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Author Topic: News: Superman Novel  (Read 10835 times)
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TELLE
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« on: July 29, 2005, 04:30:49 AM »



It's Superman!
by Tom DeHaven

Best known for his Derby Dugan trilogy of novels, about the real-life inspiration for a (fictional) 1930s comic strip, DeHaven's newest project is a licensed novel about Superman from Chronicle books.  DeHaven is a comics fan and his interpretation of the character should be more sympathetic to older versions of Superman.

The great cover is by Chris Ware, whose graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Boy on Earth was a touching examination of the Superman myth in its own right.

Here's an early review of It's Superman!:


Fantagraphics Blog
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2005, 06:53:24 AM »

Wow! How neat does THIS sound?

One of the things that's most interesting about Superman, at least in his early days is that there is a degree of futurism about him; all sorts of 1939 World's Fair type stuff. His "Metropolis" (an obvious reference to the German science fiction movie) was a future city. He was called the "Man of Tomorrow." His "costume," after all, started out as a reference to Flash Gordon and was worn because it looked futuristic (at least at that time).

Here's a question for the forum that this novel raises:

Is Superman a "period" character? Should he be kept "period?"

It would be unthinkable to put Sam Spade in any other time other than the 1930s and 1940s; ditto for Sherlock Holmes from his Victorian Era.

There was a Time magazine article a while back that said that "back in the 1930s, we liked our heroes the way we liked our steak: beefy and All-American." Perhaps - and I'm just indulging in idle, harmless speculation here - maaaaybe one of the problems Superman has had in recent times may be because they are attempting to "modernize" or "remake" what is basically a period character.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2005, 02:59:36 PM »

This author works across the street from me here at the university!  I talked to him last year when this project was announced in a local paper.  Once the book's out, I'll see if I can talk him into popping onto the boards if you guys have any questions you want to ask.
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2005, 04:47:01 PM »

Quote from: "nightwing"
This author works across the street from me here at the university!  I talked to him last year when this project was announced in a local paper.  Once the book's out, I'll see if I can talk him into popping onto the boards if you guys have any questions you want to ask.


Awesome! Thanks for the hookup, Nightwing. I do have a few questions now that you mention it...

In life, it's not what you know, but...
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2005, 07:05:12 PM »

Can't wait!

I saw the Roger Stern novel in the bookstore and flipping through it didn't impress me much. Maybe my standards are too high....

Anyway, this looks like it's going to be really good. I accidentally came across it while browsing Amazon, and I may preorder it.
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2005, 09:38:58 AM »

aPPARENTLY it's out!

Now available in finer bookstores everywhere.

Any early reviews?
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2005, 05:14:31 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
Is Superman a "period" character? Should he be kept "period?"


You've mentioned this before, Julian, about Superman being more closely tied to his origin era of the 1930s/1940s.

I became a fan of Superman in the early 1970s which is far removed from his 1930s origins.  The character has updated, mostly successfully, for every era since his origin.  IIRC, the Silver Age sales were higher than the Golden Age ones, or at least they were comparable.

IMHO, Superman should be kept. Period. Cheesy

OTOH, the comics marketplace doesn't owe him an existence, despite his having founded the industry.  If the creative powers-that-be can't keep him fresh and vital for a changing fanbase, then the problem lies with them.
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2005, 07:55:53 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
You've mentioned this before, Julian, about Superman being more closely tied to his origin era of the 1930s/1940s.


Actually, this was the first time I brought it up - check out the date on my post there.  Cheesy

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
I became a fan of Superman in the early 1970s which is far removed from his 1930s origins.


Ditto for me. Roger Moore is my James Bond and Bates/Maggin are my Superman writers.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
The character has updated, mostly successfully, for every era since his origin. IIRC, the Silver Age sales were higher than the Golden Age ones, or at least they were comparable.


That's an interesting point - Superman HAS been revised successfully many times.

It is interesting to note that in many ways, his seventies incarnation is the BIGGEST departure from Superman's beginnings. Not because of stuff like Kandor being re-enlarged, but because Superman's personality went from an all-wise father figure, to being a funny, understated character who cracks wise occasionally, and while he has a lot of dignity, he doesn't give speeches or pose. His heroism comes not from a Sir Lancelot purity, but from a very direct sense of right and wrong and refusal to compromise. In other words, Superman didn't try very hard to be a hero in the 70s - he just WAS one.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
IMHO, Superman should be kept. Period.  

OTOH, the comics marketplace doesn't owe him an existence, despite his having founded the industry. If the creative powers-that-be can't keep him fresh and vital for a changing fanbase, then the problem lies with them.


Agreed. I'd rather have no Superman comics at all than lousy ones.
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