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SUPERMAN CREATOR JERRY SIEGEL FEUD LETTER Memorabilia
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END TIME:  Monday, 06/24/2024 10:01 PM
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Signed Poison-Pen Blackmail Letter from Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel to National Comics Executive Harry Donenfeld
troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
Jerry Siegel Letters
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A 15% BUYER'S PREMIUM WILL BE ADDED TO THIS ITEM AT CONCLUSION OF THE AUCTION
Signed Poison-Pen Blackmail Letter from Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel to National Comics Executive Harry Donenfeld
troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
Jerry Siegel Letters

This troubling signed letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel is a rare artifact from one of the most vicious feuds in comics history -- as the writer continued his poison-pen campaign to threaten the National (later DC) Publications brass who'd bought the rights to Superman for $130 in 1938!

This letter (with original envelope) is a particularly bizarre remnant of Siegel’s poison-pen campaign from 1951, wherein the Superman scribe simply mails a list of threatening terms to National President Harry Donenfeld in what's clearly a threat of blackmail. Some of these terms are now easily defined, thanks to earlier letters by Siegel. “Gladiator” is a reference to Siegel being willing to testify in favor of author Philip Wylie’s claims that his novel Gladiator was the secret inspiration for National’s popular superhero. “HOT STORIES” is a regular taunt from Siegel, reminding Donenfeld of his "spicy" pulp past. That’s followed by the innovation of anti-smut crusader “John Sumner” and his “Suppression of Vice” movement, along with a threatening listing of “Jail.”

In that same spirit, “Siegel” isn’t a reference to himself. Instead, Jerry is invoking Herbert M. Siegel, who saved Donenfeld from an obscenity conviction in 1934 by testifying hat he’d inserted obscene material into a pulp magazine without Donefeld’s knowledge. Herbert was found guilty, paid his debt to society, and spent the rest of his career at National in an office where his main duty seemed to be reading newspapers.

The listing of “Faye” might remain a mystery if the 2023 book The American Way hadn’t revealed how Donenfeld had acted out of character (and in secrecy) by sponsoring a Jewish family fleeing the Nazis—at the behest of his attractive young friend Faye Sternberg. “The cloak-and-suit FIRE” might refer to Donenfeld’s early retail career, The meaning of “Sunny” remains unknown—and “Bashed by musicians on a boat” is both very specific and lost to time.

In a further bizarre twist, this letter is dated December 17, 1951, just five days after Siegel wrote a pleading letter also available in this auction—where Siegel wrote to Donenfeld, “I am appealing directly to you for help, because you personally were pretty decent to me in our dealings.”



    description
    SUPERMAN CREATOR JERRY SIEGEL FEUD LETTER Memorabilia
    -- VF: 8.0
    A 15% BUYER'S PREMIUM WILL BE ADDED TO THIS ITEM AT CONCLUSION OF THE AUCTION
    Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel Poison-Pen Letter Sent to Distributors to Shame Comic Book Executives
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
    A 15% BUYER'S PREMIUM WILL BE ADDED TO THIS ITEM AT CONCLUSION OF THE AUCTION
    Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel Poison-Pen Letter Sent to Distributors to Shame Comic Book Executives
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
     
    Current Bid: $37
    (No Reserve)
    Auction Ends In
    description
    SUPERMAN CREATOR JERRY SIEGEL FEUD LETTER Memorabilia
    -- VF: 8.0
    A 15% BUYER'S PREMIUM WILL BE ADDED TO THIS ITEM AT CONCLUSION OF THE AUCTION
    Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel Letter To National Comics Boss Jack Liebowitz Pleading for Work
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
    A 15% BUYER'S PREMIUM WILL BE ADDED TO THIS ITEM AT CONCLUSION OF THE AUCTION
    Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel Letter To National Comics Boss Jack Liebowitz Pleading for Work
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
     
    Current Bid: $27
    (No Reserve)
    Auction Ends In
    description
    SUPERMAN CREATOR JERRY SIEGEL FEUD LETTER Memorabilia
    -- VF: 8.0
    A 15% BUYER'S PREMIUM WILL BE ADDED TO THIS ITEM AT CONCLUSION OF THE AUCTION
    Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel Poison-Pen Letter Sent to Shame National Comics Executives
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
    A 15% BUYER'S PREMIUM WILL BE ADDED TO THIS ITEM AT CONCLUSION OF THE AUCTION
    Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel Poison-Pen Letter Sent to Shame National Comics Executives
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
     
    Current Bid: $22
    (No Reserve)
    Auction Ends In
    description
    SUPERMAN CREATOR JERRY SIEGEL FEUD LETTER Memorabilia
    -- VF: 8.0
    A 15% BUYER'S PREMIUM WILL BE ADDED TO THIS ITEM AT CONCLUSION OF THE AUCTION
    Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel Poison-Pen Letter Blasting National Comics Executives
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
    A 15% BUYER'S PREMIUM WILL BE ADDED TO THIS ITEM AT CONCLUSION OF THE AUCTION
    Superman Co-Creator Jerry Siegel Poison-Pen Letter Blasting National Comics Executives
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
     
    Current Bid: $55
    (No Reserve)
    Auction Ends In
    description
    SUPERMAN CREATOR JERRY SIEGEL FEUD LETTER Memorabilia
    -- VF: 8.0
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
    troubling letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel's hate-mail campaign against National (later DC) Comics executives
     
    Current Bid: $27
    (No Reserve)
    Auction Ends In
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