Review: ‘The Boy Who Loved Batman’

Ever wonder how “Batman,” the campy 1960s television series, transformed into the dark and menacing Batman franchise – “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises?”

Michael E. Uslan, one of the main producers behind the most recent Batman films, as detailed in his memoir, “The Boy Who Loved Batman,” chronicles his journey through the comic book world from an early age to adulthood, never losing his enthusiasm for the fantastical world of superheroes and their numerous enemies.

Uslan was born in Jersey City, only 25 minutes from Seton Hall University and grew up in Deal Park, N.J. His humor throughout the book is laced with sarcasm, biting honesty and bouts of cursing in only the most appropriate of places.

The producer takes his approach to memoir-writing as a fun job of self-discovery for both himself and the reader. He writes as if he were speaking to the reader face-to-face with choppy dialogue-inspired paragraphs, making it feel much more personal.

The reader sees his life through his eyes, as he documents the very typical life of a boy with a very atypical love of comic books. As he grew, his love for comics only increased, as he at one time had over 30,000 comics stacked in his parents’ garage. Meeting with some of the most highly-regarded names in the comic book industry, such as the creators of Batman and The Flash, Uslan describes his experiences with genuine adolescent excitement.

A note-worthy excerpt from the book is his recollection of attending and being one of 200 “Founding Fathers” of the first ComiCon, igniting an entire craze which now attracts more than 130,000 people a year.

“The Boy Who Loved Batman,” is heavily-littered with mementos of Uslan’s life from childhood to recent day – from personal correspondence letters between him and comic big-wigs such Otto Binder and C.C. Beck, newspaper articles, family photos, drawings and panels from many comic books.

This book appeals to both comic book lovers and movie enthusiasts, touching on important aspects of both worlds. It is not just for Batman lovers, but people with true curiosity of a man whose dream and determination propelled him to success.

Chelsea Catlett can be reached at chelsea.catlett@student.shu.edu

Author: Staff Writer

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