Becoming Superman by J. Michael Straczynski

Becoming Superman

With an introduction by Neil Gaiman!In this dazzling memoir, the acclaimed writer behind Babylon 5, Sense8, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling and Marvel’s Thor reveals how the power of creativity and imagination enabled him to overcome the horrors of his youth and a dysfunctional family haunted by madness, murder and a terrible secret.For four decades, J. Michael Straczynski has been one of the most successful writers in Hollywood, one of the few t...


Details Becoming Superman

TitleBecoming Superman
ISBN9780062857859
Author
Release DateJul 23rd, 2019
PublisherHarper Voyager
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir
Rating

Reviews Becoming Superman

  • Jason Snell
    2019-03-12
    When Joe Straczynski talks publicly about his difficult upbringing, it's easy to insert a generic, TV-movie sort of rags-to-riches story. Only in this book does he reveal, after most of the participants have died, the depths of the awfulness of his childhood and family. It's almost certainly worse than you imagined.The magic of "Becoming Superman," though, is that it's simultaneously horrifying and uplifting, and a great read. It helps that not o...
  • Adam
    2019-03-18
    If there is anything remarkable about my life, it is that I did not come out the other side a serial killer.When I review a book, I’ll highlight passages I’ll want to refer to after I complete it. By the end of chapter two of J. Michael Straczynski’s autobiography Becoming Superman I had already highlighted an obscene amount of passages and notes expressing a mix of shock, incredulity, and an unhealthy amount of swearing. Similar to Jeanett...
  • Robert Greenberger
    2019-04-22
    I first met Joe in 1984 when we both attended a talk by producer Dan Blatt about NBC's V series. We were both fairly terrified at his pronouncement that SF could be anything, without being grounded in, you know, science. We became friends and would run into one another at east and west coast conventions over the next few years before he blossomed into a prolific writer/producer in TV.At one point, he expressed interest in comics which led me and/...
  • Rebecca
    2019-03-11
    Holy cow.The first 16 pages are unnerving; the next 12 pages will curdle your blood. And it doesn't stop. Chapter after chapter, the evil, the depravity, of the author's family (mainly his father) beggars belief. For plenty of people, this is all they need for a five-star memoir. My Horrific Childhood could be the title of any number of popular books.This one is different. Yes, the author wants to lay bare the details of his family history, but i...
  • Stewart Tame
    2019-06-05
    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. And I’m also a big fan of Straczynski’s work. I was first exposed to it in an issue of Teen Titans Spotlight, but I didn't really start to take notice of it until my wife and I started watching Babylon 5 around about season 3 or so. Anyway, yes, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion I was going to like this. You have been warned. So. This is an autobiography of J. Mich...
  • Joe Crowe
    2019-03-18
    This book is really good, an autobiography about someone whose work I knew, but not his personal history. Straczynski digs deep into both, discussing everything from his work on some of my favorite TV shows, Real Ghostbusters, He-Man, and his creation, Babylon 5. He details his comic book work, including writing the issue of Spider-Man where the Marvel heroes (and villains) reacted to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. JMS gets to all that, but f...
  • The Kawaii Slartibartfast
    2019-03-27
    I received a copy of Becoming Superman from HarperCollins Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Wow, this book was exceptional. The beginning was horrifying but somehow entrancing in a way that all survivor stories are.Joe Straczynski made a choice and by Grabthars hammer he stuck with it.The raw determination espoused is nothing short of inspiring. I don't think I can put into words how much this book touched me and I am ...
  • Jan Schroeder
    2019-03-17
    “My father was a monster.” As a fan who’s seen J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) at a number of appearances, I’d heard those words and imagined the worst father I’d ever known or heard of. I couldn’t have been more wrong if I’d been picturing Mr. Rogers.Year by year, step by step, JMS describes every conscious decision he made, even while extremely young, that would form him into the man he wanted to be, not what seemed destined by famil...
  • J.D. DeHart
    2019-05-02
    From comic books to real life, this author engages the reader. This book is a rarity — the chance to get to know the life of a creative voice, the reality that exists behind authorship and invention.
  • Cathy Doyle
    2018-12-16
    Just an amazing book.
  • Nancy
    2019-06-29
    Not always an easy read -- there is a lot of dark and terrible things in Straczynski's life -- but an absolutely compelling read. I did not want to put this down. (These original reading dates say it took me almost a month; in reality, it was more like two or three days, just separated by several weeks of classwork.)I personally became aware of Straczynski because of Babylon 5, which is obviously discussed, but not particularly in-depth. I suspec...
  • Dominic
    2019-04-24
    Some of us might know Joseph Michael Straczynski through his work on Babylon 5. Some of us came to know him through his time on the Spider-Man and Superman comic book lines. Some might have found Joe by browsing on Netflix and finding Sense8. Some of us might even know him primarily through his always amusing and often insightful Twitter feed. Well, unless you've read this book, you don't know Joe.Becoming Superman is a surprisingly intimate, ...
  • Marlene
    2019-07-28
    Originally published at Reading RealityI jumped at the chance to read this book and be on this tour because, well, basically because Babylon 5. Which I’ve watched more than once, and have frequently cited in regards to its treatment of chaos vs. order in the Shadow War. Because that dichotomy rears its head, over and over, in SF, in Fantasy, in life.It’s what makes Loki such a fascinating character, because he represents chaos. While the MCU ...
  • Melissa
    2019-07-31
    While I never got into Sense 8, my husband did, and we were both fans of J. Michael Straczynski’s previous television offerings, most notably Babylon 5, and Jeremiah. When I was offered the chance to read the man’s autobiography, then, I jumped at the chance, both to read it for my own enjoyment, and because I knew my husband would also like the opportunity (we share a Kindle library).From the first word of Neil Gaiman’s introduction, I was...
