I tend to stick with fiction, but it’s always refreshing and satisfying when I throw a non-fiction read into the mix.
Becoming Superman was right up my alley: reading & superheroes. This book goes beyond the incredible things J. Michael Straczynski wrote such as Babylon 5, Thor, Sense8 and more. We get an inside look at his childhood in poverty and the life events that led him to create these other worlds for us to enjoy.
Personal review: Highly recommended!
J. Michael Straczynski had a really tough upbringing, but he made lemonade out of lemons and it’s always fascinating learning about the creators behind what we see on TV today. They’re human, too!
If you like to consume stories that are real, raw and bring out the feels, then this read is for you. I’d also like to mention you don’t have to be a fan of Straczynski to appreciate this book. Becoming Superman is truly inspiring.
(I was given an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!)
• Hardcover: 480 pages
• Publisher: Harper Voyager (July 23, 2019)
Featuring an introduction by Neil Gaiman!
“J. Michael Straczynski is, without question, one of the greatest science fiction minds of our time.” — Max Brooks (World War Z)
For four decades, J. Michael Straczynski has been one of the most successful writers in Hollywood, one of the few to forge multiple careers in movies, television and comics. Yet there’s one story he’s never told before: his own.
In this dazzling memoir, the acclaimed writer behind Babylon 5, Sense8, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling and Marvel’s Thor reveals how the power of creativity and imagination enabled him to overcome the horrors of his youth and a dysfunctional family haunted by madness, murder and a terrible secret.
Joe’s early life nearly defies belief. Raised by damaged adults—a con-man grandfather and a manipulative grandmother, a violent, drunken father and a mother who was repeatedly institutionalized—Joe grew up in abject poverty, living in slums and projects when not on the road, crisscrossing the country in his father’s desperate attempts to escape the consequences of his past.
To survive his abusive environment Joe found refuge in his beloved comics and his dreams, immersing himself in imaginary worlds populated by superheroes whose amazing powers allowed them to overcome any adversity. The deeper he read, the more he came to realize that he, too, had a superpower: the ability to tell stories and make everything come out the way he wanted it. But even as he found success, he could not escape a dark and shocking secret that hung over his family’s past, a violent truth that he uncovered over the course of decades involving mass murder.
Straczynski’s personal history has always been shrouded in mystery. Becoming Superman lays bare the facts of his life: a story of creation and darkness, hope and success, a larger-than-life villain and a little boy who became the hero of his own life. It is also a compelling behind-the-scenes look at some of the most successful TV series and movies recognized around the world.
About J. Michael Straczynski
J. Michael Straczynski has had one of the most varied careers of any American writer, penning hundreds of hours of television, comic books for Marvel and DC that have sold over 13 million copies, and movies that have grossed over a billion dollars.
Follow him on Twitter.
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