Rabindranath Maharaj’s fourth novel The Amazing Absorbing Boy tells the story of a Trinidadian teenager sent to live with his father in Toronto after his mother dies. And while young Samuel is unprepared for much of the what the Canadian weather and his distant father have to offer him, he finds something else. Superhero comic books. Which reflect his own nature as an outsider, a stranger, an immigrant.
The book uses long examples of superhero stories to both reflect and juxtapose against Samuel’s experience. And gives him a cultural language which helps him to fit in with the rest of Canada, get work, make friends and find his new place in the world.
That X-Men was shot in Union Station in Toronto, a city also used as a model for Metropolis, only helps bond him to this place, and a coffee bar in the station becomes a central meeting point in the book.
The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon was an award-winning novel that explored the beginnings of the comic book industry, Jewish folklore and New York society. In doing so, it eduicated a lareg number of people as to the realities of the beginnings of an industry whose morals were often dimetrically opposed to the characters that they portrayed.
Michael Cho also talks about his illustrative work for the novel, here.
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