Yes, today! You read the headline right! I have, somehow, written five entire books now, and the fifth one, Not All Supermen: Sexism, Toxic Masculinity, and the Complex History of Superheroes, is officially on sale today. No more pre-ordering. No more waiting around. You can go to a store and pick it up! Or you can buy it online and have it winging it’s way toward you straight away! Or you can do both, why not? One for you, one for a friend. However you choose to buy it, however you choose to read it, Not All Supermen is available in various formats in various places for your reading pleasure right this very second. I hope you’ll pick it up! And big thanks to everyone who’s ordered it already!
The book was a fun one for me, a chance to take on broader view on the superhero industry instead of my usual deep dives into particular characters. It was a bit trickier, having the entirety of an eighty-year old genre at my disposal. The limitations imposed by a narrower focus have their benefits. But ultimately, I had a great time exploring the full scope of the history of superheroes, picking my spots to dig into in order to illuminate the trends in each era. Sexism and toxic masculinity aren’t the cheeriest topics, I’ll admit, but they are most definitely fascinating, especially in this context and how they they begin, become enshrined, and evolve over the decades. I’ve been writing about superheroes for a long time now, and Not All Supermen really changed how I see the entire industry, even after all this time observing it.
On this, the official release day, I’d like to thank everyone at Rowman & Littlefield, especially Christen, Deni, Kathi, Nicole, and Annie! They are all wonderful to work with, and I’m so pleased with how the book turned out. Putting out a book really is a team sport, and this is a fantastic team to be a part of.
So yeah, Not All Supermen is out now! Go buy yourself a copy! And in the meantime, check out some other book related news:
First, we got a lovely review from the Library Journal, in which they call the book “well-researched and written” and say “this title is a must-have for any library to give some new insights on superheroes as well as their true origin stories.” I love libraries, so an enthusiastic review from the Library Journal is extra special indeed. Having fun isn’t hard if you’ve got a library card, after all.
Second, I did an interview with Rachel Bierman for her site Rachel Reads & Reviews that touches on all five of my books in some capacity, and spends some time on Not All Supermen. It was fun to dive into the threads that connect my work and look back on everything I’ve written so far. Check out her other interviews, too! She’s got a great selection.
Third, I’m going to be part of a great panel discussion titled “Unlearning Toxic Masculinity” for LTHJ Global on August 3, talking about toxic masculinity and why it’s bad news. I’ll have more to say about the panel with a full post next week, but for now you can check out the website and register to watch the panel online! It’s going to be a fascinating conversation, and I think we’re going to have a fun time.
Finally, I’m still posting fun panels that are relevant to Not All Supermen on Twitter, and this week we dug into Bat-Woman! She’s cool, but not as cool as Batman. Smart, but not as smart as Batman. Tough, but not as tough as Batman. In part because she’s a woman and it was the 1950s, but also because she wasn’t really there to be an awesome superhero. She was there to be Batman’s girlfriend, and counter Fredric Wertham’s allegations of homoerotic undertones in Batman and Robin comics.
Things go about as well as you’d expect, in that they go pretty poorly for her. She gets bested by the Dynamic Duo often, sidelined a bunch, and ultimately benched once enough time had passed. Not great.
While Not All Superman is officially out now, the promotional fun isn’t stopping! Next week I’ll have some big news on bookplates and how you can get your own for free (basically: just buy a book! I’ll mail you one!), plus the #NotAllSupermen hashtag continues on Twitter with a conversation about the Fantastic Four. Here’s a peek at a subtly improved version of an early Fantastic Four cover that will kick off the thread on Monday: