Everyone remembers having that one childhood obsession that took on a life of its own and developed the power to shape everything in its path. Whether it was a comic book, a video game, a TV show, a movie, or a toy, chances are we all loved something so much that our entire lives revolved around it, and most of us believed that would always be the case. After all, how many children really believe they’ll outgrow their favorite toys and carefully tended obsessions? And so it makes sense that The Boy Who Loved Batman, Michael E. Uslan, hung onto his childhood passion and grew up to be the producer of the modern Batman movie franchise. His playfully illustrated memoir is a funny, inspiring look back at a life devoted (quite successfully) to a comic book character.
Uslan’s story begins in the 1950s with a childhood that was largely defined by his comic book fandom. Wednesdays were the best day of any week, as that’s when the new comics came out, and soon his universe was populated with super heroes, villains, and fellow fans. It’s interesting how one thing leads to another, but there is a through-line in every life, and his just happens to be Batman. Dear friends were made through Batman, important life choices were informed by his love for Batman, and ultimately a career path was shaped by The Dark Knight.
What makes Uslan’s journey so inspiring is that it is not driven by a desire for money, fame, or notoriety. This is not a man who wished to ride Batman’s coattails: he simply wanted to bring dignity to his favorite superhero. With unwavering faith and dedication, he positioned himself to work in the field he loved, annnd eventually wound up producing some of the most successful and iconic films of our time. He proves that hard work and passion can lead to the realization of even the most far-fetched dreams, a lesson we should all take to heart.