The Long and Ridiculous History of Superman’s Dog

Reading between the lines.
May 3 2013 11:20 AM

“I Gotta Cut Krypto”

The author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography argues with his editor about the Dog of Steel.

This is Krypto the Super Dog. He is awesome. These are facts.
This is Krypto the Super Dog. He is awesome. These are facts.

Author’s collection

Unedited transcript of the July 12, 2012, phone conversation between Glen Weldon, author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, and his editor, Eric Nelson.

Weldon: Hello?

Editor:  Hey, Glen. Got a minute?

Weldon: Hey, Eric. Uh, sure.

Editor: I just read Chapter 5, and I got to the Krypto stuff.

1305_SBR_SUPERMAN_COVER

Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Weldon: OK.

Editor: All the Krypto stuff.

Weldon: Yeah. [Chuckles.] Awesome.

Editor: Thirteen pages.

Weldon: … Excuse me?

Editor: You wrote 13 pages.

Weldon:  … I uh, I don’t …

Editor: About a dog.

Weldon: Ah.

Editor: Glen, who are you writing this book for? Who exactly is this person in your head who’s prepared to wade through 13 pages about Superman’s dog? It’s you, isn’t it?

Weldon: OK, let me just stop you right there. I think I see the issue. You are talking about Krypto as if he’s just a dog. He’s not just a dog, Eric.

Editor: Here we go.

Weldon: He is a dog ...

Editor: “ … in a cape.”  

Weldon: Yes, he is a dog in a cape, Eric. And that … that is awesome. OK? Empirically so. That’s just science. I mean … did you read that section? Really read it?

Editor: Oh, I read it. All 13 pa …

Weldon: Because it doesn’t sound like you really read it.

Editor: I’m cutting it, Glen. Sorry. I gotta cut Krypto.

Weldon: [Sputtering.]

Editor: The contract says, “75,000 word manuscript.” You turned in how many?

Weldon [mumbling]: … 150.

Editor: 150,000 words. And this book’s about Superman—who he is, what he represents, how he’s changed—so if we gotta cut something, then maybe, I don’t know, 13 pages about his pet doggie might be a good thing to start with, I feel.

Weldon: [Silence.]

Editor: Hello?

Weldon: Let me walk you through it.

Editor: Oh, fer …

Weldon: Let me explain it to you while I have you on the phone. Why Krypto the Superdog is awesome. What he’s there for. Why he matters.

Cover of Adventure Comics No. 210 (March 1955).
Cover of Adventure Comics No. 210 (March 1955).

Author’s collection

Weldon: The year! 1955!

Editor: Oy …