Happy Birthday Superman!

Superman by Larry TyeI don’t know if I can say this as the dad of a five-year old, especially one who changes who his favorite superhero is every week, but for me, my favorite superhero has always been Superman.

And as a fan, it s a good year to be one of us (did you see the trailer for the new movie yet? Wow!). Today marks his 75th year on our planet, so I thought I would link to some of my earlier posts on the man of steel.

Book Review: Superman by Larry Tye

This is a book review for a great piece of nonfiction by Larry Tye. If you are curious about the origins of the character, the people that have played him, and the struggles of the creators (if you are a writer this stuff will floor you), grab this book. You can read the review here.

ExterminatorsRecommending Four of GraphicAudio’s DC Audiobooks

I love GraphicAudio. If you have not heard a GraphicAudio audiobook you are really missing out. Basically, they are extremely well-produced audio readings of books with special effects, music, and a full cast of actors. Their tagline is “A Movie in Your Mind” and that is fairly accurate to what you get from them. In this blog post I recommend four of their audiobooks, many containing our favorite man of steel. They have a new Superman audiobook coming out in May and just recently did their first Marvel title. Trust me on this. Learn more via this link.

The Superhero Books of Ralph Cosentino

Ralph Cosentino has written three books for kids about superheroes; one on Batman, one on Wonderwoman, and, of course, one on Superman. They are beautifully illustrated and a fun way to introduce a child to comics and their heroes. After writing this review, I became a fan of some of his other children books. His books have a lot of wit and are in many ways modern-day classics. If you are a parent of a kid who likes to tie a towel around their neck and pretend it is a cape, I highly recommend you track his stuff down. My review is here.

Up, Up, and Away!

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Hey Cool! My site was mentioned in the new GraphicAudio podcast!

Kind of had a neat moment a minute ago. My site and my writing was mentioned in the latest GraphicAudio podcast… and they pronounced my last name right too!

I’ve written two articles on GraphicAudio (here and here). Check them out, they do some spectacular radio work.

You can hear the audio podcast here: http://soundcloud.com/graphicaudio/all-in-your-mind-2. I’m discussed about a minute and a half in or so.

I have to say though it was a little weird to hear my name said by the narrator of their DC Comics series. Sadly, I didn’t get super powers afterwards.

Book Review: Superman by Larry Tye

I am the father of a four-year old obsessed with superheroes. And while I am always a little nervous that all of these characters seem to have fathers that meet untimely ends (How can a dad not squirm at that thought?), I have no problem playing with his toys with him and watching his shows.

This late-in-life dip into superheroes has come up with some fun discoveries for me—like GraphicAudio’s amazing radio dramatization of comic books, which I discuss here and here—as I become more and more an unintentional expert in the field of all things with capes.

Superman by Larry Tye is a wonderfully-written nonfiction account of the history of Superman from his birth to most recent times. The book is expansive, not happy with merely talking about his creators or the interesting actors that have portrayed him over the years; showing all of the impacts that the character has had on our society (religion, culturally, etc.) and his own changes as he evolves and gets retooled again and again for new generations.

This is not a simple or playful introduction, but a celebration of an icon and all of the people that made his flight possible. Continue reading

Seriously Bruce?!: Taking on the Logic of Becoming a Batman

Growing up, Batman was always my favorite superhero.

Why was I always drawn more to Batman?

Well, frankly, because under the right circumstances I could have been Batman. But that is true not just for me; you could have been Batman. We all could have been Batman!  (The same can’t be said for Superman or the Flash sadly.)

All we just need is a heck of a lot of money and a devastating experience in one’s childhood and we are in that dark cape… Sadly, for me, my parents are perfectly healthy and I am not rich.

Of course, this is the logic of a kid discovering a comic book at the age of eight, it is not the logic of a sane adult. I mean, we adults, when considering becoming a masked vigilante, would think about the police, fingerprints, what if we get shot, what kind of training, how do we buy supplies, how do we get medical attention…. The list goes on and on when an adult tries to consider this employment opportunity. In the long run, it does not feel like the best option or more people would be doing it, besides the random “unique” individuals we see on television roaming our streets. Continue reading

Recommending Four of GraphicAudio’s DC Audiobooks

Since I wrote my initial review of GraphicAudio’s great DC audiobook series for Green Spot Blue (here), the article continues to receive visits and I occasionally get comments and e-mails asking which of theirs I would recommend for listening first.

With summer in full swing and road trips almost every weekend, I thought this might be a great opportunity to share my four top recommendations for helping pass those long hours staring out the window at the lines on the highway.

Also, we are in the midst of a superhero summer here in the US. With The Avengers breaking box office records and the last entry in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series as well, this is as good a time as any for imagining how much more fun (and crazy) the world would be if we had a few people in capes that could fly about.

Justice League of America: Exterminators

Supposedly (based on Facebook comments), GraphicAudio will be making some new DC entries in the Fall or Winter of this year.

When they do, I hope they make some new Justice League episodes. While there are things I liked (and loved) about each of their audiobooks, there is something a lot more “fun” about the Justice League series. They aren’t weighed down by all of the drama that comes with Batman and the Crisis series; what you get is a group of superheroes (with voices that perfectly capture their characters) getting along and getting things done. When I return to listening to these audiobooks from time to time, I usually will go to one of these additions first. Continue reading