"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, February 28, 2005

A Recommendation

Title: Superfolks
Author: Robert Mayer

I read this little gem soon after it was published, I guess. I'd have to look it up in my reading journal to be sure. Anyway, it was originally published in 1977. Mayer was a journalist (a reporter for Newsday, if my memory can be trusted) and he wrote this unassuming novel that got wonderful reviews but not much of a readership. Apparently, though, this tale of a retired superhero became legendary in comic book circles.

I stumbled upon it on my way home one night from work. I used to stop in at the old Bookmasters store near Penn Station and there it was, a trade paperback sitting on a table, with a comic book-ish cover. A lover of comic books, I couldn't resist it. It was one of my best impulse buys.

So there I was today, in Barnes & Noble during my lunch hour today and what do I see on the new trade paperback shelves but Superfolks. And there was just one copy sitting there, indicating many people have already snatched it up. I still have my original copy, but I had to look through it. The cover has been changed, but the inside layout is the same. Grant Morrison wrote a forward (c.2004) that I had to read while I stood there in the stacks, full of wonder that this marvelous little novel was back in print for a new generation of readers to discover.

My memory of it is spotty. I recall something about disillusionment, having and losing dreams, growing up. I recall loving this book. And I'm thinking that maybe I should squeeze out some time this year to reread it, and I rarely if ever reread books.

If you love heroes, especially the fictional superhero kind, if you have an affection for comic books, do yourself a favor and hunt down this book. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Grant Morrison wasn't.