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  1. #1
    Super Scientist jvchamary's Avatar
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    Default Science of Superheroes book

    Hello

    I'm writing a book that uses superheroes to explore science.

    The book is aimed at people who wouldn't necessarily read comics and the book's structure (the characters to cover etc) is all set. But I'm still not sure how much to mention actual comics, as that might alienate my target audience (non-fans). I'd be interested in hearing your answers to the following question:

    Why do you think more people watch superhero movies than read comic books?

    Do non-comic fans experience greater escapism from the films than comics because the experience is passive than active, for example? I'm not a cognitive scientist, but maybe the brain finds movies less hard work and therefore more enjoyable? On the flip side, for those who've read non-fiction books about comics: What made you want to buy them, and what kept you reading? I haven't yet decided whether to accept a book deal or self-publish, so I ask these questions because the potential publisher has suggested I make very few references to comics so I don't risk making the book less accessible to a wide audience, which I can understand.

    Please don't suggest content for the book (I already have plenty to work with!) but if you've got any other thoughts or queries, don't hesitate to ask.

    J.

    P.S. If you're interested in reading the book, you can pre-order a signed copy by supporting my Kickstarter project...

    Superpowers: http://kck.st/Ujc1i7

    P.P.S. If you want to find out more about me, click the 'See full bio' link under my Kickstarter photo. I haven't previously published any long-form articles about the science of superheroes, but here's a short piece on the X-Men (sorry for the poor image quality -- it's a combination of a low-resolution PDF and Marvel's disastrous photoshopping)...

    The Real X-Men: http://db.tt/RsrlhV1b

  2. #2

    Default

    What do you mean that you use superheroes to explore science? Do you use them as examples/metaphors or have you created your own team to lead the reader through the book?

    I think you hit the nail on the head there. TV's more passive while reading comic books (along with the actual novels that come out) remains active. Although they're full of awesome art, people have just gotten pretty lazy (in READING). It is also a common philosophy that movies summarize A LOT. For this reason, many believe that it is more practical to just watch the movie than read the countless (more-detailed and canonical) books.

    (Given current nerd-popular culture:) Most readers could probably handle any reference that you give them from superhero movies. If they don't, it's really easy to look them up. But, if you refer to some vague instance that really only happens once in a rare comic (unless you're making a really good point [or write extremely well]), you might be better off forgetting about it.
    "And in the end, when all's said and done... good guys always win. The End."

    --Fat Friar

    The Raven

  3. #3
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    I have The Science of Superman, co-written by Roger Stern. It's pretty neat.
    Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...

  4. #4
    Super Scientist jvchamary's Avatar
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    Thanks Per Hiero!

    The book explores science by using key concepts as a starting point for describing cutting-edge research. Superman is solar powered, for instance, so I'll then describe my visits to leading labs that are working to develop advanced photovoltaic cells and generating solar fuel. Another example is using Daredevil to talk discuss new research on echolocation in people. In other words, it's an accessible popular science book that uses superheroes as an angle.

    A few references to superhero movies should be fine, I meant whether to mention stories and pivotal plots from comics, such as (and I'm not using this one) the death of Gwen Stacy. So James Kakalios used that example in The Physics of Superheroes, which would be fine for us geeks, but might put off non-fans. Any thoughts on this?

  5. #5
    Super Scientist jvchamary's Avatar
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    Hi dupersuper! That's the only science of superheroes book that I haven't read. Could you please tell me why you liked it? Was it the writing style or how the author explained complex concepts?

  6. #6
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvchamary View Post
    Hi dupersuper! That's the only science of superheroes book that I haven't read. Could you please tell me why you liked it? Was it the writing style or how the author explained complex concepts?
    A combination of both, from what I can recall. It has been several years since I last read it.
    Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...

  7. #7
    New Member StephenBurger's Avatar
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    Default

    The main reason people will watch a superhero movie but dodge the book is that the general populace doesn't read. Simple as that. Plus, they may feel that a movie is not a big time commitment but that comics require continuous reading to keep up to date. And finally, I think that they are embarrassed to read them because they think they will be criticised by peers/friends.

    Cheers,
    Stephen
    check out my indie book --> http://www.indiegogo.com/talk

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