August 28, 2017: DC Comics Digitally Restores Classic Superman Diversity Poster

by Neil Cole

In a recently much circulated image of a 1950ís-era color poster, Superman can be seen speaking to school children about the importance of respecting diversity. Only a tiny number of these posters are thought to still exist and little information remains about how the poster came to be. But what we do know is that it was not the original source of that powerful image and statement. In 1949, DC (National Comics) produced this same image and text originally for a 12 x 18Ē brown paper school book cover that was distributed to schools by the Institute for American Democracy, an offshoot of the Anti-Defamation League. While the author of Supermanís reminder of the American creed is unknown, the art is believed to be by noted Superman artist Wayne Boring.

1949 was also the year that DC began publishing, in conjunction with the National Social Welfare Assembly, a long running series of public service messages using its characters in the pages of its comic books.

Earlier this year, the intrepid art team at the DC office digitally restored the poster, offering a much larger and clearer image of this classic piece of art that embodies a core value that we as Americans hold so dear.