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Proof that people are saying things about us

From Parsippany Life (written by Paul Watson, © 2005 North Jersey Media Group Inc.).

Adam McGovern has the mild-mannered appearance of a bookish, erudite scholar. This is but a well-honed disguise. For in the evening, he sloughs off this second skin, revealing his true form: comic-book connoisseur. His idiosyncratic riffs of feminism, superheroes & celebrities, and "everyday heroes" (detailing the exploits of average citizens inhabiting the periphery of superhero cities), are some of the book's highlights.

"Luckily I'm an encyclopedic geek on these subjects," said McGovern. "It's been a life-long research project."

Are comics enjoying a new renaissance, or is this merely the last nostalgic gasp? "There are certain pros, like Will Eisner, who used to say, 'I've been in this business for 60 years and it's been dying since I got here,'" said McGovern. But he's banking on the industry's sustainability. Later this year he will be publishing his first comic: Dr. Id, Psychologist of the Supernatural.

"Two of the most common titles given to superheroes are Captain and Doctor; one to do our fighting for us and one to do our thinking for us," he remarked. McGovern has been working closely with Italian illustrator Paolo Leandri. "I think of myself as the screenwriter, and Paolo's the director and cinematographer."

As for the burgeoning popularity of comics, McGovern believes it has something to do with our cultural makeup. "All of Western civilization has been interested in these larger-than-life characters, going back to Greek mythology. I think of comics almost as the fairy tales of a high-tech society. Medieval people would have fairy tales about horses and pots of gold; we have fairy tales about spaceships and rayguns."

Analyzing these tall tales can reveal much about the society that created them. Comics are forever changing and adapting to the times. McGovern holds up an illuminating torch to the ongoing metamorphosis of the industry.

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