Superman: The Harvests of Youth, the upcoming graphic novel by Sina Grace, was inspired by a Taylor Swift album. The book follows a young Clark Kent during his high school years in Smallville. Following the heartbreaking loss of a classmate, Superman and his friends grapple with their emotions as they try to solve a mystery and preserve their everyday routines.
The author told Screen Rant that these melancholy themes in Superman: The Harvests of Youth were inspired by Taylor Swift’s Folklore. “There was a little bit of an autumnal vibe in the book that I wanted to capture. I was listening to a lot of Taylor Swift’s Folklore, so I just, that sort of somber aesthetic played into every aspect of the book’s design.”
Grace previously compared the Superman book to the Smallville television show, which shared a similar premise.
The artwork and story details available before the Superman book’s official launch showcase Sina Grace’s artistic vision. The cover art and the carefully chosen palettes evoke the same emotional resonance found in Taylor Swift’s Folklore, capturing the narrative-driven essence of the singer’s indie-inspired era, which marked a departure from her previous forays into pop, rock, and country music.
Grace’s portfolio mostly features graphic novels tailored for a young adult audience, with standalone stories focusing on specific characters or groups. Notable examples include his Iceman series, which delves into the everyday lives of the heroes when they’re not in costume. Superman: The Harvests of Youth is his most ambitious venture with DC Comics.
“There was a little bit of an autumnal vibe in the book that I wanted to capture. I was listening to a lot of Taylor Swift’s Folklore, so I just, that sort of somber aesthetic played into every aspect of the book’s design.”Sina Grace, author of Superman: The Harvests of Youth
Grace previously compared the Superman book to the Smallville television show, which shared a similar premise. He even mentioned that a few recognizable characters from the show make appearances in his book. Grace also explained that his inspiration stemmed from a broader concept of the teenage experience and how the challenges of adolescence would impact Clark as he matures.
Apart from Smallville, Superman has only been seen during his formative years through brief flashbacks or mentions of his origin story, seldom serving as the primary focus. Grace’s book, however, will offer readers a deep dive into Superman’s early life before he assumes the iconic cape, marking one of the first substantial written works to explore this facet of the character.
Following the pattern of most of Grace’s creative endeavors, he will be responsible for both the storytelling and the artwork in the Superman book, imprinting his unique visual style onto the characters that inhabit its pages. For coloration duties, DC has enlisted Cris Peter, the accomplished artist behind Shadow of the Batgirl, to infuse the book with vibrant hues and tones.
Superman has frequently been used as a lens through which to examine contemporary societal issues. These stories leverage the character to dissect real-world problems, giving readers a unique perspective. Several Superman graphic novels inspired by current events exemplify this approach.
Grace’s book, however, will offer readers a deep dive into Superman’s early life before he assumes the iconic cape, marking one of the first substantial written works to explore this facet of the character.
Superman: Red Son envisions an alternate universe where Superman’s ship lands in the Soviet Union, exploring Cold War tensions and political ideologies and offering a commentary on the era’s politics. Superman: Grounded portrays Superman’s journey across America, addressing immigration and economic struggles as metaphors for empathy and understanding.
Superman: Earth One re-imagines Superman’s origin in the 21st century, reflecting themes of alienation and identity relevant to today’s youth. Superman: Truth tackles issues of privacy and surveillance when Superman’s identity is exposed. Superman Smashes the Klan and confronts racism and xenophobia as Superman battles the Ku Klux Klan, emphasizing diversity and unity.
Superman: The Harvests of Youth will be released on October 3, 2023.