The G-Man Super Journal: Awesome Originsby Chris Giarrusso
When Michael G (yes, "G" is his whole last name, and that's why everyone calls him G-Man) has to keep a journal in Mrs. Rosario's class at school, naturally he writes about his ambition to have/i>/i>/i>
"The world needs a hero like G-Man." —Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese, Boxers, and Saints
When Michael G (yes, "G" is his whole last name, and that's why everyone calls him G-Man) has to keep a journal in Mrs. Rosario's class at school, naturally he writes about his ambition to have superpowers and join the superheroes of his city (like Captain Thunderman) in the fight for justice. After all, his friend Billy Demon just got an awesome winged flying suit and superpowers of his own, and now he's the most popular kid in school! Mikey would just love to have superpowers too, but how will he get them? And if he does get them, what will he do with them?
"G-Man is funny! Really, really funny! You know how hard it is to make a funny comic? Believe me, plenty hard! I should probably encourage you to buy a copy, but honestly, I don't need the competition." —Jimmy Gownley, author of Amelia Rules
"Giarrusso has a kid-friendly sarcastic wit which will resonate with readers ages 8 and up." —Snow Wildsmith, School Library Journal
"G-Man, Chris Giarrusso’s awesome all-ages superhero series, is one of the most fun and exciting new properties to come down the pike in ages." —John Hogan, Graphic Novel Reporter
Gr 4–7—This volume takes a step back in time to provide the origin story to three previously published volumes of G-Man adventures. Michael G spends his days engaged in the drudgery of school, getting picked on by his older brother, and being targeted for punishment by a teacher somewhat inexplicably out to get him. Meanwhile, it seems like every day another kid in his class comes in with a new superhero identity and accompanying powers. Michael G is left wondering when it's going to be his turn. When he finally unlocks the secret of a magic blanket at home, he assumes the identity of G-Man and joins his friends in superhero status. With abundant dry humor and zinging one-liners, this story doubles as a metanarrative about superhero comics, with several layers of depth. While there is some relatively sophisticated language and quips, younger readers will still be able to access the story, which is written in a diary format, and illustrated with sharp drawings. Many readers will identify with G-Man's motivations: he isn't looking to get into the superhero business to save the world or anything, he just wants to be cool and have fun.—Jenna Lanterman, formerly at The Calhoun School and Mary McDowell Friends School, New York City
Spun off from Giarrusso's G-Man comics series, a wannabe superhero's journal assignment records epic triumphs along with a catalog of middle-grade woes.Jumping late aboard the Wimpy Kid bandwagon, the author couches young Michael G's narrative in a mix of "handlettered" text and line-drawn cartoons with punch lines in the dialogue balloons. All on ruled paper, natch. Also predictable are Michael's exaggerated but drearily familiar battles with a games-obsessed older brother, clueless parents who reflexively blame him for everything whether he's culpable or not, a repellent rich kid at school, and a particularly loathsome teacher who not only assigns detentions for trumped-up reasons, but laughs in his face when he's (falsely) accused of cheating on a test. Michael's superhero ambition isn't that odd, as this is set in a world well-stocked with costumed crime fighters—seven in his own class—and supervillains. Not only does he ultimately achieve said dream, by cutting a cape from what turns out to be a magic blanket, but he also cleverly sets up his hateful teacher for a fall and even joins his superfriends to take on mind-altering villain/cyborg Mister Mental. Formulaic, built on well-worn tropes and replete with cheap jabs at grown-ups—destined, in other words, to be an easy sell. (afterword) (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 9-11)
Meet the Author
Chris Giarrusso began his writing career early in life by whiting out the word balloons of newspaper comic strips and filling in his own dialogue. His art career followed soon afterward when he started whiting out the pictures, in addition to the dialogue, to replace them with his own. Eventually, he realized that he could save a lot of time and a lot of whiteout by starting out with blank paper.
In 1999, Chris Giarrusso created the world-famous MINI MARVELS for Marvel Comics, writing and drawing dozens of comic strips and short stories which have been published in countless Marvel comics and collected editions. Chris even contributed a brand new character to the Marvel Universe, fantastic fan-favorite Elephant Steve. He also illustrated the covers and comic inserts for all four volumes of the 2010 Scholastic series THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF NATE BANKS.
Today, Chris Giarrusso is best known for writing and drawing G-MAN, a series of graphic novels loved by all ages, featuring a young superhero who gains fantastic powers when he wears a magic cape. G-MAN, VOLUME 1: LEARNING TO FLY, G-MAN, VOLUME 2: CAPE CRISIS, and G-MAN, VOLUME 3: COMING HOME are available now at bookstores.
Chris currently lives and writes and draws in Queens, New York. Check out more of his art and animation at his official website, chrisgcomics.com.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Wonderful book! The humor works on multiple levels - my husband and I both enjoyed the book as much as my niece and nephew did. They're already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, and I must admit, so are we. Mr. Giarrusso does a terrific job of telling the story from G-Man's vantage point. All of us reading the book had been right where the characters are in the book throughout our lives. It's a heartwarming tale that also manages to drive home the fact that studying is a good thing, and hard work pays off in the long run. The illustrations are both beautiful and hilarious. 5 stars!