Put simply ‘The Boy Who Loved Batman‘ is the autobiography of a boy from a working class family who took his childhood obsession with batman, and turned it into a lifelong journey that has seen him produce every Batman film from Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster to Christopher Nolan’s epic Dark Knight trilogy.
That’s not spoiling anything, in fact you don’t even have to start reading the book to find that out as it’s written on the back cover. As with most great stories it is not the results that create the meaning, but the highs and lows of the journey. The man in question, Michael Uslan, is a comic book obsessive from the time when comic books were not the cool pop culture mainstays they are today. In fact when he started collecting comics he did so amidst a public outcry by a leading psychiatrist, whose opinion was that these “funny books” were going to bring down society! Fortunately his mother didn’t agree and so Michael’s fanboy nature was allowed to blossom.
This led to a lifetime in comic books that saw Uslan go from one incredible accolade to another, all due to his self-belief and passion; that’s really the essence of this text. I was obviously drawn to it because of its Dark Knight subject matter, but this is a book that cannot be pigeonholed. It transcends its comic book context and becomes something much more important; this is a lesson in LIFE! As you turn the pages you will feel like this man really grabbed life by the you-know-whats and never let go. There was always a plan, a goal and an unwavering commitment to see it through. As Uslan says “90 percent of your competition sit there on their butts with some sense of entitlement, waiting for the world to come to them, therefore I knew my competition was only around 10%”. So he went out and knocked down doors repeatedly, even the ones that were slammed in his face until somebody listened to him, which means lots of them did.
When I first picked up the book I was guilty of thinking that it would be pretty dull. After all I knew how it ended, so I had it in mind that only the last part would provide any excitement. I was wrong. As with any tale about a goal worth achieving, Uslan’s legacy really did take a lifetime to achieve and the twists and turns will make you smile from ear to ear.
The truth is that after finishing this book I felt supercharged and motivated to go out and do something incredible. Uslan is living proof that dreams do come true, but only if you make them; and you really can.
I will be pushing this book on everyone I come across and I really hope you all go out and buy or borrow it. This is more than just an autobiography, it’s an allegory for life and as such should be required reading for the whole planet!