J Michael Straczynski's "Becoming Superman": a memoir of horrific abuse, war crimes, perseverance, trauma, triumph and doing what's right

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/23/actual-superheroics.html


Whoa. That is a lot to process.


I both want to read this book, and do not believe I can stomach reading this book.


I might pick this up. I’m of course a fan of a lot of his work, and remember listening to him and Larry DiTillio on Hour 25 decades ago after Harlan Ellison handed it off to him. I had no idea about this insane family history.


A Hollywood guy. Someone who works in an industry where image is everything. With all due respect, I have to wonder how much of this book is . . . I guess the word I’m looking for is “accurate”?


takes up with a child prostitute
I hate the phrasing here. No child is capable of consent in such matters, and is therefore not a prostitute. she is a rape victim.


I’m willing to trust him. He’s a success in the industry only despite his being an outsider who fought with the superficial slicksters for decades. He also has a reputation for being brutally honest.



Every “customer” of a child prostitute should be jailed for child rape.


The point is well-taken. I’ve revised the post. Thanks.


Thanks, I appreciate your response.


I dunno, sounds a bit like ‘The Painted Bird’ but with a happier ending and I’ve read that book twice for some reason. Also, I’d read this book just because of Babylon 5 Sheldon Cooper was always an idiot for preferring Star Trek over it.


I was thinking “but I think it’s important to note somehow the prostitution aspect.” I read the revised post, and you handled incorporating both really well.


I seem to recall he has/had a bit of a reputation as an asshole. Now sometimes that how brutally honest filters through people who are on the receiving end.

For whatever reasons he has fallen into that group where I enjoy what he creates but I have not liked how he comes across.

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Yeah, I phrased it that way deliberately. I’ve also heard that he can be extremely nice and generous with his praise when he feels it’s warranted.

My point was less about the “brutally” part (which is more understandable now, reading that harrowing summary of his bio) but the “honest” part, in that I don’t think he’s making this up.


Right? That said… I may want to read this,.


Ah… I’ve been following JMS personally since his days of interacting with fans on usenet during Babylon 5. I’ll say this: Anyone accusing JMS of being an asshole is…an asshole. He is uncompromising, occasionally inscrutable, appreciative of fans and willing to interact with them despite the cost and aggravation. I have had the pleasure, the honor, of interacting with him–briefly–at a couple of Comic-Cons, the most recent over this past weekend, where I was able to purchase, and have his inscription on, a copy of /Becoming Superman/. I don’t always agree with him on things political (–much like Cory–though more often than not I do), but I will say, having grasped his hand, and looked into his eyes, he is what he appears to be, and I look forward to reading his version of his life’s story (though from everything I"m hearing, I expect it to be…uncomfortable). He is a man of integrity, of values, of intelligence. I…am humbled by him, and in his presence.
You want to read the American Dream given form? Read /Becoming Superman/. It ain’t always easy, but it is…worth fighting for. Joe, I look forward to whatever comes next. You inspire us all. Thank you.


why would someone lie about having a pedo grandpa to look cool?


JMS has written fiction that literally changed my life. I found love through fanclubs for his work. I wrote to him multiple times and had wonderful responses from those interactions. I have a sign of his, in his handwriting, written by him, that says, simply:

“Never surrender dreams”.

And yet, never did I imagine that his life was an real-world embodiment of that very mantra.

I own a copy of every script written for Babylon 5. And yet, I now realize I knew so little about the person behind all of this effort, lore, and culture.


Holy fuck

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Ah, yes, I remember those usenet days and his interactions there. What was the name of that a-hole that used to harass JMS and call him a liar? I think it was “Theron.” That guy was a world class troll before that became a thing.