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.


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 …



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 2:35 PM Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks
The Vault
Sept. 16 2014 12:15 PM “Human Life Is Frightfully Cheap”: A 1900 Petition to Make Lynching a Federal Offense
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.