Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What is Glen Weldon reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Glen Weldon, author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography.

His entry begins:
I'm taking my sweet time meandering through George Saunders' Tenth of December, putting the book down at the end of each story because I want to spend as much time as I can with it. Man, that guy. I've read every story already, in The New Yorker or wherever, but collected like this I'm finding they keep caroming off one another at oblique angles.

A Saunders story is dependably funny, human, wise. And I want to say...[read on]
About Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, from Publishers Weekly:
Weldon, who reviews comics for NPR, has penned an excellent portrait of the Man of Steel, managing to be fan-crazed and critical at the same time. Starting with a look at Superman’s goody-two-shoes reputation, Weldon dares to ask, “Why has a schmuck like that endured for seventy-five years?” His answer is Superman’s motivation—he “puts the needs of others over those of himself” and he “never gives up.” Weldon wonderfully details the many twists and turns in Superman’s career, beginning with a look at how the comic’s creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster borrowed many traits from other comic figures in the 1930s, from Popeye to The Shadow. Weldon analyzes the shift from going after “petty crooks, crooked politicians, and those who exploited the working class” in the 1930s and 1940s to a trend towards “increasingly kid-oriented” stories after the Comic Code was instituted in the 1950s. Weldon is excellent at showing how, in the 1960s, “when Superman’s writers gave themselves license to dream up anything they could, they invariably dreamed the American dream of the fifties.”
Learn more about the book and author at Glen Weldon's website and follow him on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: Superman: The Unauthorized Biography.

Writers Read: Glen Weldon.

--Marshal Zeringue