This week's book presented an interesting challenge for me. At first blush, it is a graphic novel tackling the Superman story - very appealing even though I am not a Superman fan. After getting into the story a bit, I find that it is a memoir...UGH! Memoirs are tough for me. I have friends that say I am just too self-centered to care and others that say I am not the least bit empathetic, making it difficult to relate. Whatever the case - reading a memoir is a less than ideal way for me me to spend my reading time. IT'S A BIRD had a lot of work to do in order to keep me engaged.
Generally I do some pretty good vetting of the books that I read for this project so that I don't run into this problem, but this book was given to me by a friend that knew that I enjoyed graphic novels, but had no knowledge of my dislike of memoirs. So, I cautiously tucked into the book and by the time I reached page four of the gorgeously illustrated (TEDDY KRISTIANSEN) novel I was sucked in and the realization that it was a memoir loomed only slightly in my peripheral vision.
IT'S A BIRD is Steve's story. Told in a mixture of flashbacks and present day, Steve is conflicted about being offered the Superman story. He has never liked the Superman story and feels as if he cannot bring anything to the story. He tries to process all of the things that Superman is supposed to represent - but all he gets is an oppressive super hero that is hiding in plain sight. Not a man to be put up on a pedestal.
Steve is also going through some very personal issues while trying to make this decision. He has a family history of Huntington's Disease and the family does not speak about it. He is obsessed with the thought that he may have the disease, but he keeps it from his friends and his live-in girlfriend. He lives in his head, creating silly scenarios and running away from his issues.
This book has many layers and there is an actual Superman story in here as well. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend it to anyone that loves either memoirs or graphic novels.