Goliard Dream: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is felicity’s thumbs up for the remarkable Michael Chabon novel.
I expect she knows I’ve read it, although it was in pre-blogging days (I saw it in a bookstore as i was preparing for a trip and grabbed it – the trip may have been my first to NYC, but time has erased certainty on the matter).
At any rate, I loved the book, and was pleased to learn, later, that author Chabon had won the Pulitzer for the work.
felicity noted both that she was unclear on the factual basis of the novel (a literary reimagining of Sielgel and Shuster’s invention of Superman) and that she wanted the Escapist to be real.
Among other wonders on Chabon’s website is this original art for the cover of Amazing Midget Radio Comics #1, by Joe Kavalier.
Another fantastic gen in Mr. C’s site is the discovery that Steve Ditko, one of the men most responsible for Marvel’s rise and the Silver Age that brought us the X-Men, Spider-Man, and Thor, was, prior to becoming a comics artist at Marvel for a few short years, an escape artist.
Finally, other admirers of Mr. Chabon’s work will be pleased to learn that he works regularly on film scripts, including the adaptation to his earlier novel Wonder Boys, which became a pleasant film starring Michael Douglas as a Pennsylvania-based pot-smoking English professor in a state of mild existential crisis (It’s the exact antithesis of the Burton/Taylor Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), a proposal for first X-Men film, and currently is hard at work on the script for Spider-Man 2, which will again be directed by Sam Raimi and bring in Spidey’s best nemesis, Doctor Octopus.
I can’t wait.
7 thoughts on “Golly!”
Well, no. I didn’t actually know you had read it, but assumed so. Your knowledge of all things comical is vasty and deep, after all.
I am still struck by the happy coincidence that someone lent me the book so soon after my reintroduction to comics.
It’s one of the most riveting books I can remember reading in recent years. Many books I start, I can’t even finish – they suddenly pall, as I realize they are saying the same old tired things. When I finished K&C, I just stayed still for a while savoring it. Parts of the book, I actually cried. It is written with such pith, and love. I can’t actually remember any dull bits, that I felt inclined to skim.
I was thrilled to see the link with the actual cover of The Escapist! Of course, I could have googled, but to be honest, I was afraid I would find that it would not be real (as real as comics ever get). If The Escapist could be real, then so could the Golem. And now I know; they are!
I expect I will be soon seeking other works by Chabon. And other fine comic books.
To clarify, felicity:
The cover is probably not a true artifact of a comic book that actually existed, but rather a tribute from a real comic book veteran to Chabon. The man who sent it to Chabon claimed to have found it for sale somewhere, but Chabon really did invent the characters and situations in the novel, basing them on some true things that really did happen (a couple of teenage Jews invented Superman. Sales of his title, and others in the genre that followed, were unimaginably huge).
Ah nuts. Does that mean there is no Escapist?
I think the answer lies in your heart, dear.
Hmph. Right, I’ll stop whining now.
I may be mistaken, but Steve Ditko never worked as an escape artist.
I believe that is Jim Steranko you’re thinking of.
I’m batting poorly here today.
you’re right, of course:
Jeevsie! draw my bawth!
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