Meet the man whose life-long quest to reclaim the true, cool soul of Batman wonderfully transformed today's comic book movies. Growing up outside of Asbury Park, New Jersey, Michael Uslan was obsessed with comic books. He'd be the first to grab the latest issues off the shelves of the three local comic book stores, including four copies of the now legendary Fantastic Four #1. His favorite superhero was the brooding, crime-fighting vigilante, Batman. Despising the campy 1960s TV show, Uslan became determined to bring the real Batman—dark, serious, burdened by a tragic past—to the silver screen. Undeterred by Hollywood's initial lackluster response, after a ten-year human endurance contest in which every major movie studio turned him down, Uslan went on to become Executive Producer on every modern Batman film, beginning with Tim Burton's widely hailed Batman in 1989 to Christopher Nolan's celebrated Dark Knight trilogy and well beyond. Warmly told and inspiring, Uslan's remarkable story is a testament both to the profound imaginative power of comic book heroes and the tenacity of the New Jersey boy determined to bring one of them to life. This second edition includes a special foreword and afterword by Uslan, bringing us up to date on everything Batman.
"Don't miss this spell binding tale of one man who saw what Batman was–and realized what he could become. See how Michael Uslan took a comic book hero and, through the magic of motion pictures, helped transform him into a world icon!"
Stan Lee - former Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Comics and Chairman of POW! Entertainment, co-creater of Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, and the Hulk
"An inspirational tale of how one individual, armed only with a lifelong desire of restoring dignity to his beloved Batman, can prevail against all odds and emerge triumphant, forever altering the pop-culture landscape in the process. Informative, warmly witty, and deeply human, it should be required reading, not just for comic book and movie fans like me, but for anyone looking for a concrete plan to make their own dreams come true!"
Mark Hamill - Actor
"Who in the world is lucky enough to have a 'grand dream,' then to enter it, embrace it, and have it become part of their life? Michael Uslan is just such a blessed person. His name and persona is forever linked to The Batman. Isn't that the coolest damn thing you ever heard?"
Neal Adams, creator's advocate and artist and writer of Batman, X-Men, Crazyman, and Blood
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Table of Contents
FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION
Part I: How to Have an Origin Without a Planet Blowing Up, Parents Murdered, Radioactive Spider Bites, Cosmic Rays, Gamma Rays, White Dwarf Stars, Aliens Crash-Landing, a Magic Word, a Magic Hammer, or a Super Serum
CHAPTER ONE The Secret Origin of Michael Uslan, Comicbookman!
CHAPTER TWO Just Imagine! Team-Ups and Sidekicks!
CHAPTER THREE Paul and Michael... Brother, Power, the Geek!
CHAPTER FOUR Batman and Robin’s Dirty Secret!
CHAPTER FIVE Batman Begins... for Me!
CHAPTER SIX A Campy Batman on TV. "Holy Shit!"
CHAPTER SEVEN The Comic Book Club—No Girls Allowed!
CHAPTER EIGHT Pros and Cons and Con Artists!
CHAPTER NINE "And Then There Were None!"
Part II: "You Still Read Comic Books at Your Age?!"
CHAPTER TEN Good-Bye Smallville! Hello Metropolis!
CHAPTER ELEVEN The World’s First College Professor of Comic Books!
CHAPTER TWELVE I Was a Teenage Junior Woodchuck!
CHAPTER THIRTEEN Plan B: A Strange Costume for Batman and Robin,
A Strange Choice for Me!
Part III: Bloomington to Hollywood: How to Get There from Here!
CHAPTER FOURTEEN Life is Not a Comic Book!
CHAPTER FIFTEEN I Know What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men!
CHAPTER SIXTEEN Going Backward? Me, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and a Toyota!
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Raging Bullshit on a "Rocky" Road!
Part IV: At Long Last, the Dark Knight Returns!
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN Ben and Me, the World’s Finest Producer Team!
CHAPTER NINETEEN Blackest Night: The Ten-Year Human Endurance Contest!
CHAPTER TWENTY Infinite Crises! The Human Endurance Contest Continues!
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE It’s the Stuff Dreams Are Made Of!
Part V: "Bats" of Luck
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO After the Dark Knight, the Brightest Day!
EPILOGUE The Road Taken, the Road Not Taken!
SUPER EPILOGUE TO THE SECOND EDITION