Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Boys of Steel

I always hesitate to call it a review when I talk about books by folks I've come to know via the Internet but here's another one. Let's call it a plug, then. This is Marc Tyler Nobleman's BOYS OF STEEL. We've mentioned it before here but today I got my own copy and it's really great. Many years ago, I came up with the idea of a series of children's books that would offer biographies of people behind the scenes of television shows, books or characters with whom kids would be familiar. The general perception was that while some might generate some interest, most would flop. I GET that but I still think there's a need for such books. How else are kids expected to find out about these things? BOYS OF STEEL is exactly the sort of thing I had envisioned. A hardcover picture book telling a simplified version of the lives of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the book spins their story in a very positive way up through the triumphant success of Superman. A two page text afterword even summarizes the rest of the often tragic story, up to and including the most recent positive court rulings regarding the Man of Steel's ownership.

The illustrations by Ross MacDonald (not the mystery writer!) are a nice mix of 1940's style children's book illustrations and golden age comic art style. I am curious, though, as in spite of the afterword talking about recent copyright rulings, I see no mention whatsoever of Superman's copyright in the fine print. You know, "The character of Superman is tm and copyright DC comics. Used by permission." I mean, yes, it's not about the guy with the cape but he DOES appear. Did I miss something or is there some legal reason that kind of thing is no longer required?

Nitpicking aside, kids love Superman and kids and comics collectors of all ages should enjoy this wonderful addition to their bookshelves! Makes me wish, yet again, that I had gotten to meet Jerry Siegel at the one comic book convention I attended that he was supposed to be at but he cancelled sick at the last minute. Sigh. Can't wait to see what Marc comes up with next!

1 comment:

lisa_mynx said...

your idea for the book series seems pretty good to me, but the market would be rather limited-- kids might be interested in reading about jk rowling or rl stine, but few would be interested in most other ''unseen'' people behind what they love... at least in this day and age