Thursday, February 23, 2012

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman: Book Review

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman

   By Marc Tyler Nobleman
   Illustrated by Ross MacDonald

"It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Siegel and Shuster!"

When two depression-era teenagers, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, weren't  reading about heroes like Tarzan and Flash Gordon, they were dreaming of creating their own superheroes. Too shy to interact with those in the real world, the two friends immersed themselves into their writing and drawing.

 While everybody else ignored him, Jerry imagined he had something special going for him. Jerry imagined a hero with the combined strength of all of the strongman he had ever heard of. One with superhuman abilities and an alter ego much like himself.  He shared his idea with Joe who drew the pictures Jerry imagined. Thus the Man of Steel, Superman, was born in Cleveland, not Krypton.

In Boys of Steel, Marc Nobleman brilliantly weaves in dialogue from interviews with Jerry and Joe, the real life creators of Superman. Ross MacDonald captures the spirit of Clark Kent and Superman by ingeniously switching from full page illustrations showing nerdy creators, Joe and Jerry, timid by day to comic style illustration of the cool friends full of confidence by night. A great tribute to the young creators. The illustrations bring the reader back to the stylized look of the 1930's depression era comic books. I loved this. It was like seeing the cover of the coveted first edition of Superman.  The afterword by Nobleman fill in the sad details of how the Superman creators were cheated out of fame and fortune by D.C. Comics and at the same time retraces Superman's role through the next several decades. This afterword will be of interest to the grown up comic book fan as well as the child reader. The boys in my house love comics and anything to do with them. This book reaffirms my conviction of the importance of comics in children's literature. I highly recommend Boys of Steel to the adoring fans of Superman and the comic lover child at heart. Age 7-10

Publishing Information
  • Publisher: Alfred A Knopf (July 22, 2008)
  • Pages: 40 Hardcover
  • Ages: 7-10
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-83802-6
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**I received a copy of the book at no charge from the author for review purposes only. This in no way influenced by opinion of the book. I

3 comments:

Diana said...

We LOVE Superman in my house! This looks like a great read that goes in a different direction.

rachel0 said...

I love a good backstory. I think it adds a lot of richness and depth to whatever you're reading about--my boys will love this!

A (Daily) Woman said...

My boys love superheroes so I am sure this would be a hit.

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