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Private eye investigates superheroes in “Bob Moore: No Hero”

by Matthew Price Published: August 12, 2011
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A private investigator in a world of superheroes is asked to help the man who destroyed his marriage. “Bob Moore: No Hero” by Australia-based author and journalist Tom Andry.

The e-book is available now, with a paperback to follow in February. The sequel to “No Hero,” “Desperate Times,” is set for release this month, and a third book is in the works. You can download “No Hero” for free at tomandry.com.

“He’s a guy who deals with supers on a regular basis, but doesn’t have any powers himself,” Andry said in an email interview. “He gets by with a few gadgets and access to information that gives him a leg up on the supers. In “Bob Moore: No Hero”, Bob confronts a super from his past. Bob blames this super for the dissolution of his marriage. But when superheroes start to disappear, Bob reluctantly agrees to help him.

Andry says “No Hero” is an introduction to Bob’s world and its history.

“There are hints about the effect supers have had on the development of society, but not the full story,” he said. “More, of course, will be revealed in future books.”

Andry says writers like Frank Miller (“Hard Boiled”), Alan Moore (“Watchmen”) and Grant Morrison (“Animal Man”) are among his favorites. He cites Matt Wagner comics as his biggest comics influence.

“I loved Matt Wagner’s work on ‘Grendel,’” Andry said. “That comic (and Wagner in general) had the most impact on me. Stuff like X-Men, Batman, and the rest were fun and I enjoyed them, but ‘Grendel’ … really felt like literature.”

Some of the characters’ powers in “No Hero” were inspired by Andry’s youth playing the “Champions” superhero role-playing game, but he said his true inspiration for Bob Moore was from life.

“Most of the characters are taken from parts of my friends and me,” Andry said. “I love damaged characters. Bob is nothing if not damaged. He is world-weary and tired. He’s beaten and bruised. He’s sad and angry.”

Andry said he started his story with the character of Bob Moore and worked backward.

“I wanted a nonpowered protagonist who dealt with supers,” Moore said. “In most comics, our world is basically unchanged. … But that doesn’t make sense to me. So I imagined what the world would be like if superpowered people started showing up in the ’70s.”

Andry said he finished the “Bob Moore” e-book based on a dare he gave himself.

“I had tried to complete novels in the past, but I’d fallen short of that goal,” he said. “So I said to myself, ‘Hey, just write something. It doesn’t have to be long. Just write it, finish it and see what happens!’”

Around the same time, Andry’s wife got a job transfer to Australia.

“That put everything we owned in storage and gave me a lot of free time at night that I would have filled with Netflix or video games,” Andry said. “Putting it all together, it was a perfect storm of motivation, tools, and time.”

“Bob Moore: No Hero” is nearing 50,000 downloads, Andry said. In addition to working on the “Bob Moore” novels, Andry, father of three boys, is the Associate Editor of Audioholics.com and host of the AV Rant podcast.

Webcomics creator James Riot created the cover for “No Hero,” which gave readers their first visual look at Bob Moore.

“He’s drawn covers for his own work that really caught my eye. When I was ready for a cover, I emailed him and said, ‘Give me something like that.’” Andry said. “The cover has been universally praised and I couldn’t be happier with it.”

- By Matthew Price
WORD BALLOONS
From Friday’s The Oklahoman


by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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