We Can Be Heroes

Indie Writers Who Take on the World of Costumed Adventurers

Superheroes have never been hotter than they are right now. Movie studios continue to offer up super-powered blockbusters, such as the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, while TV screens flicker with such fare as Arrow, The Flash, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Self-published authors aren’t immune to such trends—but, unsurprisingly, many have their own unique takes on the world of costumed adventurers.

Adam Beechen, Manny Bello, and Ethen Beavers have plenty of combined experience in traditional comics, having worked on titles such as Teen Titans Go! and Justice League Unlimited. But their self-published graphic novel, Hench, takes a very different tack, telling the intimate, personal story of a supervillain’s henchman as he struggles to support his family. Kirkus’ reviewer wrote that they’d “created an entertaining, thoughtful spin on the superhero comic, cleverly focusing on the kind of character always left in the background.”David Column 2

(They’re not the only self-published authors with graphic-novel experience. Leland Myrick, for example, an illustrator of such works as 2013’s Feynman, is also the self-published author of fantasy novels such as The Ten, which was named one of Kirkus’ Best Books of 2012.)

Douglas and Angelia Pershing meld superheroics with sci-fi in their self-pubbed YA series. In Shifters and Ordinaries, alien teens Ryland and Tanner Ascuse use their  newly discovered talents—which include super-speed, among others—to try to stop an invasion of Earth. “Fans of Superman (and Supergirl) will enjoy the protagonists’ alien origins,” said Kirkus’ reviewer of Shifters, “and X-Men readers should appreciate the youths-against-the-world theme.” 

Finally, in the self-published Saving Superman by Kathleen Sales, a troubled young boy draws strength from his love of Superman comics. Kirkus called it an “emotionally honest, thoughtful novel about families whose superpowers involve coping with the everyday.”—D.R.

David Rapp is an Indie editor.



Jennifer Probst
The Bestselling Indie Writer Talks About the Secrets of Her Success
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst was just 12 when she started writing but it took many shaky starts before she became a mega-success in the romance genre with her novel The Marriage Bargain. Recent releases include new books in her Searching For series, including Searching for Beautiful and Searching for Always. Since starting off in the e-book format ...
Hugh Howey
An indie trendsetter talks about the secrets of his success.
Bestselling science fiction author Hugh Howey, who has a devoted fan base and just might see his famous Wool series make it to the big screen, is a huge devotee of indie publishing and encourages beginners to adopt this route. “If you are a chef in a busy restaurant, and most patrons are coming for your cooking, you have a ...
Self-publishing at BEA
Indie writers expand their presence at BookExpo America
At last month’s BookExpo America, the largest publishing event in North America, self-publishing continued to expand its presence. My first stop was the eighth annual Next Generation Indie Book Awards, which were held at the swanky Harvard Club (for the uninitiated, a taxidermied wild boar overlooks the elevator). The awards, which always occur the night before BEA, honored dozens of ...