• Fightin’ Femmes: Unmasking Female Superheroes with Author Mike Madrid When I was growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, reading comics wasn't as popular as it had been in the ’40s or ’50s. But my older sister had comics, including a big collection of “Betty and Veronica.” Our parents encouraged us to read everything, so at 6 years old I was just one of those kids that never stopped reading comics. At a certain point my sister started throwing her comics away. I snagged wh…
  • Attack of the Vintage Toy Robots! Justin Pinchot on Japan’s Coolest Postwar Export Everyone is always looking for the next big thing. In the 1960s, it was going into space. In the '40s and '50s, the frontier was technology, with a particular focus on "What's going to make our lives easier?" For the very first time, you had cars with automatic-transmissions, automatic washing machines, and perpetually cooling refrigerators. I mean, we were coming out of an era when you scrubbe…
  • Harvey Pekar: The Splendor of Ordinary Life Harvey Pekar carried himself with a slouch. He had a disheveled comb-over and dark, haunted eyes. A file clerk at the Veterans Administration hospital in Cleveland, he spoke with a cantankerous rasp. If you sat next to him on the bus, you might not even notice him. Yet this ordinary man, who died this week at age 70, made his unremarkable day-to-day life in a typical city immortal, thanks t…
  • When Superheroes Took Over Comic Books I’ve been interested in comic books since I was very young. My two older brothers had Spider-Man and Fantastic Four comic books. I grew up watching cartoons and my favorite ones were always Spider-Man and Superman. In seventh grade, some friends of mine bought some comic books and were really excited about them. They showed them to me and I started getting into it. My first comic book was Avengers…