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Author Topic: Depression-Era Superman Novel Coming Soon  (Read 3696 times)
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Defender of Kandor
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Semper Vigilans

« on: August 23, 2003, 06:45:48 PM »

I was perusing a recent edition of a local weekly (here in Richmond, VA) and found this interesting article about an upcoming Superman project...


Superman wanders Depression-era America, meeting people -- John Wayne, director Jon Ford, Fiorello LaGuardia -- and fictional characters -- Dust Bowl archetypes the Joads.

That's the premise of the next novel from Richmond writer Tom De Haven.  "I'm doing a full-blown, completely serious, 'realistic' novel about Superman that begins in 1935 and ends in 1941," De Haven says.

"Realistic" means, among other things, that Superman lives not in Metropolis but in New York City.

Superman has been an American archetype since he was invented in the 1930s by a pair of New York [sic] teenagers (Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, for those keeping score).  He is probably the world's best-known superhero, featured in countless TV shows, comic books, strips and films.

Recently, Superman hit the Hollywood gossip pages when a planned revival of the character in the movies -- one ballyhooed title was "Batman vs. Superman" -- fell apart when the director couldn't cast the lead role.

De Haven, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, is the author of several acclaimed novels set in the world of comic-book writers and artists.  As a result, he says, he was approached by an editor at DC, the publishers of "Superman" comics, who proposed putting Superman in the America De Haven had portrayed in his fictional "Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies."

De Haven agreed, worked up the proposal, had it approved by DC and wrote most of the Superman novel this summer at a writer's residency in Maine.  He plans to deliver the manuscript to San Francisco-based Chronicle Books in September.

To stay true to the character as he was depicted in the 1930s, De Haven has given his Man of Stell the relatively limited powers the superhero had in his earlies comics -- not the godlike powers he acquired in later stories.  Besides, he adds, a character who can be defeated is "way more fun."

(reported by Greg Weatherford)


The really interesting part of all this, for me anyway, is that I work in the building next to De Haven's here at VCU.  I've dropped him an e-mail inviting him to check out this site and these boards.  Maybe he'll grace us with some more details.  If you've read "Derby Dugan," you know it's good stuff.

This looks like a job for...
Klar Ken T5477
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Metropolis Prime, NYC, NY USA

« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2003, 01:34:13 AM »

Sounds rather interesting. Go Nightwing go! Cheesy

I was rather disppointed on Michael Chabon's take on comics and such in "Kavalier and Clay" as Ive often suspected that THAT was the thousand plus page treatise that Grady Tripp was struggling with in "Wonder Boys"... :roll:
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