Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Published by
Pegasus Books (2020-08)
Current material
Final Pages
Original language


A Granddaughter's Memoir of a Legendary Comic Book Artist

by Margulies, Megan

A finely wrought coming-of-age memoir about the author's relationship with her beloved grandfather Joe Simon, cartoonist and co-creator of Captain America.

In the 1990s, Megan Margulies's Upper West Side neighborhood was marked by addicts shooting up in subway stations, frequent burglaries, and the "Wild Man of 96th Street," who set fires under cars and heaved rocks through stained glass church windows. The world inside her parents' tiny one-bedroom apartment was hardly a respite, with a family of five - including some loud personalities - eventually occupying the 550-square-foot space.

Salvation arrived in the form of her spirited grandfather, Daddy Joe, whose midtown studio became a second home to Megan. There, he listened to her woes, fed her frozen dinners, and simply let her be. His living room may have been dominated by the drawing table, notes, and doodles that marked him as Joe Simon the cartoonist. But for Megan, he was always Daddy Joe: an escape from her increasingly hectic home, a nonjudgmental voice whose sense of humor was as dry as his farfel, and a steady presence in a world that felt off balance.

Evoking New York City both in the 1980s and '90s and during the Golden Age of comics in the 1930s and '40s, My Captain America flashes back from Megan's story to chart the life and career of Rochester-native Joe Simon, from his early days retouching publicity photos and doing spot art for magazines, to his partnership with Jack Kirby at Timely Comics (the forerunner of Marvel Comics), which resulted in the creation of beloved characters like Captain America, the Boy Commandos, Fighting American, and The Fly. My Captain America offers a tender and sharply observed account of Megan's life with Daddy Joe - and an intimate portrait of the creative genius who gave us one of the most enduring superheroes of all time.

Megan Margulies earned her MFA in creative nonfiction from Lesley University. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Woman's Day, and she was consulting editor for her grandfather Joe Simon's autobiography, My Life in Comics. Megan now lives outside of Boston with her husband and two daughters.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Annelie Geissler

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A tender and heart-aching account of coming-of-age, and of aging, and of a vanishing New York City, as well as a much-needed corrective to myths concerning the origins of some of our most iconographic pieces of 20th-century popular culture. Thank you, Megan Margulies, for getting it all so right.

Quote: Jonathan Lethem, New York Times bestselling author

We all need to have a Captain America in our life, especially these days. They can take many different forms. Fortunately for us, Megan Margulies' grandfather was the creator of the original Captain America and shares a poignant and touching portrait of not just a seminal practitioner of the art form of comics, but a loving and unconventional grandfather.

Quote: Al Roker, Today Show co-host

Megan Margulies's beautifully rendered chronicle of a charmed friendship brims with the illustrative skills that she so admired in her grandfather. Painting with the indelible details of city dwelling - gurgling coffeemakers, wooden taborets, and rooftop stargazing - she brings to marvelous life the bonds of three generations of restless, complicated New Yorkers, with and without their shields.

Quote: Sean Howe, author of "Marvel Comics: The Untold Story"

There are too few books that explore the importance of a loving relationship between a grandchild and grandparent. Oozing with love for her grandfather, this memoir plays tribute to Margulies's grandfather, the cartoonist Joe Simon, who provides the foundational love for the author growing up in New York City ... A book to cherish.

Quote: Tory Bilski, author of "Wild Horses of the Summer Sun"

Fans of comic book history will enjoy this affectionate look backward.

Review: Kirkus Reviews

Read Megan's memoir if you care about Captain America and Joe Simon's other other-worldly heroes from Comics' Golden Age. Read it for a granddaughter's stirring love poem to her Daddy Joe. Read it for writing as compelling as the storytelling. Read it because you, like me, need an escape today, and this is one that'll transport you to an uplifting setting and moment.

Quote: Larry Tye, author of "Superman"

With writing by turns gritty, raw, and poignant, Megan Margulies' memoir interweaves stories from the Golden Age of comics, New York City in two iconic eras, and a girl's love for her grandfather. It's a compelling read, and a testament to how family bonds so often shape us into the person we will become.

Quote: Teresa Lust, author of "A Blissful Feast" and "Pass the Polenta"

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