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Bruce Springsteen has teamed with cartoonist Frank Caruso to create Outlaw Pete, a children’s book based on the music legend’s 2009 song about a bank-robbing baby who “cut his trail of tears across the countryside.”
The song, which appears on the album Working on a Dream, was inspired by the 1950 children’s book Brave Cowboy Bill, which Springsteen’s mother read to him when he was a child. “Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins,” the singer/songwriter said in a statement.
The idea for adapting the song into a book, using Springsteen’s lyrics, originated with Caruso, who in 2012 helped pay homage to the band Wilco in the Popeye comic strip — part of an unusual crossover that saw lead singer Jeff Tweedy as a potential suitor for Olive Oyl in the animated video for “Dawned on Me.”
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Now let’s get to it …
If you’re perplexed by the denim-clad Man of Steel on the cover of Action Comics #1, Grant Morrison has two words for you: The Boss.
“With what we’re doing he’s wearing jeans and a T-shirt – a Bruce Springsteen version of Superman, that’s the angle we’re taking,” the writer tells London’s Metro. “The cape’s still indestructible but the rest is picked up in a shop.”
I’m not sure precisely what that means, but if it leads to Jimmy Olsen becoming the Steven Van Zandt of the New DCU — complete with flowing bandanna — I’m all for it.
The relaunched Action Comics, by Morrison and artist Rags Morales, has been touted as the writer as a “big beginning” and a “new chapter” for the 73-year-old character. “We want to introduce a take on Superman that’s going to be so different that no one can expect what might happen next,” Morrison promised in a video address released last month. “One of the things we’re going to do in this book is also to show you how Superman is, who he is, why he ended up wearing the costume that he wears. And to show kind of a different side to the character than we’ve ever seen before.”
To Metro, Morrison adds: “I want to solve some of the problems that have grown up around the character. People now ask: ‘Why the hell would he dress up like that?’ I want to make Superman a more contemporary character. We’ll be changing how he looks, dresses and behaves. He’ll be more like the Superman who appeared in 1938 – more socially active and a champion of the oppressed.”
Action Comics #1 is set for a Sept. 7 release.