Generic Trade Paperback
by Doug Miers, Amilton Santos
(Comics Conspiracy, 2002)

"This is a job--" says the clean-cut young man in superhero tights, "--for a taxi!"

Yep, the Generic Trade Paperback (reprinting The Generic Comic Book 1-5) is parody of the industry that creates and merchandises, and the fans that sustain, superhero comic books. So what makes this one different from all of the other parodies?

This one is funny.

Oh, it isn't as brilliant as Kurtzman's parodies of Superman, Plastic Man and Wonder Woman, or Grass Green's Wildman and Rubberroy, but GTP is bwahaha funny for anyone steeped in comic books. For example, from the cabbie who drives our superhero (who is a parody of Superman) to a lab confronts the madman:

"Let me get this straight. You're going to destroy the world"?"
"The entire universe, actually," responds the nutcase.
"Right. The entire universe, just so everyone will know how great you are?"
"That's right," says the scientist.
"But if you destroy everything, who will be left to acknowledge your greatness?"

I will acknowledge his greatness.

Indeed, not only are the characters, writing and premise in GTP tasty, I acknowledge the art is pretty nifty, too, if you like what passes for the "realistic" anatomy and settings that now dominate the artform.

Now that you'd gotten the flavor of the prose and the style of the presentation of GTP, what more do you need to know?

Oh yeah, this superhero lives with his mom even though he is at least 25 years old, gets $5 a week for allowance, and spends it all on comic books. So run down to your closest comic book shop, or turn on your computer, and order. This is highly recommended for comic book geeks, er, fans.

- Rambles
written by Michael Vance
published 8 November 2003