The Recommender: Comic Book Aficionado J.J. McCorvey Shares A Stunning Testament To Grandparents

The three best things Fast Company‘s assistant editor found on the Internet this week.


Name: J.J. McCorvey
Role at Fast Company: Assistant Editor, print
Twitter: @jmccorvey
Titillating fact: J.J. has a massive comic book collection–-thousands–of mostly Marvel Comics. “Pshh, plenty of folks love comics!” you might say. But plenty of folks probably have not bad-mouthed Stan Lee at Comic-Con for repeatedly destroying the pronunciation of someone’s name on a panel, only to turn around and realize Lee was standing right behind them on the escalator. J.J. is sorry, Stan. More so, he wishes he’d have taken the elevator.


Things he’s loving:

1. Super Power Beat Downs
Thanks to the wonders of CGI, comic book movies are finally being taken seriously, and getting better by the year. But who wants to wait a year between releases to see our favorite heroes duke it out? Every month, The Super Power Beat Down web series pits two super-powered legends against each other, then lets fans vote on the winner. The result is a production that is vivid and visceral enough to draw the envy of Warner Bros. Studios, yet still slightly cheesy enough to stay true to the original medium. Peep the Thor versus Superman clip below:

2. “Talk A Good Game” by Kelly Rowland
Raw. Vulnerable. Killin’ it. Three things you never hear someone use to describe any former member of Destiny’s Child who is not married to Jay-Z. Until now, that is. After 10 years of striking out with attempts at interesting music, and 10 years of me rooting for her, Kelly Rowland finally gets it right with “Talk A Good Game,” a slickly produced album that is as hardcore R&B as hardcore gets. I confess, I followed Destiny’s Child from the beginning, bedroom posters and all (no judgment, please). Hearing Rowland finally break out of her shell by opening up about Beyonce envy on “Dirty Laundry,” and asserting a new brand of coquettish feminism in a post-Destiny’s Child world with “Talk A Good Game” and “Number 1,” makes me very excited for the future of her career. Almost as excited as I am for the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.

3. The Gift of Grandparents
There’s truly something magical about what grandparents bring to our lives. I recently lost my grandfather to cancer, and though we were extremely close, I don’t think I fully realized, until now, his contribution to the person I am today. “Granda” (pronounced “granddad” with no “d” at the end) was my cheerleader, my comrade, my sentinel, my comic relief, and my role model. From letting me stay up late with him to watch scary movies, to pinning me to the ground when I thought I had gotten big enough to challenge him to a wrestling match (I was a spry 12, he was 63), he left me with a bundle of indelible memories that I’ll cherish forever and hopefully pass on to my own kids and grandkids.

Steve McCurry, the photographer best known for the iconic image “Afghan Girl” that originally appeared in National Geographic, captures the essence of this relationship–-which many of us are hopefully blessed to experience–-in a photo series called “Gift of Grandparents.” McCurry’s entire blog is worth the regular visit, but “Gift of Grandparents,” which captures the interaction between grandparents and their grandchildren in countries like Mali, Malaysia, and Yemen, is at once starkly exegetical, yet warm, poignant, and sentimental. For me, it’s a reflection of the tenderness Granda and I shared, and a reminder for which I’m very thankful to Mr. McCurry.


[Images: Steve McCurry, and Flickr user JD Hancock]

About the author

Jessica Hullinger is a London-based journalist who covers science, health, and innovation. She currently serves as a Senior Editor at