Gearing up to write and draw another Sleeper Ave. story next week, this one about the Cold War. If you didn’t live during that period, it’s hard now to imagine the ever-present dread that accompanied the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
We came out of the Second World War with a short-lived sense of having saved the world for our way of life, only to have a nascent Russia, newly armed with atomic weapons, along with an increasingly bold China, challenge our supremacy and push relentlessly to expand the Communist bloc. The next decades would see that struggle played out in proxy wars in Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere. It seemed inevitable that sometime soon a line would be crossed, a mistake made, and the world would be engulfed in a nuclear war from which there would be no recovery.
Fear does ugly things to people, and the Red Scare resulted in one of the most troubling periods in our history, when Americans, goaded on by powerful goons like Sen. Joseph McCarthy, turned on each other, destroying reputations, careers and lives.
All this is much too much to tell in a single tale, but I’ll be revisiting its effect on me, my family and my friends on occasion. These stories won’t run for a while–I’m working ahead–but I’ll post them eventually.
There are plenty of lighter and funnier stories, too. After all, we were just kids then, exploring our little corner of the world, learning to ride bikes, whiling away long summer days, and generally doing what kids do–having fun.