Brad Ricca
Filmmaker, Author of “Super Boys”


A writer and filmmaker who received his Ph.D. in English at Case Western Reserve University, Brad Ricca is currently a SAGES fellow who teaches classes on comics, popular culture, and narrative biography. His latest book is the first literary biography of the creators of Superman, Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster – The Creators of Superman which draws on nearly ten years of research in dusty libraries and secret comics hoards to portray two teenagers who, in the midst of the Great Depression, created a global icon.

A lifelong comics nerd and aficionado, Ricca has spoken about comics in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, and on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” He has given talks at The Maltz Museum of Jewish History and the legendary San Diego Comic-Con, along with numerous schools and conferences from Oxford to Kyoto.

Ricca won the St. Lawrence Book Award for his first book of poetry, American Mastodon, and is also an independent filmmaker whose documentary, Last Son, screened all over the world and won a Silver Ace Award at the Las Vegas International Film Festival.

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Hardcover
Mrs. Sherlock HolmesThe True Story of New York City’s Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation
St. Martin’s Press

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes tells the incredible true life story of Mrs. Grace Humiston, the New York lawyer and detective who solved the famous cold case of Ruth Cruger, an 18-year-old girl who disappeared in 1917. In the literary tradition of In Cold Blood and The Devil in the White City, Brad Ricca's Mrs. Sherlock Holmes is a true crime tale told in spine-tingling fashion, complete with a twist ending.


Hardcover
Super Boys
The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster -- the Creators of Superman
St. Martin's Press

In time for the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel, comes the first comprehensive literary biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of the DC Comics superhero Superman and the inspiration for Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay.

How to Make a Superman - The Amazing True Story of Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster: This talk is an overview of the book and its thesis that Superman, the billion dollar corporate icon, began as an autobiography for two teenagers during the Great Depression who would live out the highs and lows of the American dream.
The History of Comics in America: This lecture is an overview of the history of comics and superheroes in the United States, touching on how art and early publishing practices combined to create what is now the driving niche of the American popular culture.
What’s So Funny? Race, Gender, and Stereotypes in Comics: A provocative presentation highlighting comic books and their unsteady provocative past when it comes to depictions of gender and race.
We Won – Nerd Culture in America: This is a history of nerd/geek culture and how it moved from small groups of fans to the billion-dollar industry that gave us “The Avengers,” “The Big Band Theory,” and “San Diego Comic-Con.” How did we turn into a nation of nerds? The answers will surprise you!
"Brad was outstanding and we enjoyed an excellent event! The crowd loved him, as did our entire staff. There was a long line at the book signing!"
- Janet Arno, Campbell County Public Library

Advance praise for Mrs. Sherlock Holmes:

"In Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, Brad Ricca paints the picture of Grace Humiston, a soft-spoken yet persistent woman investigator determined to solve the disappearance of an 18-year-old girl—this in the midst of both the suffragist and white-slavery movements. Where the police leave off, Humiston, undaunted by naysayers, picks up clues and doggedly follows them. Ricca lays out this fascinating whodunit with a novelist's skill, making Mrs. Sherlock Holmes a suspenseful winner."
— Cathy Scott, award-winning journalist and Los Angeles Times bestselling author of Murder of a Mafia Daughter and The Killing of Tupac Shakur

"Brad Ricca’s spellbinding nonfiction account of the disappearance and murder of a young woman ranks right up there with the most absorbing mystery novels. Set against a background of early 20th century New York, Mrs. Sherlock Holmes exposes police indifference, newspaper sensationalism and sexist attitudes. A first-rate story."
— Sandra Dallas, New York Times Bestselling author of The Last Midwife