Rare JFK ‘Superman Art’ Donated To Memorial Library By DC Entertainment

It was the artist’s dying wish to have the special edition comic end up in Boston.

By | Arts & Entertainment |

A comic book artist known for his prolific work on the Superman collection in the 1950s and 1960s will get his dying wish to have a special edition story he illustrated, featuring President John F. Kennedy, which he thought was long-lost, land in the commemorative museum in Boston.

Al Plastino, called “one of the most influential” Superman artists of his time by the people at DC Entertainment, who run the superhero series, passed away in November, about a month before he could see the rare artwork he had been trying to track down officially head to the JFK Library.

In the 1960s, Plastino thought the story he illustrated, called “Superman’s Mission For President Kennedy,” wound up at the JFK Library. But as the 50th Anniversary of the president’s assassination approached in November, news surfaced that the comic book was up for auction in California.

“I found out a few weeks ago that my work is going up for auction at Heritage House in Beverly Hills. They will not return it to me or tell me who the consigner is,” Plastino wrote on his Facebook fan page at the time.

He asked the community for help getting all 10 pages of the artwork back, which were set to be auctioned off at $20,000 each.

Before the work went up for sale, however, auctioneers decided to pull the comic from the showcase, despite the fact that they confirmed they had legally purchased the pages in 1993. Soon after, at the request of Plastino, DC Entertainment was able to purchase the special JFK issue. Plastino passed away shortly after the comic—which originally went to print after the president’s assassination in 1963—was obtained by the company. But DC Entertainment was committed to following through with the artist’s dying wish to have his work displayed for the public at the JFK Library and Museum.

“As a tribute to honor him and preserve his artistic legacy, DC Entertainment is pleased to confirm that we have acquired the art and will be donating it to the JFK Library, fulfilling Plastino’s longtime hope for the story, which he often pointed to as one of his most important artistic contributions,” DC representatives said in a statement this week.

Plastino’s family, who has been updating the artist’s Facebook page in the wake of his death, said they were pleased that DC Entertainment was able to secure the copy of “Superman’s Mission for President Kennedy,” and get it to the library.

“We are extremely grateful [that it] will be preserved as part of his artistic legacy and as a tribute to President Kennedy,” they said in a statement. “This art was always very, very special to Al and our whole family and it would have meant a great deal to Al to know that DC Entertainment stepped in to make this possible.”

A spokesperson at the JFK Library couldn’t provide additional information about the transfer and donation of the artwork, or when it would be on display, but they said the organization is waiting to sign the deed to the rare property.

  • jake481

    Why wouldn’t you show the piece of art the entire article is about?

    • Steve Annear

      Because I couldn’t get permission to use the photo.

      • jake481

        I get it….but writing an article about a specific image of Superman, then showing an image of Superman without mentioning it’s not the image that’s the subject of the article feels a little dishonest.

        I’ve seen the piece of art in question in several other articles. Any idea why you were denied ?

        • Steve Annear

          I understand, But I wouldn’t call it “dishonest.” That’s a Superman drawing by the artist mentioned in the article. They just didn’t get back to me ever, so I did the right thing in not stealing someone’s work without permission—which I would call honest.

          • jake481

            By the way ..no offense meant. This is a well written article. I just felt a little confused about the artwork. Thanks for getting back to me.

          • Steve Annear

            Oh no worries. No offense taken. Just wanted to let you know why I wasn’t able to put the actual work on there. Thanks for reading and reaching out!