Funnyman was not a big hit as a comic book, lasting a short run of six issues, and for a short time as a newspaper comic strip. ME was the publisher, and several artists did the drawing. This particular episode, from Funnyman #3 (1948), is credited by the Grand Comics Database to John Sikela for pencils, and inks by the Shuster studio. I see the character as being modeled after Danny Kaye and Red Skelton (“I dooed it!” is taken directly from Skelton). Throw in some baggy pants and some superhero-style gimmicks and voila, Funnyman.
More Funnyman. Just click on the thumbnail:
Another superman before Superman
It is no secret that Siegel and Shuster had their models for Superman, even a villainous Superman. Philip Wylie’s novel, Gladiator, is widely touted as a direct inspiration. Wylie always believed it, anyway, even if Siegel denied it (why put yourself on record with a statement that can get you sued?). Gladiator was published in 1930, and this story, “The Superman of Dr. Jukes” by Francis Flagg, is from the November, 1931 issue of Wonder Stories.
“Killer Mike” is Dr. Jukes’ superman, and the author makes it fairly clear that the story is also about Al Capone — called Frazzini, or “The Big Shot” — throughout the story. Killer Mike makes more like the Flash than Superman, moving so fast everything appears to him to be in slow motion.
To me the story if of its era, corny in spots. Brad Ricca, who wrote Super Boys, a book about Siegel and Shuster, says that Siegel read it. It is true that Siegel’s early fanzine story, “The Reign of the Super-Man” was about a criminal superman, not unlike Flagg’s.
These are scans of the pages of the story from its original appearance in Wonder Stories, so you can see for yourselves.