  • Nathalie
    2019-07-29
    JMS is one of a kind. A writer, and a really good one. Hooked to Babylon5 from the start in the mid 90s, I still refer to him as the guy I insulted most when I watched the series, as he made me go through such a rollercoaster with his series. I was in a way mad at him for good reasons : I didn't know where the show will go, what will happen to the characters, and many times I was fooled when I thought I knew what will happen next. That was the mo...
  • Julie Capell
    2019-07-31
    Ever since I encountered JMS through Babylon 5, I have known he was a helluva writer. I've gone to hear him speak several times, read his scriptwriting book, and followed him through all his teevee shows, movies and comic book series. So I began reading this autobiography with pretty high expectations. In typical JMS fasion, he blew past my expectations in the first chapter, revealing that in his family, deeply held secrets formed the rotten core...
  • JM
    2019-08-03
    After reading a bunch or rock star memoirs this one was recommended to me because it was supposedly very interesting and Straczynski, whom I was familiar with as a comics writer from back in my college days and as a writer for many acclaimed TV shows I've never seen*, included many useful tips and interesting insights regarding being a writer.Man, not only is this guy's life, especially his early life, way more fucked up than the most fucked up o...
  • J. Dotson
    2019-07-23
    I've tried to come up with the words you describe how I feel about this book. I even wrote a blog post about it here: Becoming Superman by J. Michael StraczynskiBut the shorter version is this: Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood by J. Michael Straczynski is the most incredible story. And especially because it's all true. That this man endured STAGGERING abuse and somehow moved up, up, and away from it to become likely the mos...
  • Mackay
    2019-07-28
    I always admired Straczynski's commentary on his TV show, Babylon 5 , a show I loved, so I was curious about his own story. It's horrifying, inspiring, and for any writer, interesting about the craft. How he Straczynski ever survived his childhood is nearly miraculous, and how he came out of that life with a moral code, a drive to succeed, and a love of story is perhaps more miraculous still. Gripping, entertaining, and shocking - and well worth ...
  • Lisa Wright
    2019-06-16
    Joe Straczynski is a superhero. He must be to have survived a brutal childhood and a roller coaster of a writing career. The story of his childhood is harrowing. Beaten by an alcoholic, abusive father and nearly killed by a mentally ill mother, Joe turned to Superman in TV and comic book form as the one good thing in his life. Here was a man who never threw the first punch, who kept every promise he ever made, who was kind and generous; everythin...
  • Meghan
    2019-04-06
    This book was received as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I was so intrigued from the start to read this book because it's main focus was the original TV show which I remember watching a long time ago as a child. The episode that Straczynski reflects on in the episode I remember clearly and thought it was the sweetest thing he will ever do for anyone and when I read th...
  • Mindy
    2019-07-03
    I was fortunate enough to win an advanced copy of this book here and i'm so glad I did.Quite honestly this was one of the best memoirs i've ever read. Very engaging and of course you have to love the sarcastic bits which definitely had me laughing a lot in some parts. I'm a huge fan of Joe and even more so now after reading this one. So much respect for this brilliant man.Inspiring on so many levels. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.
  • Woody
    2019-06-08
    However crappy your family is, it's highly likely they don't hold a candle to the mess Joe grew up with. I don't know how he didn't turn out a serial killer.* He probably had one of the worst upbringings a 20th Century straight white American man could've had. Now I thought I was familiar with his work. While I never saw Babylon 5, I knew about it and I read some of his work in comics (Midnight Nation being an all-time favorite) but I kept saying...
  • Karen
    2019-07-03
    Fascinating memoir, inspiring life of an individual who persisted past a horrific family life to become a successful writer of comic books, animated series, television shows and movies. 'Just keep getting up. It's possible. Keep going. Keep believing. Bravo Joe.
  • Morgan
    2019-06-13
    Wow. Just wow...
  • Becka
    2019-06-25
    I appreciate receiving an ARC of this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for my honest review.Up front, let me say that this book jumps right in from page 1, so be aware that the description of the abuse suffered in the author’s childhood is specific and difficult reading. However, it is a vital part of the story, showing the resilience of the human spirit.Straczynski doesn’t use his traumatic childhood to excuse bad choices in adu...
  • Rebecca
    2019-06-26
    The journey that was traveled and the horrific truth of childhood travels is rivoting. Becoming Superman is a book I won from goodreads and is a story of pure determination and overcoming lifes diverse twist and turns. Most excellent book and is a must read! The obstacles he has overcome is harrowing and at the same time the progress to success is uplifting. Love this book and is definitely a must read!
  • Mark Baker
    2019-08-08
    In this book, author J. Michael Stracyznski (JMS to his fans) tells the story of his family and his life. Starting with his grandparents, he gives us some background before telling us about his childhood under an abusive father and a distant mother. In between moving every few months to stay ahead of creditors, JMS discovered ways to escape via TV shows, comic books, and science fiction. As he discovered the power of words, he vowed to become a w...
  • Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
    2019-08-09
    For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.comBecoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood by J. Michael Straczynski is an autobiography following the author from his poverty stricken childhood into being a successful writer and a decent human being. Mr. Straczynski wrote TV screenplays, comic books and the movie Changeling.I actually know the name J. Michael Straczynski from the comic book world, I really ...