You'd have to be from Mars or living in a cave, not to notice that super hero movies are big! In fact, super heroes in general have gone from geek to chic in recent years. Attendance at New York Comic Con has gone from roughly 30 thousand just 10 years ago, to over 150 thousand just last year, and TV shows showcasing geek culture like The Big Bang Theory are ratings hits.
The fact that super heroes are hot certainly didn't escape my notice. Being a self proclaimed fanboy, and creator of the super hero, The Gray Guardian, I knew that the genre was growing— It also didn't hurt that I'm an advertising and marketing professional, and that part of my job is to keep abreast of current trends— But I digress.
As I looked into the growing genre, I noticed that there weren't any children's books out there tapping into this growing market. Oh yes, there were children's books from the big comic companies about Spider-Man, Superman or Batman, but there were no original children's books featuring a super hero theme. So I decided to write one.
The first thing I wanted to do was write an entertaining story. A story that would get a child's imagination going. I also didn't want to talk down to them, by making a simple repeat pattern book-- you know, like "Jack played his drum- Bang, Bang, Bang". I also wanted to write something that parents could read to their kids and enjoy as well (and later the kids could read when they were older). And yes, I wanted to have some type of logical conclusion, which might just give kids a teachable moment to ponder.
If I Had Super Powers is the story of a young boy who imagines what it would be like to have super powers— the pros and the cons, and comes to the very real conclusion that imagining to have all kinds of fantastic powers is a fun, but there are very real heroes out there saving lives every day, that don't have super powers. Something that most of us forget.
Although I'm an illustrator as well, I decided not to illustrate the book, instead opting to have then, 10 year old Jacob Reher do the honors. Some of you may know Jacob, as he's become very popular on the comic book convention circuit, selling his original artwork.
I first became aware of Jacob's talent on Facebook, and the idea of a kid who loved super heroes and who loved to draw, actually drawing the book was too perfect to pass up. So I contacted his parents and they loved the idea.
Since the publication of the book, Jacob has been featured on the local news in his town (several times), and the artwork for the book has been featured in several gallery art exhibits showcasing children's book artists.
I'm proud of the work Jacob did, and I'm proud and happy that so many have enjoyed the book. Will there be a movie based on the book? We'll let's just say that I'm working on trying to make that happen.