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SAN DIEGO, DAY 0: About Comics brings influential superhero novel, ‘Superfolks,’ back into print

by  in Comic News Comment
SAN DIEGO, DAY 0: About Comics brings influential superhero novel, ‘Superfolks,’ back into print

Official Press Release

SUPERFOLKS, the prose novel that was an influential
precursor to the sort of non-traditional view of superheroes
seen in comics like WATCHMEN and ASTRO CITY, is being brought
back into print for the first time in decades. This new
limited edition, announced by About Comics at Comic-Con
International San Diego, features a new cover drawn by WATCHMEN
artist Dave Gibbons and a new introduction.

This 1977 novel by Robert Mayer tells the tale of the
last survivor of the planet Cronk, the greatest superhero of
his time. However, the time of superheroes has passed, and he
has retired from action. When a world crisis causes him to
dig out his old and ill-fitting costume one more time, he is
split between the exciting world of adventure and the
middle-class and middle-aged suburban existence he has settled
into. Can he ferret out the identity of the dark master behind
the crisis while dealing with his own confusions and lusts?

Grant Morrison calls the book “visionary” and Kurt
Busiek admits that “without SUPERFOLKS, I doubt there’d ever
have been an ASTRO CITY,” and yet there is more to this novel
than just a fresh view of superheroes. It is a satiric comedy,
raucous and politically incorrect, while still being a
thoughtful look at the compromises that come with middle age.
The New York Post called it “a hilarious thriller”, and Newsday
gushed “It is gorgeous. It is splendid. It is funny as hell. He
writes like an angel.”

“I’d been hearing about SUPERFOLKS for years,” explains
Nat Gertler, head honcho at About Comics. “But when I finally
dug up a copy and read it, it wasn’t just entertaining, it was
a revelation. Here’s a novelist that was pushing the superhero
form in ways that comic books never had. When word got out that
I had a copy, I had various people in the comics business
asking to borrow my copy. The novel is hard to find in the used
book market, and when you do find it the price is often over
$100. A good book, an important book, and one that’s in demand –
as a publisher, I couldn’t ask for anything more. Unfortunately,
I could only get the rights for a limited edition, so we’re
selling only 2000 copies, and those are earmarked exclusively
to direct market comics shops and convention sales.”

Author Robert Mayer is a former journalist and won the
National Headliner Award as the U.S.’s most outstanding feature
columnist. His non-fiction NOTES OF A BASEBALL DREAMER: A
MEMOIR has recently been reissued by Houghton Mifflin.

SUPERFOLKS will be released this December. This 175
page mature readers trade paperback with an original Dave
Gibbons cover will be offered through Diamond Comics
Distributors, FM International, and Cold Cut, with a retail
price of $19.95.

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