Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood

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Product Details

Harper Voyager
Publish Date
5.2 X 7.8 X 1.3 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Straczynski has worked in every medium except poetry, at which he sucks. His film credits include five films that collectively earned over a billion dollars: Changeling for Clint Eastwood, Thor for Kenneth Branagh, Ninja Assassin, Underworld Awakening, and World War Z. He has written over 300 produced episodes and seven TV movies, and has been a creator/show-runner for such series as Babylon 5, Jeremiah, Crusade, and, most recently, Sense8 for Netflix. His comics have sold over 13 million issues, including stints on Marvel's The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, Fantastic Four, and others. His Superman: Earth One graphic novels for DC Comics consistently appeared on the NY Times Bestseller List. His creator-owned titles include Midnight Nation, Dream Police, and Rising Stars. He currently heads the creative council for the comics publishing company AWA (Artists, Writers and Artisans) and his first title, The Resistance, debuted in 2020 with several additional titles scheduled for 2021. He was nominated for a Best Screen Writing BAFTA (British Academy Award) for Changeling, and has received the Eisner Award, the Inkpot Lifetime Achievement Award, the Hugo Award (twice), the SDCC International Icon Award, the Saturn Award, the Ray Bradbury Award, the Christopher Foundation Award, the E Pluribus Unum Award from the American Cinema Foundation, two technical Emmy's for Babylon 5, the GLAAD Media Award, and dozens of others. His autobiography, Becoming Superman, was published in hardcover by HarperCollins Voyager in 2019 to glowing reviews in the Washington Post, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Wall Street Journal. He holds two Bachelor Degrees, one in Clinical Psychology and another in Sociology, and teaches Advanced Scriptwriting in the MFA program at San Diego State University. Finally, as a former journalist, he has written over 500 published articles while working for the The San Diego Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, TIME Inc, Writer's Digest, The Daily Californian and other newspapers and magazines. He lives in Los Angeles and likes it a lot.
Neil Gaiman is the author of many bestsellers for readers of all ages, including Stardust (the basis for the blockbuster movie), Fragile Things, Anansi Boys, Interworld, and Coraline. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


“His ability to stay the course, to work hard at all times, and to keep writing were his salvation time and again. This book is a testament to that -- and it is an inspiring, touching look at how someone born into darkness can find the light and go on to do great things.”--NPR
"Part Hollywood how-to, part Frank McCourt-style reflection on emotional neglect and poverty, "Becoming Superman" is an enveloping look back at a unique career."--Washington Post
"Gripping. An amazing testament to the range of human durability and determination, overcoming our impossibly dark side with something even more unlikely and miraculous -- hope."
--Hugo and Nebula Award Winning Novelist David Brin
"J. Michael Straczynski is, without question, one of the greatest science fiction minds of our time."--Max Brooks (World War Z)
"Once I started, I couldn't put it down. Straczynski embedded a mystery in an autobiography. Has to be a first."--Dan DiDio, Editor in Chief, DC Comics
"A fascinating journey through careers in three different professions--comic books, TV, and movies--from an accomplished master of each. Rare to have such detail and such access. A major literary autobiography!"--Bestselling author Greg Bear
"Becoming Superman is a valuable resource for those wishing to look behind the curtain to one of pop culture's most cherished and esteemed writers [...] It is an incredible story of familial abuse and its aftermath, of perseverance and fortitude, of endurance and determination. Highly recommended."--Fantasy Book Review
"A deeply moving testament to the power of storytelling, and a no-bullshit guide to becoming, if not Superman, a better person and writer."
“Everything I read made me want to stand up and salute. I can't stress enough how significant and moving (to say nothing of gripping and sometimes hilarious) this book is. It's a magnificent piece of work that will stay with me for a long, long time.”--Cory Doctorow, author of Radicalized and Walkaway
“I just finished reading Becoming Superman and can, without a mote of hyperbole, state it is one of the most terrifying and inspirational, funny and empathic nonfiction books of our time. I'm too old to be currying favors. Just trust me. Buy it or die!”--Walter Koenig
“Straczynski [...] delivers a frank memoir that's equally harrowing and triumphant.”--Publishers Weekly
“Straczynski's memoir more than lives up to the promises of its sub-subtitle...Joe never saves the world à la Superman, but pulls through with a heart, spine, and soul of steel. ..”--AV Club
“Straczynski's life story is simultaneously horrifying and uplifting. He survives a childhood worse than almost anything you could imagine and ends up taking an unlikely path to Hollywood success. It's funny, sad, infuriating, and inspiring--often all at once.”--Jason Snell, host of The Incomparable podcast
“His true life story turns out to be as gripping and inspiring as any of his fiction.”--B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
“I've rarely felt such pain while reading a memoir, or felt so satisfied at its conclusion. It's some kind of miracle that he's taken this lifelong experience, leavened it with perspective, and created something so universal. Powerful, powerful stuff.”--Andy Ihnatko, Tech Author and Co-Host of The Material Podcast