Allison Parker's Reviews > Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman

Boys of Steel by Marc Tyler Nobleman
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Feb 17, 11

bookshelves: nonfiction, juvenile, picture-book, bluestem2011
Read in February, 2011

Jerry and Joe are best friends. They both feel like outsiders in high school; they’d much rather read the stories about amazing characters in comic strips than play ball outside. Soon, they start working on their own comic strips: Jerry writes stories, while Joe draws the characters. They dream of having their own strip in a newspaper. Jerry has the idea of a new hero, one who has the superpowers Jerry wishes he had. Joe draws a man as strong as steel. Many newspaper editors turn them down, until finally they find a magazine company creating a new format: comic books. Finally, Superman is born!

This true story about the creation of one of the most famous comic book characters is really inspiring; Jerry and Joe felt kind of powerless in their world, so they created an amazing hero who could do things they couldn’t. The illustrations are styled just like old comic strips and books to give you a sense of the time and the characters.

The most fascinating part of this story, however, is the note in the back about how really tragic Jerry and Joe's story turns out to be: how the comic industry completely robbed the two creators of the character, the rights, and the money they deserved. Older readers who read the back matter will be outraged and amazed that the boys who made the Man of Steel were reduced to powerless victims against the corporate machine.
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