One of the more exciting pieces of mail our household receives each month is an official “Mystery Envelope,” containing a new surprise in every package. With the 4th of July only a few days away, it was fun to see this month’s mystery envelope celebrate the occasion with an assortment of patriotic regalia… including this priceless (in that it probably can’t be exchanged for legal tender) copy of CAPTAIN AMERICA #239.
I’ve never been a big fan of the Sentinel of Liberty; in fact this issue effectively doubles my Cap collection. The only other issue I have is #367, and only bought it since it contains Magneto smacking around Red Skull because of his Nazi past. Sadly, #239 offers little to change my mind on Cap. Guest writer Peter Gillis penned a quick tale of Cap venturing through the snowy fortress, battling minions, hallucinations, and a strange tentacle trap to rescue a telepathic little girl, who then proceeds to deny others her knowledge of the future by… walking off a cliff in the final page…. the 70’s were a weird time.
Still, it was an entertaining diversion to arrive unexpectedly in the mail, and while his individual adventures may vary, Cap still remains an undying symbol for freedom, liberty, and hope; thanks Mystery Envelope!
Speaking of liberty, these past few days have also shown that Cap’s not the only sentinel out in the comic book world. This week the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund released a primer handbook for the upcoming Banned Books Week (September 21-27), featuring good ol’ Fone Bone front and center on a cover drawn by Bone series creator Jeff Smith. You can download a free copy of the handbook on the CBLDF website.
While Banned Books Week is an annual event for libraries nation-wide, this year will focus on comics and graphic novels that have come under scrutiny and censorship in libraries for various reasons, and some of the commonly challenged titles are quite surprising; including the Bone series. Surprisingly, the exploits of the Bone cousins even generated enough noise last year to be included in the American Library Association’s Top 10 Challenged Books of 2013 (that’s not just comic books mind you, but all books, including the likes of 50 Shades of Grey).
But this is Bone we’re talking about here; really if there’s one comic series I think everyone should read… scratch that; that’d be Sandman. But still, Bone is about as close to an all ages adventure as one can find, and by that I mean its appeal crosses generations in all the right ways. Granted, the point of Banned Books Week is to say that shutting out any book is wrong, but this is Bone… Bone! What kind of stupid rat creatures would…
I digress; anyway, I’ll be looking forward to seeing what our own library has planned for the event, but for now it’s Independence Day in Boston; it’s kind of a big thing for us here.