Charles Martin’s “The Wonderboy Serials” is modern reinvention of dime novel
Oklahoma author Charles Martin creates a modern reinvention of the serialized dime store novel in “The Wonderboy Serials,” an online series from Literati Press.
The first six chapters have been collected into a print edition, available at local book stores and comic shops, in addition to online at literatipressok.com.
“The Wonderboy Serials” is inspired by comic-book series like “Watchmen” and “Kingdom Come.”
Martin has promoted the novel at various conventions across the country, including the recent Planet Comicon in Overland Park, Kan.
“There’s been a strong crossover from both comic book readers that wouldn’t normally pick up a novel and novel readers that wouldn’t normally pick up a superhero story,” Martin said. “It’s early yet in the pop culture season, so I will have a better idea in the fall after I’ve seen some of these same readers again after they’ve had a chance to crack it open. Convention-goers tend to be brutally honest, for better or worse, but early indicators have me feeling optimistic that the story will really resonate.”
Martin touches on several issues throughout the novel through the lens of a superhero story.
“Security versus liberty is the big one, specifically what sacrifices will society make to feel safe,” Martin said. “Issues of national sovereignty and justice also pop up regularly, but the real meat of the story centers around society’s willingness to allow its celebrities to set the moral compass. When a beloved superhero is sexually aggressive, devalues women, distrusts the gay community as well as non-Western nations, his legion of fans will follow his example.”
Martin said he’d wanted to write a superhero story since he was a “kid running around in a cape,” but it took the success of an earlier e-book he’d written, “Edward and the Island,” for him to decide to re-approach the genre.
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