayon. So when it came time to translate Superman into Japanese, how did they explain the Red/Yellow concept as the origin of his powers. Did they reverse the colours (Krypton has a Yellow sun, Earth has a Red one.) Did they try to explain that Jerry Siegel is an infidel who doesn't know the difference between Red and Yellow.

If anyone has an answer to this query, I'd really be curious to read it.

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