Men of Tomorrow

Jones, Gerard. Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book. New York: Basic Books, 2004. While not inspired by The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay, Gerard Jones’ Men of Tomorrow was probably made a more viable property because of Michael Chabon’s fictional history. In meticulous detail, Jones examines the true story behind the creation of Superman, Batman, and the comics industry. It is a lengthy work that provides a great deal of humanity to stories that have otherwise been over-mythologized and under-examined. Through intensive research and interviews, Jones weaves together a historical narrative that shows just how much blood, sweat, and tears went into creating what many people think of as pop culture trash. While the history focuses on the creators (Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Bob Kane, and Jack Kirby), it also shines a much-needed light on the other factors in the equation: the publishers, the salesmen, and the fans who helped turn a nascent art form into nationwide phenomenon. Full of hubris, greed, and human failings, Men of Tomorrow tells the story of an industry that is as compelling as any of the heroes it spawned.