Cover image for It's a bird
Title:
It's a bird
Author:
Seagle, Steven T.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : DC Comics, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
123 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 27 cm
General Note:
"Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster."
Language:
English
Added Author:
Added Uniform Title:
Superman (Comic strip)
ISBN:
9781401201098

9781401203115
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Gorgeously painted by European artist, Teddy Kristiansen, IT'S A BIRD... is a Superman story that doesn't feature Superman at all. Rather, this unique graphic novel explores what the icon of Superman means to the world. Told from the perspective of an author who has written tales about Superman, this book explores the overwhelming effect that the Man of Steel has had on society. A compelling narrative told in a variety of experimental styles, IT'S A BIRD weaves two interlocking stories: one that ultimately explores our own mortality and another that dissects the symbolic and cultural elements which make up Superman's mythic importance. SUGGESTED FOR MATURE READERS.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A quarter-century after Harvey Pekar began American Splendor, autobiographical comics are more a cliche than a novelty, unless they come from a mainstream comic-book publisher and depict a superhero-comics creator's life. When Seagle was offered the chance to write Superman, his surprising response was to reject the plum assignment, contending that he couldn't relate to the unbelievable character. But the refusal coincided with other crises: his father's disappearance, his girlfriend's desire to have children, and, looming over all, the grim prospect of developing Huntington's disease, which had struck other family members. Kristiansen's expert illustration in a variety of styles adds a polish that smooths over the awkward passages in Seagle's sometimes overearnest script. Hardcore alternative-comics devotees may find this effort too slick and self-indulgent; superhero fans probably won't even bother to pick it up. Comics readers with a foot in both camps, however, will recognize Seagle as facing, albeit more urgently than most others, the kinds of questions every grown-up, including those still open to the adolescent charms of superheroes, confronts. --Gordon Flagg Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The first rule of metafiction: stories about how the author can't think of what to write about are a bad idea. So a story about a comics writer named Steve who's been assigned to write Superman comics but can't come up with a way to write them seems unpromising. (Seagle wrote the Superman comic for several years.) But Seagle and artist Kristiansen (with whom he collaborated on a couple of excellent House of Secrets books) come through. This isn't a Superman story, exactly; it's an experimental, refracted, semifictional memoir, with Superman-or, rather, the variety of ideas that Superman represents-as its central symbol. Kristiansen's inventive ink-and-watercolor artwork, a bit reminiscent of the Expressionist painter Egon Schiele, gives a crisp, arty look to the sections about Steve's progressively more messed-up personal life and family secret. (The latter has to do with Huntington's disease, the discussion of which here approaches Very Special Episode territory.) Both writer and artist shine on the sections that explore Steve's thoughts about what Superman means: Nietzschean ubermensch, synthesizer of primary colors' symbolism, embodiment of benevolent violence, alien who's accepted where others aren't, etc. Kristiansen devises a distinct visual technique for each, often inspired by other 20th-century painters. It's a sweet, clever meditation on what makes the concept of Superman so powerful, and the troubled relationship between powerful concepts and creative narrative. (Apr. 14) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In the past 60-plus years, DC has found many ways to explore the myth and meaning of Superman, the most iconic character in comics, but none has been quite like this. In this semi-autobiographical tale, comics writer Steve has been offered Superman as his latest assignment. Trouble is, Steve doesn't like SupermanAhe can't relate to a character he sees as fundamentally inhuman. Then Steve gets another assignment, this time from his mother: to find his father, who has disappeared. Steve's family has a secret: Huntington's Disease, an inherited, incurable, fatal disorder that destroys the nervous system. Steve's dad could have it, Steve could develop it, and Steve worries that if he and his girlfriend have kids, the kids could die from it. While Steve searches for his father, he tries to find an approach to Superman, riffing on various aspects of Superman's mythosAthe costume, kryptonite, Smallville, Nietzsche's "ubermensch"Aand Kristiansen, in a remarkable display of versatility, illustrates each of these short meditations in a different and wholly appropriate painted style while also sensitively portraying Steve's deftly and movingly told family story. Strongly recommended for readers mid-teen and up, even ifAand perhaps especially ifAthey're not Superman fans. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.