Book Review of Forgotten All-Star: A Biography of Gardner Fox by Jennifer DeRoss

He wrote over 4000 comic book stories, and co-created such enduring heroes as The Flash and Hawkman. He wrote dozens of novels. He inspired a generation of comic book writers. And yet his story has never fully been told. From his youth in Brooklyn, to his decades as a pulp fiction and comic book author, to his lasting legacy, Jennifer DeRoss tells the timely tale of forgotten all-star Gardner Fox.

  • Written by Jennifer DeRoss
  • Edited by Bob McLain
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pulp Hero Press (August 2, 2019)
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches

This book is far overdue! Why wasn’t this book written twenty years ago?

The comic book and pulp paperback industries, primarily American, brought the majority of what the world consumes as entertainment, today. It should go without being said that most of the people creating for these two industries would not have known the impact their work would have on generation upon generation of creatives.

Jennifer DeRoss has attempted to crack the code that is Gardner Fox’s writing career. This is not an easy task. There is very little about this man and his creative contributions on the internet. She has managed to pull together all of the scattered pieces and construct together a man whose legacy spans four decades.

This is a great task to gather all of the pieces of Mr. Fox’s life and career and weave together something educational, yet entertaining. DeRoss did an excellent job in both educating and entertaining the reader. Her lens of Mr. Fox as a creative contributor to the literary arts is admirable. Her primary focus is on his comic book career.

Since Mr. Fox stepped out of the comic book industry in the 1970s he missed receiving the recognition and creator fame for his work.

DeRoss takes on the task of writing about a man and his career as a writer, who worked in two disposable industries. Comic Books and Pulp Paperbacks were designed to be throw away forms of entertainment.

The portrait painted of Mr. Fox is of an idealistic young man that wants to bring justice to the world. He couldn’t do it as a Lawyer, so he would do it as a comic book writer.

Jennifer writes this book with personal and academic fervor. She breaks down Mr. Fox’s life and career into six well-composed parts. From his humble beginnings, getting started in comics, his rising star as a comic book writer, the difficulties the comic book industry faces, leaving the comic book industry and finally discussing his legacy.

I learned so much about the man and had a few laughs along the way. Several points that stood out to me are:

He received two degrees (literature and law) from college and applied both to his trade with these two degrees he was “—the first college-educated writer to join the comic book industry.”

She provides a detailed account of how DC comics “let him go.”

His mastery of scrapbooking and the way he applied it to his writing craft.

And, there is a senior college photo of Mr. Fox that would put Buster Crabbe to shame.

If you are a fan of Gardner Fox’s writing, Golden Age comic books, or the history of comic books in general, then you must read a copy of this book.

In the end, we are talking about a man’s legacy. A legacy that he himself did not seem to think would amount to much. I applaud Jennifer DeRoss for her passion and efforts and hope you will to.

I hope her book can assist “—Gardner Fox to become the household name he should be. “

This book is a gift! I will be reading this book again and again.

Forgotten All-Star: A Biography of Gardner Fox is available on Amazon in Kindle and print-on-demand paperback.
This link will take there.